I’m new to the world of macarons. Thoughts of baking them evoked feelings similar to when I was in high-school and had to ask the popular boy a question on last night’s homework assignment. Pure intimidation mixed with a starry eyed giggle.
I finally sucked it up and was pleasantly surprised at how friendly they were. Don’t get me wrong-I’ve had moments where they were being complete dicks, but overall, the experience hasn’t been too horrible. I recently went to an event where they were serving macarons by Felt & Flour. They were reminiscent of something from my childhood-delicious, sweet, and slightly fruity. Then it was finally revealed-FRUITY PEBBLES!!!! GENIUS!!!!!! I about peed my pants at the thought of making these for my loved ones. And by loved ones, I mean myself.
I found a recipe online by The Novice Chef. Everything looked simple enough-my kind of recipe.
FRUITY PEBBLE MACARONS:
- 75g. sifted Fruity Pebble powder
- 75 g. sifted almond flour
- 200 g. powdered sugar
- 100 g. egg whites
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 28 g. granulated or caster sugar
- 5 g. meringue powder
Lemon cream cheese filling:
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 T .butter
- 1/2 lb.powdered sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1-2 T. lemon juice
Take your beautiful cereal and run it through the food processor until it’s a fine powder. Don’t snort it.
Sift THEN measure. If you measure first, then sift, bad things can happen. Like the apocalypse. Add your sifted almond flour and powdered sugar. Most recipes say to sift the ingredients together 2-3 times. I sift everything to weight, then gently fold them all together. It’s worked out fine for me thus far.
Next, beat your egg whites. I go the traditional route and used separated egg whites that I age on the counter for a few hours or overnight. I’ve read it doesn’t make a difference, but at this point, I’m too old to start tempting fate. I throw in 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar as well even thought the original recipe didn’t ask for it. Beat them until bubbly and frothy, then add the meringue powder and granulated sugar. Continue to beat until it has the consistency of shaving cream. A gentle, stiff peak vs a hard, punch your face stiff peak. I don’t know how long that is because I have a horrible sense of how much time has gone by. I do however, start panicking at the 1 hour mark because of doing hair for so long, but if you’re beating egg whites for an hour, there’s something wrong. You decided to take a bath while the mixer was going. Or you are passed out on the ground.
Now dump all of the dry ingredients into the meringue. If you haven’t made macarons before and aren’t sure how this whole macaronage process works, BraveTart is a great resource for macarons. At this point you want to execute a folding then smooshing technique. Very technical term, I know. Folding mixes the ingredients together while smooshing deflates the egg whites. But don’t overmix! You will be sad. You want the mix to get to a lava-like consistency where it spreads and melts into itself after 10-15 seconds, but doesn’t become runny. At first, it will look like a hot mess.
Transfer your lava to a piping bag with a round tip (I think mine has a 1/4″ opening). Pipe 1″-1.5″ circles on to parchment paper or on to a silicone lined sheet. Whatever works for you. A lot of people talk about drawing circles on the paper first then, flipping it over so you can see the guides, but not have the ink come into contact with your food. Which, by the way, did you know some cake decorators use Sharpie Pens on their cakes? Truth. The pens are labeled non-toxic, so in theory you could use it…I’ve never used it.
Now take the pan and slam it on the counter 2-3 times to bring and hiding bubble up to the surface. Those bubbles are asses. They will make your shells crack, so don’t let them!
Let your piped circles rest on the counter until the surface is no longer sticky to touch. The time it takes varies depending on humidity and if Mercury is in retrograde. Some bakers say you don’t have to let them rest, but this top photo is what happened when I opted to take this short cut.
Bake these at 290 degrees, rotating the pan halfway. The original recipe said 18-20 minutes. I bake mine for about 23 minutes. You can always soften a slightly over baked macaron but cannot salvage an under baked one.
When I take my macarons out of the over, I sometimes take the lining and flip it over to cool, so the macarons can cool upside down. It makes me feel like a have a better chance of not developing hollow shells if I do this. It’s also the equivalent of kissing your good-luck bunny before a big game.
Fill with your filling of choice! I opted for a lemon cream cheese buttercream because I already had some made. To make the buttercream, mix the ingredients together in a mixer and turn it on till fluffy. NOM.