Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bake 52 Week 20: French Macaroons

This week for Bake 52, we made French Macaroons!  I never thought that I would ever make those in a million years.  They are always fabulous looking, but I always thought they were way out of my league to make.  It's possible that they are, as you will see further below.  It wasn't my most impressive day in the kitchen.  

Before I go any further telling you about the Macaroons, I want to say a word about the host, Betsy.  She happens to be one of my very best friends.  I met her 7 years ago at the Rivera, in Provo Utah.  From there, we became roommates.  You can see from the pictures that we were a little crazy.  After we both got married, we were next door neighbors!  We got together and played games almost every single night. That's when we really discovered that our friendship was one of a kind.  Our husbands are great friends as well, which made everything more fun. Being neighbors with them was one of my favorite phases of life (so far).  Now we live thousands of miles apart, and I miss her like crazy!  
This was at a "Buttrock" party that we threw as roommates.  Betsy, don't kill me for posting this pic.
Love dressing up for any occasion! (We also painted that wall in our apartment)
We were bridesmaids at each other's weddings. 
She even threw me a lovely baby shower, with food, a diaper cake, presents, games and all (with the help of my two other favorite roommates, Kristi and Dede).
The Macaroons weren't as cute of a story, and do NOT resemble out friendship in any way.  I knew something was wrong when I pipped them onto the pan, and I didn't have to smooth the tops with my finger.  Then I looked at them a few minutes later, and they were running together!  I'm still not sure what I did wrong.  I halved the recipe, but I read the ingredients several times, and I'm pretty sure that I used the right amounts.  I made the almond flour in my food processor, and it was a little more grainy than regular flour.  That may be a reason.  I ended up scraping the runny batter off of the pan, and back into the bowl.  I added some extra powdered sugar.  That didn't do much, so I went out on a limb and added some cake flour.  But even after all that, when I pipped them out for the second time they were still running together a little.  My husband mentioned that maybe it's because we are at sea level here in Boston.  Is anyone else is Bake 52 baking from sea level?  I don't really think that's the excuse, but it sounded like a good one at the time.  

Coming out of the oven, they looked even worse than I expected them to turn out.  I didn't mean to cook them that much either.
I knew that it wouldn't be worth making the frosting, because most of the macaroons weren't usable.  I did taste one.  It was super chewy, and just wasn't the right consistency, but I did like the flavor.  I will definitely be trying this recipe again.  I think it could be a very impressive dessert for guests.  If any of you have suggestions as to what I did wrong, I would love to hear your feed back.
I am sad, I was excited for this week.  I love a good French Macaroon.  For any of you in Utah (Salt Lake City to be exact), Les Madeleines has an awesome vanilla bean macaroon.  They also have the most amazing pastry called a Kouing-Aman.  Please try it someday.  It's 5 bucks a pop, but it's heavenly none the less.  

And finally, if you want to see the original recipe, here's the link to Betsy's Blog. That picture on the side is not actually her and her husband, so don't be frightened.  You will find her blog to be full of funny and random thoughts.  Betsy is one of a kind.  I wish that all of you could know her personally.  Her macaroons look absolutely perfect.  Great Job Bets!  




  1. I love the pics-I'm laughing about so many things right now :)
    I was thinking of how to describe myself and the main thing I had was-love to play games with Jesse and Levi. Move back here so we can be neighbs again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Not sure what happened with the macaroons-I did not have to smooth mine out and they spread out when I piped them out, I lucked out in making them really small so they had plenty of space. Also, I baked mine a few minutes less, maybe 16-17 minutes and they did not get too brown.
    Good call on skipping the frosting, it was hard (I have never made butter cream frosting before).
    And I love that dessert from the French bakery!
    ps: put up some pics of Woods on your blog!

  2. new pics that is-I love all the ones you have put up so far :)

  3. What a great friendship you two have. I am jealous that you were able to be neighbors with your best girlfriend! I live in Utah so I will have to try out the Macaroon that you mentioned in your blog. Especially since I wasn't a fan of mine.

  4. I think if I had baked mine for the full time, they would have looked like that, but I took them out after 10 minutes and cut off the weird edges. Maybe it is the sea-level thing because I think we are at sea-level too. I did smooth mine right after piping, but I don't know if I would have had to. They seemed to deflate by themselves while resting. ?? You and Betsy are so cute, I bet you guys miss each other like crazy! Sounds like you all had a great time together! The top pic is so cute, love your eyelashes. :)

    1. oh and looking at your blog photos, I think I'd rather have those sandwich cookies in your photo collage at the top!

    2. they look so good and my macaroons are still on the counter.

  5. How strange. I wonder what went wrong. Good job giving it a try though. I thought it was a fun recipe to try. You make me want to try some yummy things from Les Madeleines.