MACRON BAKING: THE TEMPERMENTAL COOKIE YOU’LL LOVE TO HATE
Macarons. The crazy little delicious tormentors, known as cookies are not for the faint of heart. To be honest, I’m a little humored by the process of making them.
For all the times I’ve heard these cookies are hard, I just didn’t know why.
I didn’t understand.
Something’s have to be experienced.
My mom alway taught me baking was precise. Unlike cooking, baking must be measured perfectly.
Okay, got it. I’ll measure each ingredient.
The first time Breezy and I made Macarons they turned out pretty good. We thought, that wasn’t so bad. They didn’t quite flatten like they should have, and the feet weren’t as apparent at most, but we were pretty impressed with ourselves.
Afterall, they tasted fantastic…but lacked the Macarons signature look.
We chalked it up to experience and thought, we’ll try again.
And try we did. Again. And again.
The the second time was worse than the first!
Now we were scratching our heads. What is the issue? How did we manage to do worse the second try?
Following the Recipe Exactly!!
The recipe I was using had both measurements by weight and standard measurements. At the time I didn’t have a scale so I went by the standard measurements.
When the third batch didn’t go correctly I blamed the cheap scale I bought.
Well…I did buy a cheap one. This one did NOT have exact measurements. It measured in the same way a produce scale weights. Therefore, I had to eyeball it.
It worked as you would image, not!
The funny thing was, at this point we made two different type of Macarons. One turned out great, the other not so much.
I stood by what I said and blamed the scale. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t.
Call for Help!!
At this point I did the only thing I knew to do. Call upon Pinterest for help. All the lovely ladies baking up a storm with this little devils certainly know what they are doing.
Therefore I put “how to make a macron” into the search and off I went.
I have to say, there are a lot of opinions on how to make a proper macron. Over the next three or four batches we tried different tips to see what would work.
One tip, separate the egg whites a couple days in advance. When ready to make the cookie, let the egg whites come to room temperature. This tip, is gold.
I later learned that is the French method. The Italian method is to separate the egg when making the cookie.
Another great tip, after piping the cookies, let them dry on the top. Roughly 1 hour. That is one fantastic tip!!!
It helps the cookies get their feet while baking.
Upgrading my Scale
Round three. I’ve declared my need for a digital scale. As Breezy and I set out to find the perfect scale, certain this would be the needed change.
This scale measures in grams. Just what I need! And because it measures one gram at a time, I was able to ensure the EXACT amount of each ingredient.
The Macarons turned out perfect!!
Macron’s are Infuriating
This is really why I started this macron rank in the first place.
Sunday Breezy and I attempted to make Oreo Cookie Macrons. I stress attempted.
The problem actually started a couple days earlier. AND I knew it. I denied it, but I knew it just the same.
Isn’t that the catalyst?
I have a separate baking refrigerator and it froze my eggs.
I let the eggs thaw thinking they would be okay. HOWEVER, when I cracked the eggs I could see the whites had gotten water condensation in them.
I hate to admit it, but I did realize there was extra water. Dummy me thought, the moisture will bake out.
Sure. In a cupcake. But not temperamental macron!
I went ahead thinking everything would be okay.
Why, I’ll never know.
Back to Sunday. We are making the cookies and it doesn’t even occur to me that the batter will not be the right consistency!
Whip, sift, mix.
Everything is looking good. The batter “appears” to have the perfect lava flow. I pipe the cookies and they set up really well. They didn’t expand into each other….nothing.
They just sat there taunting me. Looking like perfect little circles.
The irony of it all
Baking the Macrons
We set the timer and an hour passed.
Low and behold we check to see how they are baking and EVERY SINGLE Macron was cracked.
Our beautiful macrons look like muffin tops! What the world??
But we let them bake. Determined to at least see how they taste.
Finally, the Finished Product
While these little beauties are nothing to speak about in terms of what a macron should look like, they taste like absolute perfection.
Now the three of us, my husband included, are eating them like it will be the last one we ever taste!
They really are good. But to sell, they aren’t worthy.
We did re-make the little devils last night. They turned out perfect!
I sucked down some humble pie and told my daughter about the eggs freezing. She gave me the look of death. Something between, of course you knew they wouldn’t work and, do I need to be in charge?
The great thing about baking is learning as you go. If something goes wrong, think about where the error was and correct it next time.
I still do not consider myself much of a macron baker. I’ll take the title once every batch comes out perfect. Until then, we’ll just keep learning as we go.