Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Macarons and a Favourite Kitchen Gadget

I've become obsessed with macarons since I tried them in Florida this past February.  They're such pretty and dainty sweets to serve with tea - how hard could they be to make?
Well, first of all there are no two recipes the same, your oven has an effect on how they turn out, as does the humidity, beating too much, too little and so on.  Most recipes say to weigh the ingredients too.  I decided to use Anna Olson's recipe that was simple and easy.
My biggest obstacle was not being able to find the correct tip for piping the batter, I'd have to order from a specialty store or improvise as I did with help from the Wilton baker from our local Michael's.  I just popped a large sized coupler on a disposable piping bag which worked, but practice is needed.
The first batch was too runny and had to be thrown out.  More internet searching, don't use the pasteurized eggs whites in the carton from the grocery store - they don't work, no kidding!
Second batch with the free range, fresh from the farm egg whites rested for 24 hours and at room temperature, piped from my improvised tip and...
they don't look too bad.  A little high but sadly no feet that are supposed to develop.  Macaron trouble shooting 101 says maybe I beat the egg whites too much, or maybe too little.  After baking, to which I had to add 5 minutes because of their height, some were hollow and caved in when I picked them up.
But a few were fine to sandwich with raspberry jam and lemon curd.  They are really sweet, not like the store bought kind you can purchase for $3.50 each but at least I gave it a shot at making some.
I cleaned up and decided to bake hubby an apple pie.
I think one of the best kitchen gadgets I ever bought was my countertop apple peeler from Lee Valley.
 It makes creating an apple pie so much quicker.
I'm linking with Sandi for her new Home meme at Rose Chintz Cottage.

25 comments:

  1. Hi there!

    Ahhh maracons... such a challenge! I make a decent batch of meringues but macarons is a whole different ballgame. I tried a recipe from Bea's of Bloomsbury which was very complicated. It failed. I ought to try again.

    I think the tip about the eggs is a good one - I used eggs from the fridge so they might have been too cold. I did manage to get some 'feet': the Bea's book suggested that you leave them standing for about 30 minutes before popping them in the oven to grow feet because the exterior hardens. On the other hand, that might also flatten or deflate them too much. See what works for you!

    And yes, macarons are delicious. But I think they are expensive for a reason - it takes real skill! Yours, by the way, look really good. Homemade, but good. And nothing wrong with homemade :)

    Be well!

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  2. Well, Judith, my friend, you are braver than I to try and make those macarons! I have never had one believe it or not! They look so pretty and I can only imagine how lovely they would be with a cup of tea. Your pink ones look very nice. Wish I could reach through the computer and snatch one. An apple peeler would be a great gadget to have in one's kitchen. Thank you for coming to my HOME and enjoy the rest of your week.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  3. Your macaroons look so pretty in pink and I'm sure yummy. I'm glad you made them and gave us such good tips. Before I make any I want to buy one from a bakery so I can compare! So far they are not to be found around here! I do have a apple peeler like yours, sure does make it easier! Thanks for sharing.
    Nancy

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  4. I can just smell that apple pie. An apple peeler is a fantastic gadget and I love buying from Lee Valley. We were thrilled to actually visit one of their stores last November while in Victoria.

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  5. Wonderful post!!! I hope you don't mind but I have linked you to Once Upon A Recipe today!!! Looks just Scrumptious!! Cathy

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  6. You are brave to take on the making of macaroons! :) I have never tasted one from a bakery or anywhere and I don't think I'd bother to attempt baking them. Too fussy for me. They look very pretty though!

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  7. I have never tried to make them...and don't think I'd be brave enough to try. Judith...you are one brave woman!
    Ruth

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  8. There has been lots of talk about macarons but I have never had one. Hard to believe from this cookie monster. You were brave to try and they might take more practice. The apple pie had me. So yummy. Valerie

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  9. Wow to the macrarons! You are brave but they look beautiful! Believe it or not, I'm not sure I've ever eaten one. They do look delicious. I've heard about how great the apple peelers are, and that they have improved over the years.

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  10. Your tea and macarons look good, Judith! I have never had a macaron. Maybe I should head over to your house for one and a cup of tea!
    Hugs, Beth

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  11. Judith, my mouth is watering looking at your yummy macarons !!! I have a recipe book from Laduree with lots of macaron recipes ... and have not been courageous enough to give it a try yet.You are amazing and my baking hero, for giving it a go. They look delish. and yummy apple pie ... I'll take a slice too , please. Happy Wednesday..xo C. (HHL)

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  12. I think your macarons turned out great, Judith! Your pie looks delicious too. ~ Phyllis

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  13. Hello, Judith
    I don't think I've ever tried a macaroon and it sounds like they are very tricky to make. Now, that apple pie looks fantastic (apple dumplings here today). I recently bought an apple peeler and it looked like yours but the coring portion kept sliding out of position and wouldn't tighten any more, so I returned it. Perhaps the quality wasn't as good as the Lee Valley version.

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  14. Such pretty macaroons you've made, Judith! As for me, I think I'd go for a big slice of that apple pie!!!

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  15. This is on my "to do" list too. I am scared so I haven't tried it yet. I love the store bought ones too. I think yours are beautiful and who knows about feet except people that read blogs! I would be happy without feet if mine turned out as nicely as yours.

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  16. Macrons are really good o be taken in breakfast, they taste too good with tea and enhance the flavor of your morning tea, but it is bit hard to prepare them.
    Gestuz online

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  17. Hi Judith, Your macarons are beautiful and I so admire you for tackling making them. I have heard they are very tricky and require a lot of trial and error. But how they look doesn't affect how they taste, right? :)

    Hope you are having a lovely week.

    – g

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  18. I have never tried to make those! You did a great job!

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  19. How brave you are to keep wanting to perfect your macarons. My grandson(French)only 14 & loves baking made some & they were delicious, I will get his recipe for you when I next see him. If it was me I'd just go to the Patisserie & buy just 4 & share them with my hubbie. I'd prefere a slice of your apple pie.

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  20. A most delightsome post! I've never made macaroons, yours look so delicious that I may have to try them real soon. The apple peeler is another gadget I've yet to try and the pie....well, let's just say I've had pie once or twice and have found I really enjoy it, lol. Yours looks delish!

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  21. Your macarons look deliciously good. I have not yet baked ones. What I understood is important to weigh the ingredients. Soon shall I dare to bake them. Your pie looks very yummy out. Bless you! Zinnia

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  22. This is true: EVERY MACAROON I'VE EVER TIRED TO MAKE HAS FLOPPED! :(

    I must have beat them to death!

    :(

    Yours look delish. Yum...so fun!

    Love, R

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  23. I've never made the macaroons before. Yours are so pretty! And that pie is absolutely perfect. :)
    Thanks for the tip on using paste wax on my table - that seems to be what many are suggesting.
    Hugs,
    Zuzu

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  24. I think your macarons look great! And since I tried making them for the first time myself this year, I know just what an accomplishment this is!

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  25. Hmm looks delicious! They look really pretty, the tallness adds to their unique design :-) I admire your courage at trying new things, thank you for this experience.

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Judith

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