Oh, macarons, the second installment of my recent mac journey. I say recent because it’s not my first go ‘round with macarons. I’ve made them plenty of times, from pre-culinary school, IN culinary school, and ever since.
I made them for a gathering and served up four flavors, wondering which one would be the most loved… I couldn’t tell because they were all gone instantly. Figures. I didn’t even get one. (Ok. Let’s be honest, Kara. You had enough of them while “taste testing”…)
I do remember one thing, though. Everyone asked if I had more of the pistachio macarons. Bright green, filled with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, perfect feet, crisp outer shell, perfectly baked and tender inside.
They were the epitome of perfect. Everything a mac should be.
Alas, I was making them for fun and didn’t take a single picture to share here. BLOGGER’S TREACHERY! If I’m baking, no matter what it is for, I should be documenting it. It only makes sense.
But this leads to the “need” to bake them again because they were so clearly loved.
So a few weeks later I embarked once again on a macaron bake-off but this time purely to share here.
Utter. Complete. Failure.
Three batches and not a one came out right.
Now I know that macarons are fussy things and it took me a while to “get” them in the first place. So I knew better than to let these French buggers defeat me. I would set it aside and conquer them another day.
Another day came last week when I decided to bake about 8 new recipes all at once 🙂 Hey. The blog calls. #bloglife And I’d be lying if I said cravings didn’t have anything to do with it. Cough cough
I digress. Macarons were added to my list along with blackout brownies, Kara’s Perfect Chocolate Cake, Waffles, churros, chocolate chip cookies… Because clearly, I needed to give the entire household a month-long sugar high.
I was ready again, renewed spirit and want to show these things who’s boss.
And of course, pistachio was the first flavor I put on the list 🙂
I wanted to do it a bit different this time. I wanted some visual interest, another layer of flavor, a hint of saltiness, and to just fancy them up a bit.
So I figured I’d throw some chopped pistachios into the mix and sprinkle the tops after piping them.
It was a grand plan, and they looked so pretty while they were resting and waiting for their turn in the oven. This most certainly did not feel like the experiment I did with the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Macarons. There really wasn’t anything experimental at all about this. Confidently I placed them in the oven, set my timer for the exact moment I knew they would reach perfect doneness, and moved on to mixing the next batch.
Giddy to see the pretty pistachio macs I hopped on over to the oven.
Then, I saw it. CRACKS. Cracks everywhere. Cracks that made me want to cry.
My otherwise gorgeous macs looked like the craggy chasms of death across nearly all of my macs.
Well, nearly all of the nutty ones. The macs that I left bare (because they’d be the bottoms… hehehe! Bare bottoms 😉 were perfectly fine. Hmmmm….
And the nutted macs that had very fine pieces of pistachio or just a dusting of the finest particles were spared a splitting demise. After some thought, I realized that the weight of the nuts, little though it seemed, was enough to cause them to rise unevenly and crack at weak points.
How had I never noticed this before? Of all the macs I’ve stared at. Of all the macs I’ve made. Of all the macs I’ve purchased from some of New York City’s finest patisseries… It never occurred to me that if they had toppings, it was very sparse. Barely there. And nothing of much weight whatsoever.
Ok, science. I get it. Lesson learned. Tame the artistry and mind my physics.
Anywho. The cracked ones were just as delicious as their non-cracky siblings so all were served and gobbled up joyfully by my husband’s co-workers. (Enjoy THAT management! An entire store full of sugar-high employees 🙂 Muahahahaha!!!!)
Filled with my standard Swiss Meringue Buttercream and flavored with Amoretti’s Pistachio Compound paste, they were once again the star of the show! I must say, they are my favorite macaron flavor as well and it has nothing to do with the name “Pistachio” 😉
Because these sweeties need special treatment and can give you some trouble, I have a troubleshooting guide for you just below! You can also download it to keep handy. It’s just below the recipe for you!
Enjoy the recipe, beware that macs are fussy if you’ve never made them before – don’t let them get the best of you!
Download the Macaron Troubleshooting and Tips pdf free HERE.
And enjoy those macs!