Macarons are my vice! I just can’t get them right. I don’t know what I am doing wrong and I think I need to bring in a macaron expert to show me how to make these delicate little treats (any takers?). Just look at those finished macarons above! No foot. No poof. And lots of cracks. I even tried a second time using a simple recipe from Martha Stewart but it just didn’t work out for me. I really wanted to make chocolate dipped strawberry macarons with a white cream filling so that’s what I was going for. Sounds good, right?? Maybe you have a recipe to share with me?

So here’s how it all went down…

First of all, I have to mention that I actually weighed my food for exact measurement. I really wanted to get it right and I thought weighing by grams would help me out. Guess not!

Since I couldn’t find any freeze-dried strawberries in my neighborhood, I decided to dry out my own. I sliced a 1/2 cup of strawberries, placed them on a cookie sheet (which should have been lined with parchment paper) and cooked them at 250 degrees F for 1 hour. They came out perfectly dry and tart, just the way I wanted them.

After the strawberries cooled, I scraped them off the pan and added them to a food processor with powdered sugar and ground almonds. I sifted the mixture to get out any large pieces.

Separately, I whisked egg whites with cream of tartar and a sprinkle or salt until foamy then slowly added the sugar. The whites were ready when they had a nice shine and stiff peaks. At that point, I added the powdered sugar mixture. I think THIS is where I went wrong. The directions for whipping the whites were just a bit too confusing for me. “Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites, and with a rubber spatula, deflate the whites while mixing. Combine the ingredients thoroughly and watch carefully, lifting the mixture with the spatula to see if it leaves ribbons.  Stop mixing before the mixture becomes runny. Test by seeing if the batter is lava-like.  It should not maintain its lines but sink slowly back into itself in about 10 seconds.” Whaaaat?

When I thought my batter was like lava (ha!), I poured it in to a plastic freezer bag to use as a piping bag. Here’s a tip that actually works: place the end of the bag in a tall glass to keep it steady.

I piped the batter on to a parchment lined baking sheet, allowing some space for spreading. At this point, I thought the batter looked great! I guess I was wrong. I rapped the cookie sheet on the counter a few times to remove any bubbles then I impatiently waited 30 minutes to allow the batter to dry out a little.

I baked the batter at 250 degrees F for 15 minutes and that’s when the sadness began. They didn’t grow at all and there was no perfect little foot on the bottom. So I tried a new recipe! My husband helped me quickly wash all of the dishes and I got back to work right away. This time, I figured I would try to just follow a simple recipe and I assumed I would have the perfect macaron. Wrong! It’s possible that I over-beat the egg whites this time. But hey, at least I can learn from my mistakes, right?!?

I thought maybe, just maybe, they would bake correctly! Martha said to bake at 350 degrees with the door slightly ajar and that’s exactly what I did.

Ummmm….nope! Please help me. I’m desperate for macaron help. I need to get these right. I’ll take all the help I can get.

I will say one thing about the second batch of failed macarons. They ended up being fluffy and soft so I sandwiched them with some raspberry filling and my in-laws at them all up!