For October’s Daring Baker challenge, I tried my hand at macarons for the first and second time ever. The first was a bust. The second was a success. I wrote about it here, because I believe I learned a few things along the way that could help other would-be macaron devotees.
My biggest source of help and support turned out to be Jamie at Life’s a Feast, and her blogpost for macarons. You can find that here. She and Deeba from Passionate About Baking have put together a monthly macaron challenge on a new website called “MacTweets.” I signed up to be part of the challenge, because when my macarons turned out well, they blew my socks off.
Fast forward a few weeks. I am in the middle of my busiest season, not only as a human being, but as a baker! Orders are piling up, ingredients are running out, and here I am late to the party, having not posted about my recent attempt at macs for the MacTweets challenge.
Let me say this. I still love macarons. I tinkered with mine a bit, adding some cinnamon to the recipe, and creating an apple cider glaze filing to go in them. I was hoping for something to cut the sweetness of my initial attempts, and thought I might end up with something akin to apple pie. The recipe I used is on the MacTweets site, with about 1/2-1 teaspoon of ground organic cinnamon thrown in. It was just enough, but probably made the batter a little dry. I still produced feet (my inglorious, unwieldly feet!), but the texture of the macs themselves waned pretty fast; rather than getting better over a few days’ time, they became a little stale.
As for the filling, I liked it. It was adapted from something I saw for apple cider doughnuts recently, and it goes like this. Take 1/2 cup of apple cider and reduce by about half. Then, whisk in enough powdered sugar until it is a drizzly consistency. More than you think you’ll need. (Also, when you glaze one of the macs, let it sit for a bit to let the glaze set up. Otherwise, like me, you’ll find the top macaron sliding all over the place and be forced to prop them up against something while they set. However, the glaze does set, so I think a little drying time would resolve the wayward tops.)
My biggest regret is that I do not have ANY pictures of these macs. There, I said it. I made them under duress, the night before leaving on a one-week holiday for Thanksgiving, with my two young daughters. Yes, I made macs instead of packing. I’m stressing myself out right now just thinking about it! So, I will show you pictures of my previous successful attempt, as the macs in question looked just the same. I mean, what am I doing to grow such ungainly feet? Next time I’m trying my own whole almonds, peeled and ground as fine as I can. I guess I’m just lucky that they have feet, right?