Macaron Making Experience
Happy Monday! As I mentioned in my Friday post, I had a chance over the weekend to go to a class on making macarons! I could think of no better way to spend St. Patrick’s Day then making a delectable French cookie, ha! But seriously, it was a really fun afternoon and really cool to learn about! If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen a little bit, but I’ll explain it in a bit more detail here.
My friend Lindsey hosted us at her house and brought in local baker Nikkolette of Nikkolette’s Macarons to lead us through a three hour class. Nikkolette started making macarons about five years ago and has built an awesome side business in her bakery. She sells her cookies at Farmer’s Markets, through her website and through a local chocolate shop. She also does weddings and special orders. And let me tell you, her recipe is amazing.
She started class by explaining the difference between a macaron and a macaroon – the latter is the lumpy cookie with coconut on top, what we were after are the pretty French sandwich style cookie. She walked through all the equipment you need – piping bags, a frosting tip, mixing bowls, parchment paper and cookie sheets. Then she walked through the ingredients needed – egg whites, sugar, almond flour, food dye and flavorings like vanilla or coffee. It’s recommended to prep all your equipment before you start putting everything together. Then we dove in to making the recipe.
You start by measuring out your egg whites – every ingredient is measured in grams, so having a food scale is also a recommendation. After the egg whites are measured, you sift together the flour and the sugar. Start whipping the eggs and then add some of the sugar slowly. You’ll whip until you have a meringue type mixture, or stiff peaks forming on the beaters. The next step is a french technique called macrronage, which is the act of folding in the flour and sugar mixture into the dough. You’ll do this until the dough is kind of a lava type consistency – we all thought it looked kind of like brownie batter or a milkshake. Then you put it in the piping bags and pipe it out on your cookie sheets. There’s a template you can use under your parchment paper that will tell you how much dough to pipe in each spot to get the perfect little circles. I loved doing that part! Then you let the cookies sit out for a half hour before you bake them. This allows them to set up and kind of form a little bit of a film on the outside.
During the time you’re waiting to bake them, you can start making your filling. We chose to do vanilla filling in one and coffee filling in the other. It’s pretty much your basic buttercream frosting that you make. Then it was time to bake the cookies. Depending on your oven you may need to adjust baking times, but at my friend’s house about 10-12 minutes at 320 degrees was just about right. You want to check them and make sure they’re making the “foot” that puffs out at the base, once you see that foot forming, you know it’ll be about time to take them out of the oven.
Once they are out of the oven, let them cool on the sheet a little bit. When they’re reading to come off the cookie sheet they should peel right off the parchment paper. Then you match up the cookies to make the sandwiches, pipe in your frosting, put them together and boom. But wait – you can’t eat them quite yet. It’s best to let them sit overnight. They’ll set up better, the frosting kind of settles into the shell and then you have more flavor throughout.
We each got to take about 16 cookies home with us and I sampled them yesterday and let me tell you – they were fantastic. It was a lot of work and I might be nervous to try it on my own – but I still think I might! Nikkolette sent us home with the recipes and a bunch of tips and tricks. I figure it can’t hurt to try!
If you’re local, I highly recommend checking out Nikkolette’s page and maybe set up a class for you and your friends. She’s awesome to work with and she brings samples for you to munch on while you’re working with everything! I’ll definitely be watching for her at the local Farmers Markets this summer too!
Link because I love, no compensations for this post.