My quest to start a whoopie pie stand of my very own in a Chicago farmers market.
This time I tried a pretty major variation to the ol’ BraveTart macaron recipe. I used a completely different oven. In a completely different house. In a completely different state.
Guess I should say I tried some pretty major variations. I was up in Wisconsin for my cousin’s wedding this past weekend, and we stayed at my mom’s house. I’m happy to say that it would appear that my cracking-on-the-edges-of-the-sheet problem is specific to my oven. Well…happy? No, but relieved to have some proof.
Unfortunately I ran into a different problem in Wisconsin:
Footless macarons. (Footloose macarons?)
Weird, as I’ve never had this problem before.
You can see that the steam must’ve come out through those tiny cracks on the top instead on the bottom. Thus: no feet. I even inadvertently let them sit for maybe 10-15 minutes before putting them in the oven because I forgot to preheat it. I also ended up using a ziplock instead of a regular pastry bag to pipe them out because I forgot to bring mine up…could have something to do with it. This site suggests either undermixing – which is possible because I didn’t count the number of strokes like I usually do and just mixed till the batter looked right – or baking at a low temp. I made sure the oven was at 300 degrees though, so let’s go with undermixing on this one, just for funsies.
(FYI – I also tried baking some shells on an ungreased, un-silpatted, un-parchment-papered baking sheet because I had quite of bit of leftover batter and just to see what would happen. I wouldn’t recommend it, and I’m guessing my mom, who ended up scraping them off into a million pieces wouldn’t either.)
Since my Dad was also around, I decided to take advantage of his culinary knowledge, which just so happens to be impressively deep in the area of caramel (he went through a phase where he devoted himself to making caramel…oh hey, genetics) and a wee bit shallow in the area of how many nuts is too much for a walnut chocolate chip cookie. (It’s ok, Dad, at least Mom liked them.) So I made his trusty old caramel recipe, but cooked it for a little shorter than he usually does so that it would be soft and pliable enough to be smooshed between two (footless) macarons.I certainly succeeded in the soft category, and the caramel was the perfect mix of chewy and not stringy or tough when you bit through the macaron. It made the whole cookie sort of a too-sweet experience until I added a touch of sea salt on top of the caramel before attaching the top cookie. Then they were excellent.
But after a few minutes at room temperature my macarons looked a bit like my makeup in the middle of July.
Clearly that caramel recipe will need to be tinkered with if I end up using it for a filling. One thing I know for sure: I will NOT be making a salted caramel macaron. That trend will (hopefully) be done by the time I open my stand anyway. But caramel can go with tons of things…
Note: Special thanks has to go to my old college buddy, Steph Hess, for cleaning up my pictures for me. She’ll hopefully be helping me out until I figure out a few camera settings. If you are in need of some gorgeous and clever invitations or graphic design, check out her etsy shop: BusyNothings.