I did it! I made French macarons SUCCESSFULLY on my first try! Hallelujah!! *dancing a jig* First things first - there is a difference between the macaron and the macaroon. The latter being utterly disgusting in my opinion. The former being a delectable mountain of soft chewy sweetness. Big difference. Macaroons are blobs of meringue with nasty coconut mixed in. Macarons (aka. French macaroons) are little sandwich cookies typically varying in creative and beautiful colors and flavors. The macaron is supposed to be very difficult to do successfully but I found it quite easy tonight after all the research I'd done and with a lot of help and trial-and-error done by others first ;)! Basically I've poring through a ton of different food blogs which thankfully go into a lot of depth about how to make these beautiful and delicate little cookies. I even found myself trying to remember all my high school French whilst coming upon a French blog explaining the "how to" - but gave up quickly!
Here's who helped me tremendously - many thanks to these folks:
A La Cuisine
And just have to add a couple links to the famous Macaron Houses in Paris:
Ladurée - be sure to click on this to see the most famous AMAZING macarons!
Pierre Hermé - these are $3 per macaron!!!
Thank goodness for the above listed bloggers' pages and pages of notes on how to make perfect little macarons. I've been studying these pages for a couple weeks now - planning my attack and putting together a recipe in my head. My best discovery was that I can buy almond meal at gourmet grocery stores as opposed to dealing with grinding it up myself to the perfect texture. That is perhaps what saved me. I have to say the "funnest" part was tracing the bottom of a shot glass onto the back of my parchment paper so that I could attempt to make symmetrical cookies to sandwich together. The next "funnest" was piping the batter out of a corner-cut sandwich baggy since I didn't have a large enough tip! I chose to make a bittersweet chocolate ganache filling. It was really simple to make with some heavy cream and good quality bittersweet chocolate.
I cannot WAIT to try some different colors and flavors. Hehe... I'm just getting started...