Thanks to my friend, Teresa, I learned how to bake up a macaron that looks, well…, like a macaron! These French cookie gems have become wildly popular in the past few years and they have a well-earned reputation of being delicate and finicky to bake. Much has been written about them, and expert bakers everywhere have offered up their “secrets” to creating a foolproof macaron.
Teresa and I had joined forces a while back to try our hands at macarons, but they did NOT work out. So… I just gave up and bowed to the “Macaron Gods” who, it has been told, place random curses on these cookies and periodically doom them to failure. Teresa, thankfully, took a different approach and chose to fight back…hard…and got great results.
The basic macaron recipe she uses, with detailed instructions, can be found at Bravetart. Stella is an amazing baking pro who writes with a witty, up-front, no-nonsense approach. Honestly, everything that you need to know about baking macarons can be found there. Teresa taught me to follow the recipe exactly, but she has found great success by bringing the measured egg whites to room temperature and letting the piped cookies sit on the parchment for 15 minutes before placing them in the oven.
See those ruffly edges around the base of each cookie? They are referred to as “feet” and they are the true measure of macaron success. I’ve seen photos of cookies that have loftier feet than mine but, hey, I am thrilled to have been this successful.
You can use a variety of fillings……I chose a simple almond buttercream:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick softened butter
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Beat together sugar and butter, on medium speed, until light and fluffy (about 2 -3 minutes). Add extract and beat until smooth. Spread or pipe onto cooled cookies.
Makes enough for approx. 30 cookies. Note: this recipe can be halved
Macaron magic, at last. Thank you, Teresa, (or should I say “Merci”) for not wimping out like I did, and for taking the time to be a patient teacher and loving friend.