Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Macaron Tips

A smooth liftoff!

Macarons are one finicky little cookie to make. Good thing they are cute and delicious or seriously, no one would make them.

Hearing from you, one of the most prevalent macaron frustrations is pulling the cookies cleanly off the parchment after baking. Here are a few tips that I know will help.

1. Bake the macarons long enough.

A macaron should be very firm to the touch and not wobble one bit after baking. And, depending on the humidity, baking time varies so don't count on every batch needing the same amount of baking time. Check each batch carefully before pulling them out of the oven. If the macarons are underbaked, they will be gooey and not release cleanly from the parchment.

2. Use good quality parchment paper.

Not all parchment papers are created equally. I love a bargain but parchment paper from the dollar store isn't worth it. I buy my unbleached parchment in bulk for a good price at a restaurant supply store. You can also find good quality parchment at specialty cooking stores. One readily available brand that I've used and like is Beyond Gourmet Unbleached Parchment.

3. Let the macarons cool completely.

Be sure to let the cookies cool completely before trying to lift them off the parchment. If you try to remove them when they are warm, they'll tear and you'll be frustrated.

4. Use a thin icing spreader to help.

The thin blade of an icing spreader is perfect for sliding under fussy macarons.

If the cookies are still tough to release, slide a thin icing spreader under the cooled cookies before lifting them off. Because of the ground almonds, macarons are not cheap to make so if they are giving you grief, don't try to force them off the parchment without a little help. An icing spreader will do the trick.

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