Mastering Macarons: Attempt #1

This is what the 'rons looked like after ten minutes in the oven. They didn't come off the pan in one piece. Looks like I need to invest in a Silpat!
This is what the ‘rons looked like after ten minutes in the oven. They didn’t come off the pan in one piece. Looks like I need to invest in a Silpat!

Guys, I am not a perfectionist. This may come as a surprise to some of you! Or, well, maybe it doesn’t. Because, seriously? If something doesn’t work for me the first time, I’m apt to abandon it. If something doesn’t come easy, I’m done. It’s not worth my effort.

This is exactly the reason I prefer cooking over baking. It’s hard to mess up something like chicken curry. You put too much spice in, it’s probably okay. You simmer it a minute too long, and no one, no one will taste the difference.

So why then, why I beg you, did I put “Master Macarons” on my 30 Before 30 list? Macarons, the most finicky pastry/cookie thing in the world?

I dunno. I guess because macarons are tasty, and also, ridiculously expensive. I’ve always wanted to be able to consume them by the cartful. And why better way than by making them myself, at home?

Le sigh.

Today’s tutorial was this one, from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I chose it because it’s thorough and accessible. Except, well…this is what I”m currently facing:

macarons 1 beforeDo you see that? They’re not even baked–still just drying out–and a complete and utter mess. The good news is, I don’t think it’s the fault of the tutorial. It’s pretty clear to me, right now, before the macarons are even in the oven, where I’ve gone wrong: I didn’t mix the egg whites enough. And that might have something to do with the fact that I used Egg Beaters (the whites-only kind) (I’m sorry if that sounds super racist) instead of separating egg whites out by hand.

But! But! What am I supposed to do with all those leftover egg yolks?

Well, no matter. I’m still going to bake these macarons to see how they turn out, but I’m calling it now: attempt #1 was a bust. Here’s hoping I learn quickly. I discovered the flavoring aisle at Michael’s, and I’m sure there are about 1,000 other ridiculous flavors available for purchase on the web. I just want to be the Macaron Lady! Is that too much to ask?

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