This world has a way of bringing people down. I’m typically a very happy and confident person, but yesterday I just felt off. I love my life, I love constantly learning and creating, and I’m proud of what I do, but yesterday I just felt worthless. Luckily, I have a very supportive family who always make me feel loved, but I felt like I needed to prove something to myself. I needed a confidence booster.
I’ve heard that French Macarons are extremely challenging. I’ve also heard that they can be very rewarding. Macarons have been on my goal list for a while, and I decided they would be the perfect opportunity to prove that I can do anything I set my mind to. (This was a huge risk, because the chances of failing were high). But I decided to go for it. And I’m so glad I did.
I did some research, and found a fairly simple recipe from Krissy’s Creations that I liked. I gathered the ingredients and tools, and started baking! The first thing to do was make almond flour by grinding almonds in a food processor. I pulled out my food processor (that I’ve never used) and attempted to figure it out. My Grandma gave it to me, and it didn’t have instructions. I thought I was using it right, but it barely chopped my almonds into pieces. I’m sure it was a user error, but I couldn’t figure it out.
Time for Plan B! I pulled out my Pampered Chef slap chop thing. You know, the one where you hit the top repeatedly to chop things up? It was a tough process to chop the almonds manually, but I wasn’t about to give up. I needed to make these macarons.
The slap chop didn’t make the almonds into a fine powder, but I decided the pieces were small enough. Worth a shot, right? So I followed the rest of the directions. I whipped my egg whites, added the sugar, and folded in the powdered sugar and almond mixture. I added blue food coloring and a little coconut extract, and piped out my circles onto parchment lined baking sheets.
I used a template under the parchment to help make them all the same size. You can see the almond chunks that didn’t get small enough, but I didn’t care.
The macarons sat out for almost an hour so they could harden, and then I baked them at 300 for about 14 minutes. And look what happened! They even have feet!!!
They rose beautifully, and smoothed out. You can barely even see the almond chunks! In the picture below, you can see the difference between the sheet of raw macarons and the cooked ones.
I let them cool, and filled them with buttercream.
I’m so very proud of my macarons. No, they aren’t perfect, but this might be my new favorite thing to make!
My husband even likes them! And he is a tough critic!
Next time I will buy almond flour, and I might even try the Italian method where you boil the sugar.
Now I’m thinking of all the flavor possibilities…
Moral of the story is: When you’re feeling down, make macarons! They give you an incredible feeling of accomplishment 🙂
Here is the recipe.
Modified recipe from Krissy’s Creations