Or, “That Time My Friends Decided We Should Make Macarons and It Coincided With Bastille Day.”
Last weekend, a few of us went to La Crêperie in Old Town, home of such decadent delights as crêpes (bet you didn’t see that one coming), and brioche “bread bowls” (a crass explanation but I can’t remember what they’re actually called at the restaurant). While there we noticed their little “to-go window” was open, where one can walk up and order a variety of pastries, including macarons. “We should make macarons!” we decided. Kevin had made macarons before, so she was nominated as Leader and Erin, Laura, and I would hang out and help put them together (because that can be rather time-consuming).
So on Saturday, we gathered at Kevin’s house, where there were ingredients sitting out and a batch of chocolate chips in the double boiler.
While Kevin did most of the hard work (because really, how many people does it take to operate a stand mixer), the rest of us chowed down on the little amuse-bouche treats Kevin had prepared, and the baguettes Erin had made, while drinking champagne cocktails. (Laura provided the champagne, I contributed the almond meal to the recipe.)
We also “helped” by getting a headstart on cleaning with our fingers the pan used to melt the chocolate ganache.
Kevin briefly showed us how she folds in the egg whites to the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and almond meal mixture, and then it was time to pipe the little cookies onto the baking pans. A couple of raps against the counter and about 16 minutes in the oven and we had batches of little macaron cookies waiting for the ganache filling.
This is the part that would be the most time consuming if you were to make these on your own (well, and Kevin had quadrupled the batch, but I could see this as being a fairly mundane task if you were doing it from start to finish all by yourself).
In the end there was way more ganache than there were cookies, so we got a little creative.
Making macarons would be a fantastic little baking party, if you and a few close friends are so inclined. Kevin used this recipe, though there are a plethora of macaron recipes around. While I mostly just watched Kevin at work, this seems like a fairly easy recipe, and a good jump start for anyone who’s never made macarons before.
Joyeux anniversaire, France!