I’ve done a lot of reading about macarons and the one common theme on every food blog is that making them is hard. And yet, I still stupidly attempted them. Let’s just say I now understand why these cookies are $1.75 each–they are a huge pain to make.
I had a few different problems–cracked tops, air bubbles, no feet, and a runny filling. What I learned: The cracked tops were remedied by doubling up the baking sheets. The air bubbles could be prevented by tapping the baking sheet on the counter before letting the piped macarons rest. The no feet issue I have no idea how to solve, as some of my macarons had feet and some didn’t, and they all came from the same batter. The runny filling I attribute to lousy weighing by my cheap kitchen scale I bought years ago when I was actually weighing food and counting points. (Some of you know what points are, right?)
While these taste good, the frustration just wasn’t worth it. I think it’s safe to say the next time I have a craving for macarons, I will drive myself the three miles to Paulette  in Beverly Hills.
Caramel Fleur de Sel Filling Ingredients
200 g sugar
¼ cup water
2 tbs. corn syrup
1 vanilla pod (I used two teaspoons vanilla extract)
200 g cream
5 g fleur de sel
140 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 cup blanched almond meal
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
3 egg whites from large eggs.
1/4 cup white sugar
Sieve almond meal & confectioners sugar together.
Beat egg whites until foamy on medium. Slowly add sugar, and turn to high. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well, until batter becomes fluid (lava like–slow moving, but moving nonetheless). Use a HUGE piping tip, and pipe onto parchment lined baking sheet. The batter should spread out to another third of its size. Also, any peaks from piping should very slowly fall back into the shape. If it stays a peak, you didn’t stir it enough.
Let the cookie sheets sit out for at least 45 minutes, as this forms the crust.
Bake at 325 for about 12-14 minutes. The macarons should be able to be removed from the paper. If they stick, something went wrong. (I experienced this on two of the four baking sheets.)
Fleur de Sel Caramel filling recipe from Veronica’s Test Kitchen .
Macaron recipe from Jess.