It's not always about sewing around here. In fact it's rarely about sewing lately.
A few weeks ago I was sick in bed all Friday. Not horrible sick, just sick enough that when I tried to do things, all I wanted was to go back to bed. I got the kids off to school and went back to sleep until 11, but after that I was pretty bored. Sitting still drives me nuts!
For some reason I decided to watch YouTube videos on making French Macarons. I have always wanted to try making these perfectly, beautiful cookies, but have been too nervous to give it a go. I knew they were tricky, but after four hours of the University of YouTube under my belt, I felt pretty confident to finally try. Then I tried again, and again and again. Just yesterday I made a pretty fantastic batch and love them! These are lemon, and they are my favorite so far. I have been using this recipe from the Joy of Baking and it has worked well for me. This recipe uses the French meringue method and comes together pretty quickly.
There are so many different tricks and tips out there. I try something a bit different each time I make them. I'm still attempting to reach perfection--perfect feet, no hallow shells, and beautiful smooth tops! No one around me complains too much at my desire to keep trying to make these beautiful little cookies. I've been spreading the love with all my cookie attempts!
For my third try, I used the Italian meringue method. It's more work, takes longer and didn't seem to make that much difference in the end. The cookies did turn out pretty well, but might not be worth the extra work when the French method worked well too. They bake up really pretty and had perfect ruffled feet (the base of the cookie)! I'm still torn between which method I'll stick with.
My second try was a bit over-mixed and flat. These ones didn't raise as well as I would have liked. The dark chocolate ganache was yummy, but I felt it overpowered these cookies just a bit too much. I favor the creamy and fruity flavors much more in macarons.
My first attempt was under-mixed because I was so afraid of messing up the batter, and I didn't mix them for quite as long as I should have. They have rough tops and didn't spread at all. The batter was simply too thick. The filling so amazing though. It's just cream cheese mixed with good quality raspberry jam to taste. Such a perfect filling for these cookies!
It's been fun seeing progress as I experiment and figure out this new adventure. I'll be making more this weekend to send to my sister. What are your favorite flavors?