photo by Eron Rauch
Well it took 4 batches before I made macarons with some semblance of a pied or foot (the little cracks underneath the cookies that make a macaron a macaron), and the fifth batch finally looked pretty. It also took 4 months (or more... ok I made them last at Easter. Shut up I've been busy.) before I actually posted about these!
The key to Macarons, tends to be the process known as Macaronnage, or the stirring of the complete batter. I'm still not exactly sure when it's completely done, but I know if I stop too early or too late I'm screwed. The other thing that's super important to making the pied, is the macaron's drying time. Make sure they are dry but not too dry. If you lightly touch them, a little bit may come off on your finger, but only a very small amount.
It was however, after I figured out how to make the macaroons, that I completely failed on the filling. The buttercream that was at first so sickeningly easy, totally failed. I don't know what happened, but I know it sucked. I gave up, put lemon curd in between the cookies and will try again next time.
A really easy way to fake your macarons looking good is food coloring. Pink things are prettier. This is science.Also, be patient. Macarons are hard to make and will take several tries to get right much less perfect. The great news? the mistakes taste amazing!
I used this adorable book to learn how to make Macarons
The book is super gorgeous and tells you a lot of different ways to make different macaron flavors and fillings and helps you figure out where you went wrong. It's called I Love Macarons by Hisato Ogita.