Saturday, June 1, 2013

Macaron Love

I became fascinated with those gorgeous boxes of Ladurée macarons long ago.  Are you familiar with them?  Never having tasted a macaron, it was their beauty that attracted me...those perfect round sandwiches of bright colors with fillings squishing out from between the halves, each a little different but similar enough to create cohesion.  For whatever reason, despite fifteen years of sometimes intense baking experience, I assumed those macarons were out of reach.  I even spent a quick minute researching how much it would cost to have some shipped over from San Fransicso or purchase some from the only local bakery (to my knowledge) that makes them.

Then grad school ended and I remembered the internet.

I started with one batch, following this fantastic, precise and easy to follow tutorial.  I assumed they'd fail, as macarons have a reputation for being finicky, but they worked and I spent the following five hours making five more batches in different colors (the colors!  I can't stop).  They were wonderfully chewy with a simple but satisfying flavor--almost a mix between cookie and candy, as good meringue should be.  I filled them with Swiss buttercream (cutting the recipe for a nine inch cake in half filled six batches of macarons and then some), beaten with a half batch of this salted caramel spread (Obsessed.  Make some to eat with your Biscoffs or to fill your next chocolate cake.)  They're divine.  Totally, totally divine.

Today, I made four more batches, tiny little ones not more than an inch and a half in diameter.  They're joining the others in the freezer (filled macarons freeze beautifully) to be pulled out for the big fiesta.  Seeing my little kitchen table covered today in piles of macarons hit a high note deep inside of me.  This day was a good one.

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