Making Macarons

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pile of pretty macarons
Over Spring Break (aka, “the Perfect Time to Use Vacation Days When You Work at a University”), I finally had the chance to get together with Mariko (aka, “Crafty Mariko“) to tackle the elusive macaron. Known for being adorable, finicky, and difficult to produce, macarons are meringue-like French pastries. Though coconut “macaroons” are delicious, they are quite different from these petite beauties.After hunting down almond flour, Mariko and I found a plethora of tips and settled on the Blueberry Macarons with Orange Blossom Water Butter Cream recipe from Not So Humble Pie. To keep things simple for our first time, we just omitted the freeze-dried blueberries.

Making macarons

With some paranoid recipe-checking, bowl-checking, and oven-checking, we yielded a spring-inspired batch of macarons! For variety, we filled some with a coconut-rose water butter cream and some with a orange flour butter cream (both were delightful).

Big Mama and Lil' Baby macarons
You can see that some macarons are more smooth than others, but they were all yummy. The strange thing is that they were all produced from the same batch. The bumpy ones just happened to be the batch that got cooked first. Oh, tricky macarons.Upon popping one in his mouth, a friend declared that it was the best thing he’d ever had. This is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but it just gives you a hint at how magical these little babies are. We were so happy with the results that Mariko and I attempted a second batch the next day: lavender-colored macaroons filled with one of the loves of my life, Nutella. We added raspberry jam to some, as well. I don’t really feel like I have to say that anything can be made better with Nutella because it’s such an essential truth in my life. But macarons were certainly fantastic with it.

Given the amount of time and utensils involved in the macaron-making process, I don’t think I’ll be taking these on too often. However, they are certainly a fun way to spend an afternoon with a friend and produce some special treats!

For even more sweet details and lovely photos about the process, check out what Mariko had to say about our adventure here.

 

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