Learning To Make Macarons.

Macarons are expensive to buy. But once you find out what goes into making them, you shut the hell up about how expensive they are.

Because it ain't easy!

And after having experienced some bad macarons in Bordeaux a few weeks ago (but come lovely ones in Paris), I am glad I had the foresight to register myself for another class at Sur La Table. I'd had so much fun learning to make tamales back in December that it was easy to shell out the $69 to learn macarons.

Plus, I loved the idea of spending my birthday learning something new!

Macarons are labor intensive. You have to pay attention every step of the way. You can't really multitask when making them. That said, the actual making of them (once you know how) is not intimidating at all. It's very fun!

My group was assigned to make Raspberry Macarons with a Champagne Buttercream filling.


We had our ingredients all ready to go...

And having a Kitchen Aid mixer to use to make them was pretty awesome. I don't own a mixer right now (my ex got that in the divorce - though I'm not sure he even knows how to use it. SURPRISE ME HUMAN!), anytime I need to mix something I do it by hand. (I'm pretty awesome at making whipped cream with just a whisk, the ingredients and a bowl at this point.)

Once we had everything combined, it went into a piping bag...

And we starting dispensing onto a template of small circles on a two-ply cookie sheet.

But we got pretty good at this very quickly... So the instructor showed us how to pipe out heart-shaped ones...

After the piping, the cookies had to settle on the counter for a while. This allowed things to solidify a little more. Then they went into the oven, and were rotated to different shelves over the 15-20 minutes that they were baking.

While that was happening, we made the fillings.

Our filling was pretty straight-forward: butter, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt and two ounces of champagne. Another team was making a Lavender Macaron with Chocolate Ganache as the filling. So they had heavy cream to scald, chocolate to mix with it... And a lot of whisking!

Once all of the fillings were done, the cookies came out of the oven and had to cool.

Ours got a little over-browned in the oven. So the pink wasn't as vibrant as we would have liked, but they tasted perfect. And once they were cooled, it was time to start filling the middles.

We piped the cream into the centers. And they turned out pretty well.

Not all of them were pretty. But they tasted excellent.

We each got to take a few home of each flavor. After having taken the class, I would absolutely try to make them on my own. And in fact, I likely will soon.