The first time I had a macaron, it was in Paris. I was working with the White House and me and my stenographer friend Jenny, were relegated to the Press Filing Center for the day. Imagine being in Paris for the first time and having to sit inside a windowless, non-desrcript conference room. The only thing that was different was that the food was marginally better than in other locations. Not as bad as Ankara, Turkey but not as great as Waco, Texas. I didn’t necessarily agree with Bush’s politics, but you can’t hate a dude that supplies nonstop ice cream to a bunch of grouchy media types.
Anyway. So the bread, the butter, everything is better, even in the crappy conference room in paris. I’m never one to turn down dessert, and on the dessert tray were these funny looking cookies. Kind of like Oreos, but pink. I had one. It was dry and mealy. I thought, meh!
Fast forward four years- I’m on a fancy four star staff, working at the Pentagon. Very rarely does the never ending paperwork relent for us workers to have a little camaraderie event.
At our Holiday Potluck, there was a small container of these puffy little cookies, much like the ones I had had in Paris. Immediately I skipped over them, one mealy tasteless mouthful being enough to put them off me forever. Then, I saw a group of females from the staff bunched together eating those puffy cookies excitedly- talking to the cook who had made them the evening before.
Not being one to avoid peer pressure– I decided to try one after all. These were not a fancy color and they were much larger than those I had seen before.
The first bite was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Crispy has always been my favorite texture and that was the first feeling these cookies have. My teeth sunk through the crisp layer to reveal a sugary and chewy interior. Then sandwiched in he middle was just enough icing.
A fresh homemade macaron is a revelation.
Doing some research I realized that while Chocolate Chip cookies are easy, macarons are easier to fudge up. (Get, it fudge… I’m talking about desert? nevermind).
So after reading no less than 30 recipes I attempted to try it. First, buying all the ingredients I don’t normally have on hand… cream of tartar, almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, etc. Then buying the gear- the sifter, the parchment paper, the pastry tube and tips. It’s a lot of stuff you need. However, after two or three failed attempts I finally made one recipe that made sense to me.
First go at this recipe, my macarons were flat as pancakes. Flatter than good pancakes too. No beuno.
Second attempt and those babies rose and baked beautifully. I only had to read 30 more recipes and be extremely, holding a newborn baby, type careful. After instagramming those beautiful cookies- i realized that people love these cookies (Duh) and that my recipe could help other people realize the beauty of these little french beauties.
Recipe to follow!