The Easy Way to Make Macarons.
As someone who has a hard time going gluten free, no matter how much my body hates wheat… French macarons have been a lifesaver of a gluten free treat for me.
I’ve never been able to get on the fake flour bandwagon, and definitely prefer things where gluten free is the default – not something that makes use of substitute flours, guar gum, or whatever to *approximate* whatever it is that the recipe was aiming for. Yes, I am a gluten free snob!
For anyone who’s ever looked online to figure out how to make your own macarons, it can be a scary thing.
Start working on the cookies 3+ days before you want to serve them. Leave egg whites out on the kitchen table for 3 days to “age” (Um.. Gross). Grind your own nuts. Weigh each ingredient carefully. Sift everything multiple times. Make sure the temperature and humidity outside falls within a very specific range. Baby the meringue. Babysit the cookies. Follow a huge list of instructions and “rules”, or expect certain failure.
Oh, and if your cookies are cracked, lack “feet”, aren’t perfectly round, perfectly smooth, or perfectly… perfect? Well then you just fail as a wife, mother, friend, hostess, and human being. The macaron god obviously hates you.*
At a retail price of $1.50+ per cookie though… ouch. Kinda leaves you stuck between a rock and a macaron-less hard place, huh?
So, I’m pleased to say that I’ve developed an easy, fool proof way to make perfect macarons. Obscenely delicious macarons! Oh, and I can sum the whole technique up in one word!
People, these are cookies, not rocket surgery. COOKIES! They are made to be snarfed, not shellacked and displayed in a museum. If your friends or guests judge you on a lack of a teeny “ruffle”/foot around you cookies, a slightly oblong shape, or having texture (*gasp*!)… let them clutch their pearls elsewhere.
Baking cookies is about doing something you enjoy, and making something tasty and delicious for the ones you love. It should never be about super precision, completing a lengthy set of bizarre rituals, and dying a little every time that someone pops that amount of work into their mouths.
So let’s drop the fussy nonsense, and stop the macaron insanity! My macarons may be ugly, but they taste a million times better than any I’ve bought in a store. Besides, ugly is the new cute, right?
Here’s the thing. The store bought macarons I’ve bought have been a little “blah” when it comes to flavor. The meringue cookie part is usually not flavored at all, and the bakeries seem to go pretty conservative on adding flavors to the filling. Granted, this is Minnesota, so it may be COMPLETELY different elsewhere.
Nonetheless, I like my baked goods to be SO rich and full of flavor, that 1 or 2 is enough to thoroughly satisfy and satiate any sweet cravings for a while. I DO come from the land of the Nanaimo Bar, though… so this may be a cultural thing for me 🙂
This recipe will take less than 20 minutes from “Hrm. I think I’ll make some macarons”, to putting those suckers in the oven… and that’s being generous (About 10 mins, for me!). The filling takes about 5 minutes of active work, and actually filling the cookies is probably another 5-10.
Read the instructions first. Take a breath. Get past all of the guilt and shame and pressure that you may have read on other macaron recipes. The fact of the matter is that even seasoned professionals still screw up macarons from time to time, even while following the “rules” religiously. This may or may not give you a “foot”, and they may have slightly more texture from the nuts than you’re “supposed” to have… but they have that perfect crispy/chewy texture that macaroons are known for… without a hit to your sanity.
Repeat after me: They are just cookies.
Good? Good. Let’s do this: The Easy Way to Make Macarons.
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