I've been a bit discouraged about the topic of Macarons, especially after my multiple failures (can be seen here). My love and curiosity about eating and creating flavor combinations for Macarons has stayed strong, only I had lost my confidence in the execution.
A friend gave me the most lovely book i ♥ macarons by Hisako Ogita for Christmas (it can be found here) and so I was inspired to give Macarons a try again. Let me just say, I love the book! It has just the sort of style and photography that I'd hoped to have when if I write a cookbook someday. The photography, especially, is just gorgeous and shows every process step-by-step.
So, with a new macaron recipe, egg whites aged three days, and the aid of the more dry North Dakota air, I set about making macarons again.
And they were a success!! (mostly)
The feet developed beautifully. I still ended up with a bit of a "hershey's kiss" on top and they are slightly more brown than I would have liked, but nevertheless much more of a success than my October attempts.
I created a candy cane cream cheese filling, using left over cream cheese icing from my Grandpa's birthday cake (post about that coming later) and some pulverized candy canes. Some of the macarons were plain candy cane cream cheese filled, some were a combo of the cream cheese and melted dark chocolate, and some were just melted dark chocolate. Beautiful and delicious!
I used gel food coloring, mixed with a little water to "paint" the tops of some of the macarons with Christmas imagery. I actually coded the filings by what was painted on them (haha) because I'm just like that :) The macarons without painting along with the ones painted with candy canes were just plain candy cane cream cheese filling. The wreath painted macarons were a combo of the candy cane cream cheese and melted dark chocolate. The trees were just melted dark chocolate.
My dad informed me after photographing these that if I'd only done one of the candy canes upside down, I could have had "joy" written out in the decoration. Oh well, next year.
Well, now that I've achieved (near) Macaron success, the next test will be if I can make these in South Carolina too..... Stay tuned for more macaron adventures in the coming year :)