I learned about real macarons during our visit to France last year and then I spent an entire year wishing a local bakery sold them and that they would taste even a quarter as good as the ones I had in France. They didn't, in fact no one did and the closest I found was frozen ones at Trader Joe's which were good but not quite right. Then one day I decided it was time to buckle down and make them myself, get over my fear of them and take on the challenge. And you know what I found out? They weren't so difficult after all, in fact they were quite easy to make. French macarons require patience and following very precise directions. There are multiple steps involved and they all need to be followed exactly, don't skip or try to rush the process, do it all, do it right and you will be amazed at how delicious these little cookies are, you will amaze all your friends too with your talents.
The recipe is from Tartlette's blog, she has some out of this world recipes and makes French cooking and baking seem like a cinch. Tartlette wrote up a wonderful article about the art of macarons complete with step by step directions. I read the article twice before actually making the recipe, the article is genius and the recipe is foolproof. Make them and enjoy them.
I'm not going to type up the recipe here because Tartlette's directions are so precise and really on target. So I will attach the link to her article because, well she deserves full props for this one.
Her article Demystifying Macarons cans be found here.
My biggest tip to all of you for making these is to follow all the steps, let the egg whites age properly and don't take any shortcuts. I couldn't find almond flour and didn't feel like going to more stores so I bought fresh almonds and ground them. It was delicious and gave the cookies a lovely almond flavor. The only thing is I think the cookies would have been a little prettier with almond flour. The ground almonds gave the cookies a very natural look and you could see the grains of the almonds ground up. I also opted not to dye the cookies but I will definitely try that next time.
I didn't use any of the recipes provided on the Tartlette article for filling instead I made a chocolate ganache by melting down chocolate and heavy cream which made for a nice rich chocolaty filling. The rich chocolate was a perfect compliment to the almond flavor of the cookie shell.
Also keep in mind that the cookies are very delicate and should be handled with care, they break easily if you apply too much pressure when filling them or piling them onto each other. They keep well in the fridge and I would recommend letting them get to room temperature prior to eating them, it's worth the couple of extra minutes wait.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did, don't be intimidated by the recipe and thank you so much to Tartlette for your amazing article and recipe!
The macarons fresh out of the oven.... See how they formed the perfect little "feet" underneath.
Ahh...perfect chocolate and vanilla macarons.