Sunday, December 20, 2009

We Tried

It’s amazing how much my life has changed since I began food blogging. (And I’m not talking about the extra poundage around my middle…) When I first began blogging, I wasn’t all that much into baking, I never knew you could make your own marshmallows, and I wasn’t very experimental in the kitchen (and if I was, it was rarely a success). Once I realized it was possible to make your own marshmallows, I tried it, killed my cheap hand mixer, bought a stand mixer, and have just continued to expand my culinary horizons from there!

Another discovery I’ve made while food blogging, is french macarons. For a while there it seemed they were all over the place, just like marshmallows had been a couple months before. It seemed they were a little difficult to make. Plus the recipes were often in grams, and I don’t have a food scale (Santa can you hear me?). So, one day when I was at a local bakery, in queue to buy a loaf of sweet potato pecan bread, I noticed the macarons eyeing me. As luck would have it, once I made it up to the cashier I discovered they were out of the bread I wanted. So, to not make my wait in vain, I ordered a french macaron. I honestly don’t even remember which one it was. All I know is that is was my first, and it was AMAZING! Wow… it melted in my mouth, with some richness & sweetness. I tweeted about it.
My friend, and amazing food blogger/graphic designer/small business owner extraordinaire, Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil, saw my tweet and asked if I wanted to make macarons with her! So we had a little macaron Sunday session, and ummm… We tried! We didn’t know what we were doing too much, but we made a mess and we ate some yummy, albeit messy cookies.

As with many things I make/bake on here, everything is a learning process. Here’s what we learned:

Almond moisture may have something to do with our success. We were more successful with almond meal/flour than we were with blanched, shelled almonds ground in the food processor.

Slow & low tends to work better. Especially because these can appear to be done, even if they are not.

Ganache can basically make anything better.

Ugly can still be mighty tasty.

So stay tuned… We think there’s a round 2 in our future, and we’ll take what we learned, and hopefully have a little more success. Because, the cookies at the top of the post, yeah, those 4 were the only pretty ones! But we had fun, and most often that’s the most important thing, right?

Be sure to head over to Lindsay’s blog to check out her post about our experience!

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7 Responses to “We Tried”

  1. 1
    Beth — December 20, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

    As I commented on L's blog this morning, I was impressed with your efforts. The macarons you dropped of for me to sample were not at all unattractive and quite tasty!
    I especially liked the coffee one ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 2
    Cate — December 20, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    They look good to me! I had a really hard time the one time I attempted macarons, but I'm determined to do better next time!

  3. 3
    Kristen — December 21, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to the world of macarons…I never knew about them, but now I'm glad I do! I agree, the ganache was very good in the cookie…it makes me want to attempt just because I like a good challenge. You two did a great job! Can't wait to see how the next round goes!

  4. 4
    Angie — December 22, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

    These look very delicious, I haven't tried them yet either, they are on my list though, I have to pace myself, and spend more time with my wii fit than in the kitchen, have to "try" to stay within a reasonable weight! Thanks for sharing your experiences, and love your blog, your photos look really nice!

  5. 5
    Erin — December 23, 2009 @ 8:29 am

    I was introduced to french macarons when my parents lived in Europe, and I made sure whenever we were in Paris to eat as many as possible. Yet I've heard again and again how challenging they can be to make, so I keep wimping out.I love that you guys did try… you make me see that I need a friend to bake with!

  6. 6
    Ingrid — January 6, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

    Good for you Erin! That's awesome! I've wanted to try making some too but have heard FL's high humidity does not suit these. ๐Ÿ™

    Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year!

  7. 7
    Alla — February 17, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    Hi! These look like they didnt come out too bad! I as well only learned of macarons when I recently started food blogging and my 1st ones were sooo bad I didnt even post them. I hope that makes you feel better b/c they were the size and height of large choc chip cookies. lol. I hope I wil be making these again soon.

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