Macaron Perfection

My mom and I have started a new tradition. For quite some time she has been telling me that she wants us to spend more time together. As a full time working mom and 2 little boys time is not something I have in abundance. However, creating memories with her and finding that time is important to me.  So for her birthday last year I purchased a cookie decorating class for us at Sur La Table. I have never taken a cooking class there, or anywhere for that matter. 

We had so much fun that I decided for Christmas I would find another class for us to go to. She has mentioned several times that she would like to learn to make Macarons. While scrolling through the classes I saw a Valentine Macaron class and thought it would perfect for our next morning together.

I picked her as usual and we headed to a little breakfast place where she had pancakes and I had a mimosa. It is the perfect start to a mother daughter adventure. After that we headed on over to Sur La Table to get started. I have to admit, I was nervous, I didn't know much about macarons. I had seen them before, but I had actually never even tasted one. What I did know is that they are hard to make.

Now I know my way around the kitchen. I am not a chef by any stretch of the imagination and I am not a star baker so I was worried about these finicky little cookies.

Macarons are pretty basic when it comes to ingredients. The cookies themselves only require almond flour, powdered sugar, egg whites, a little white sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar. Then you add whatever gel coloring you like (never liquid coloring). Seems very basic and easy, right?

The essentials

The essentials

WRONG! These little cookies are so fickle that you have to actually WEIGH all of your ingredients instead of measuring them as you do with most recipes. We had to measure things down to the gram. There is very little wiggle room if you want them to rise and have the little feet (scalloped edges). There is a lot of hand stirring required. There is a specific pattern suggested for that stirring and the consistency has to be just perfect.

My beautiful mother from whom I inherit all of my love for baking.

My beautiful mother from whom I inherit all of my love for baking.

Just when we thought it was good - nope more stirring. At least my arm got a workout that day.

Stir and stir and the stir some more. 

Stir and stir and the stir some more. 

The batter has to be just the perfect consistency - this is finicky baking!

The batter has to be just the perfect consistency - this is finicky baking!

Now our macarons would have been a complete disaster if it wasn't for our magnificent teacher, Sabrina. She used to make these little creations all day every day - God bless her. She is a macaron expert! She made me believe right from the beginning that I was going to succeed. See how the batter has to fall off of the spoon just right to know its ready for the piping?

Meet Sabrina - our amazing teacher.

Meet Sabrina - our amazing teacher.

The perfect consistency for Macarons - not too thick, not too then

The perfect consistency for Macarons - not too thick, not too then

The tricky part is not over once you have the perfect batter. NOPE! Then you have to pipe them just the right way. You have to have the right pressure and the right speed. That's right if you push to hard or too fast you're ruined. Basically your macarons live or die right here at this step.

Heart Macarons for Valentine's Day

Heart Macarons for Valentine's Day

Once our pink hearts were in the oven. we moved on to some green tea macarons - a staple in the macaron world.

Just before the oven

Just before the oven

Now once your macarons have cooled then you get to pipe in the yummy sweet center. On this day we filled our hearts with champagne icing and it was GOOD! Believe me these little cookies will definitely satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.

Now for the yummy center

Now for the yummy center

Where all the magic happens

Where all the magic happens

We had an amazing time together and most of all we made great memories. I am happy to say we even came home with some awesome looking (and tasting) macarons. My boys (the two little and daddy) certainly all approved when I brought my goodies home. I can't wait to decide what class we take next!