Macaron Attempt #1: Let’s just call them Cookie Sandwiches

So in light of St. Patty’s Day coming up next week, I wanted to show off a really crafty, totally delicious, perfectly footed, awesome GREEN colored macaron for you today… but instead, I bring to you what my husband called a “Cookie Sandwich”.

Delicious?  Yes.  Green?  Sorta.  Macaron-like?  Not really.

It wasn’t until my trip to Vancouver last year that I first stumbled upon these visually adorable, crunchy, crispy, light, sweet treats and since then I’ve seen them plastered all over many blogs and websites.  And for the past week or so, I have scoured the web for green colored macaron recipe after green colored macaron recipe and finally decided to land on the pistachio macaron recipe that Tartelette used, which was taken from Stephane Glacier’s book, Un Amour de macaron. Now let me just say, that just because my attempt was a bit of a failure, that does not discount Stephane’s recipe in any way….I encountered a few bumps in the road and I just wanted to share them with you to solicit your FEEDBACK on how to improve on my macaron making skills.  I will try again and again until I have mastered it, I will not give up!

Macaron Ingredients

  • 225 grams powdered sugar
  • 60 grams almonds
  • 65 grams pistachios
  • 3 egg whites (about 100gr), room temperature
  • green food coloring (optional) (powdered is better, but I used liquid)
  • 25 grams granulated sugar

1. In a food processor, mix together the almonds, pistachios and powdered sugar until FINELY GROUND (My bad #1 – I did not pay attention to the word FINELY, mine ended up COARSELY ground)

2. Whip the egg whites until foamy, slowly add the granulated sugar until glossy.  Add in the food coloring. (My bad #2 – I think I needed someone to walk me through this part b/c it was extremely hard for me to know what foamy and glossy look like first-hand.  I may have over-blended or under-blended, but I really have no idea on this one.)

3. Slowly fold the nut/sugar mixture into the whites with a wide spatula. The mixture should remain shiny and flow easily. (My bad #3 – I think I probably over-mixed at this point b/c I am not sure that it was still shiny and “magma-like” as some people like to call it).

4. Fill a pastry bag with the batter and pipe small rounds onto parchment lined baking sheets. (My bad #4 – I don’t have a pastry bag so I did it the ghetto cut a hole at the end of a ziploc bag way. My bad #5 – My rounds probably were about 2 inches wide when I think they should have been more like 1 inch wide.)

5. Let the macarons set for 20 minutes. (I aced this part, hooray!)

6. Preheat the oven to 315 and bake for 12-15 minutes.

And… this is what I got fresh out of the oven. The top cracked, the macarons did not form feet, the edges were slightly burned, the green color turned into brown color and I am blaming my bads #1-5 for it.  I did not let this bring me down too much and continued to make the

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger (I actually decided not to use this)

And finally…

Here’s mine on the left and Tartelette‘s on the right.

Stop laughing, that’s not nice! 🙁 Let me just say that although my macaron is not aesthetically what I would have liked it to be, the FLAVORS of the pistachios, almonds and chocolate crumbling and melting in your mouth are spot on and delicious.  Now I just need to work on the baking technique.

For all you professional macaron makers out there, please please please let me know what I need to do for next time to make them more macaron instead of cookie sandwich looking?? 🙂

And for the rest of you, are there any recipes out there that you’ve always wanted to make but thought would be too hard??

27 Comments

  1. March 9, 2010 / 9:02 am

    Two thumbs up, Sandy! Your “cookies” still look amazing – it was a good first try? Haha. No really though, it was impressive that you attempted to make macaroons. Did you know that select Starbucks’ started carrying them? http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/12/chateau-blanc-french-macarons-coming-soon-to-starbucks.html They’re not fantastic but cute! I had macaroons for the first time in Paris about 1/2 a year ago – we did try multiple flavors… my favorite was green tea. Delish!

  2. March 9, 2010 / 9:13 am

    They still look so delicious and cute!

  3. March 9, 2010 / 9:22 am

    Macarons are incredibly hard to make, I haven’t even attempted them myself even though they’re my favorite treat (everytime someone I know goes to Paris I beg them to bring back Laduree macarons… and omg… I love them forever).

    Your egg white mixture looks a little bit under-mixed from the photo, but almost there, but I think that the nut mixture was what weighed down the shell from puffing up. (So your note about finely ground is right on target).

    Hmmm, I think the Serious Eats article about Macarons makes some good points by combining the best parts of different recipes into good advice to making good shells! http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/10/how-to-make-macarons-recipe.html

    GOOD LUCK! I hope you attempt it again soon! 🙂

  4. March 9, 2010 / 9:23 am

    Oh yeah ~ lol ~ totally forgot to mention that they still look good despite not turning out the way you planned 🙂 🙂

  5. March 9, 2010 / 10:18 am

    They look delicious to me, wish I could try one 🙂

  6. March 9, 2010 / 10:19 am

    macarons are definitely on my “to-do” list to make…. ! for me , it’s so hard to pick what kind of macaron to do since they’re so many that fill up the google reader, hehe! yours still look delicious though! 🙂 i’m sure the second time around will be much easier, and they’ll come out great!

  7. March 9, 2010 / 10:24 am

    I agree, they still look pretty delish. Although I’m a non-discriminating cookie eater.

  8. March 9, 2010 / 10:31 am

    Well at least they tasted delicious and they look good. I admire you trying to make them. I’m still a little intimidated to try. Maybe when you master them you can give us the secret?

  9. March 9, 2010 / 10:49 am

    Hi Sandy! Your macaroons look delicious! Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hello. The Irish cream is just a fun drink, kind of like Baileys Irish Cream, but the homemade version. When I made it, it was like a fun chocolate milk so everyone drank it straight, but it would be great in coffee or any recipe that uses Baileys.

    I’m excited to look around your blog more. Have a great day!

    // Amanda Joy

  10. Sheena
    March 9, 2010 / 10:51 am

    These look really yummy! Especially w/ the chocolate ganache filling! I’ve always wanted to make red velvet cake from scratch but all that red food coloring scares me a bit…

  11. March 9, 2010 / 12:04 pm

    sandy! i’d say you were successful at making some incredible looking cookie sandwiches! even if they were a failed macaroon attempt 🙂

  12. March 9, 2010 / 12:12 pm

    mmm, i’m excited to try this!

  13. March 9, 2010 / 12:47 pm

    i think they look absolutely delish!

  14. March 9, 2010 / 2:16 pm

    oh my! these just look so yummy! I think they look great – I will try and find some time to try the recipe 🙂 happy tuesday!

  15. March 9, 2010 / 3:25 pm

    your cookie sandwiches still look yummy! i have yet to try a macaroon. i know, so sad. i’m on the hunt to get me some!

  16. March 9, 2010 / 4:20 pm

    looks so yummy! you’re so talented~~! i love how you took the pics on the pretty fabric too. =)

  17. Sabrina V.
    March 9, 2010 / 6:15 pm

    Hi Sandy! OMG! You are so daring! Macarons are sooooo hard to make! They’re a treat my bf and I share all the time, but sooo expensive. There’s a blog I’ve been reading that has a whole series on making macarons…check it out at http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/search/label/Macarons

    I love her!! My bf and I plan on making one of her recipes on macarons one day when we have time…

    • March 10, 2010 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you all for saying you like my cookie sandwiches, hehe. And I will be sure to check out the links that everyone has so graciously sent to me! =) I will be back, with more macarons!!

  18. March 9, 2010 / 7:00 pm

    Macaroons are on my list of things to try though I admit I myself would probably hate them as I hate nuts of all kinds but they are so cute and French I cant resist!

  19. amy
    March 9, 2010 / 9:32 pm

    i’m hungry for some sweets now!
    great job documenting everything, and i LOVE this blog because you are sharing your experience while also generating some dialogue/getting lots of feedback and other baking tips.
    i think yours seem more appetizing to me, like a mini burger, where the green ones look like tuna salad.
    maybe your next post will be about how to photoshop cookie photos. hmm…
    miss u!

  20. March 10, 2010 / 12:57 am

    Can you drop some of those by my pad? That would be awesome!

  21. March 11, 2010 / 12:29 am

    i commend you for giving it a go and trying it out anyway! thanks for sharing the recipe. i’m definitely gonna give this a try.

  22. Noni
    April 25, 2010 / 12:04 am

    Thank you for posting! I live in NYC and stumbled across them in a pastry shop. They were so aesthetically enticing that I didn’t even blink when I coughed up $2.50 each! haha. They were so scrumptious, and today I bought alll the goodies to make them. I bought straight-up almond FLOUR so I don’t have to mess with grinding, although it is expensive. 😛 So I really appreciate you sharing your experience. Oh and my egg whites are on the counter now, so they’ll be ready for tomorrow’s baking spree 🙂
    You made me laugh so much during your playful banter against yourself, you are very amusing. A mix of your humor and photoblog obviously attracted us all to comment! Thanks again!!

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