Macarons have been on my list of things to make for pretty much ever.  See the thing about macarons is they’re notoriously easy to screw up and when you make them and they work it’s a badge of honor.  I’ve had my fair share of failures over the years, but those can pretty much all attributed to my lack of paying attention not to my lack of skills.  I think I’ve held off on making them because I really didn’t want to screw them up.  They’re like the  holy grail of baking and dammit if I was going to bake them I was going to do it right and not screw them up.

After CB’s attempt last week and doing some “research” to help her figure out why she had problems macarons got back on my radar and since this is the first lazy weekend in what seems like forever I decided to go for it.I’m delighted to announce that they were a success!  Woo hooo ::happy I really can bake dance:Macarons don’t mess around.  Typically, I’m a half-assed measurer, but no, macarons would not allow for that I had to be on my measuring game so I busted out my scale and went to work.

Chocolate and Vanilla

The first thing I did was weight out my eggs.  As anyone that has made macarons knows eggs are pretty much the key to success.  Do you leave them out 1 day, 3 days, not at all because leaving eggs out skeeves you out?   I was happy to read that the microwave may be key to non sketchy eggs.  What I ended up doing was leaving the eggs out overnight, then, because they really hadn’t seemed to dry out at all, I put them in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Next time I would probably just zap them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and skip the overnight dry out.

For the almonds, I bought a bag of blanched almonds and stuck them in my food processor with my powdered sugar.  I figured buying my own and chopping them up myself left less room for problems.   I was a wee bit concerned because I could still feel the grainy texture of them.  The only sifter I could find was my hand held one that looks like a mug and goes back and forth when you pull the handle thingy … you know what I’m talking about right?  No? How do you not understand that amazing description?  No matter, all you need to know is that I broke it about 1/16th of the way onto sifting and sifting was no longer an option.

For flavor I decided to take the easy way out and not mess with anything I thought could screw up the batter.  I mean these are finicky suckers. I wanted a basic success over wowing the world with my flavor/color combo.  I ended up going with vanilla beans.  I tossed my old ones when I moved last month and just got a new batch in the mail that I’ve been itching to use.  For those of you that don’t know, ebay is the place to go for quality, fresh, cheap vanilla beans.  No more of that McCormick $8 for two beans, no folks I got 25 Madagascar vanilla beans plus about 12 lower quality freebie beans perfect for making vanilla sugar or extract for $13.  Anyway, back to putting the vanilla goodness in.  I scraped out the delicious caviar and put it in the food processor with the almonds and  powdered sugar.  Good call Nicole, it worked.

Chocolate and Vanilla

The eggs got whipped with sugar and it was time to put everything in the same bowl.  Eeep scary macaronage.  Everyone kept talking about how it should be molten lava-y.  WTF is molten lava?  I’ll tell you what molten lava is.  It’s sludge. I piped them out and they flattened on their own like they were supposed to so that seemed like a good sign.