Macarooooon? Or Macarohhh?
Apparently, I’ve been saying and mentally spelling it, wrong all this time.
While it is acceptable to say “macaroon” and mean “macaron”, in truth, a macaroon and a macaron are two completely different things and therefore deserve to be called by their rightful names.*
*I’m sorry, it’s a pesky habit I’ve inherited from Hubby. His life motto is: Words have meaning. My words are corrected on an almost daily basis.
The first hit I get when I google “macaroon” is, in fact, a macaron: a sandwich cookie made from ground almonds and sugar.
However, just below is a true macaroon, also made from ground almonds, but most often found covered in coconut.
Even though when I announced I wanted to make macarons, I wrote macaroon*, my dear friend Drew knew what I meant and offered to make them with me. Last year, he went to Paris and took a cooking class where he experienced traditional French baking with a handful of other Americans squished in the tight space of a Parisian chef’s traditional French apartment.
*And no, friends, I will not edit that mess. I’m leaving the improper spelling in there as a life lesson.
I’m going to be completely honest with you, because that’s how I like to live.
Until my visit at Studio B, I was not a fan of macarons. In fact, I had no burning desire to make them. They seemed such a big deal for such a small reward. Even when I didn’t know the extent of what it takes to make them, I knew it had to be more work than I was willing to exert.
But then I ate one I enjoyed and my disdain for them was ruined and it became a personal challenge to not only attempt them, but to master them.
I’m asking for much, I know.
I feel like I have to share with you the highlights of attempting to make macarons with Drew because it shows what a wreck making macarons can be, even if you made them previously in life with a French chef.
Now, I’m might sound a little harsh towards my dear, old pal, but I promise, he knows what he did.
I think something is wrong
I’m not taking any fault for this one. I put the blame entirely on Drew, his kitchen, and his kitchen utensils.
Alright, maybe I should take 5% of the blame for not recognizing we were going to have a problem. As my husband likes to put it, Drew’s kitchen gear is “16th century, came over on the Mayflower, pots and pans, as well as a weird assortment of utensils seemingly robbed from homeless people”.
It sounds harsh, I know, but this much I can tell you to support my defense; the next day Drew went out and bought a Kitchen Aid mixer.*
*Yes, friends, we attempted to make macarons without a Kitchen Aid mixer. And while this may have worked out had he the proper sized mixing bowls, you guessed right if you assumed he didn’t.
Macaron attempt #1 (at Drew’s, unbaked)
Macaron attempt #2 (at home, baked)
In case you can’t tell, our batter was too thin.
This last bit of batter completely gave up on life and jetted out of the pastry bag before I knew what to do with it.
Oh, and here was another fun thing we* decided to do. ‘We’ called in Hubby and Jason, who had been watching TV, to help make the fillings.
*By ‘we’, I mean ‘Drew’.
Naturally, every filling needed to go on the stove top and Jason and Hubby were less than thrilled to be working in macaron production.
Still they humored us.
It was a hot mess, but for a cookie I didn’t even want to make until a month ago, it’s a pretty great first time macaron making memory.
We ended up with a few decent cookies from the batch, but because I have problems, I needed to make my own at home a few days later to prove to myself I could do it.
Lemon curd, chocolate ganache, caramel
I’ll probably make a few more attempts at macarons, if only to be able to understand the process better. In making something new like this, even if it is something I never make again, I greatly enjoy the newfound appreciation gained for something so seemingly simple to make.