Today was not a very good day today for me.
First of all, I went and had my hair cut...in half. I asked her to cut off all my split ends, but I had no idea she was going to cut half of my hair off. Needless to say, I was freaking out. I mean, like
Aaand then it got emotional....because I felt bald. But also I guess you can say it was NOT the right time of the month for this to happen. So. That was disaster number one.
For disaster number two, let's remember that it takes me forever to make a decision. I mean, I think then and rethink things out about 6 times before I come to a conclusion. So when I decided to go to Plato's Closet (they will buy your clothes there depending on a couple things) to get rid of some of my clothes, after telling myself yes, you really don't wear any of these, I took them there and was shut completely down. All my clothes were either "too outdated" (meaning the labels weren't the most recent edition) or they just didn't "fit the market." So then I felt like I was ugly AND very untrendy.
So I was just having a very bad day. Sweet James was trying to make me feel better, but my spirits were just not up. Until, I decided it was time to make my FAVORITE treat in the whole world...the french macaron.
I set out to do them with Grandma around and I have to say, they were amaaaaazing. They tasted just like they were supposed to and even though it took a little bit of work, it was so so worth it to me. I was pretty proud of myself and that got me right back up, just in time to watch American Idol with the family. So I thought I would share the recipe with you in case you were having a down-in-the-dumps day and needed a pick me up! :)
These can be a little complicated. But! Trust me, if I can do them, you can do them!
If you want the entire recipe, this is your gal! (It's in her info) but yes, she even does a video for you!
But here is ours adapted from hers.
RECIPE FOR BETH'S FOOLPROOF FRENCH MACARONS
Makes 24 completed sandwich cookies
3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar (50 g)*
2 cups confectioners sugar (200 g)
1 cup almond flour (120 g) [We found ours at Walmart. It's the Red Mill brand and it worked great!]
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
*You should use a scale. I used one and it makes ALL the difference in our recipe. If you have access to a kitchen scale, both Beth and I strongly suggest you use it!
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Beat egg whites and sugar for 8-10 mins. TIP: #1 eggwhite should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.
Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Think Seattle Space needle.
(Her tip) Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on :) You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.
Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. Don't overmix. Transfer batter to a pastry bag.
Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
[I didn't read the recipe very well and used wax paper. BIIIIIIG MISTAKE!...and yes, I almost cried. Learn from me, your cookies will STICK like they are hanging on for dear life and you and your super sweet helpful Grandma will basically rip them off and it crushes them. Do it right and use PARCHMENT paper!]
Tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.
(Her tip, and yes, we did this for about 3 minutes) TIP#6 Let them sit out for 2--30 mins, or up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can't spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That's what creates the feet!
Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.
Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell et Voila!
If not eating right away, keep refrigerated. [Also learning from my mistakes, if you leave them out, they WILL get stale. They are cookies. So keep them stored how you would store your cookies--in a container. NOT out on the table like a certain beginner]
That's it! I'm telling you, these are crazy amazing and good. I made a ton instead of paying what would have been one PRETTY penny. So try it out! It's worth it! Take it from my super cute, hardworking husband that came home from work and not only told me how impressed he was, but was totally willing to try out my culinary experiments. Love that man.