Vanilla Macarons FAIL!

Today’s post is brought to by the letter F – for FAIL.  I attempted a task I have been putting off for months.  Macarons.  Delicate crunchy, chewy delightful little cookies.  I even bought a book about them.  I’ve wanted to make them and be this magnificent baker forever and I failed.  I’m not out for the count by any means, but I’m starting over from the beginning.  So here’s round one.

I wanted to show you a picture like this:

 macarons délicieux
Instead I’m showing you this:
Too brown, uneven feet, cracks, general blob-ness.  *sigh*  
Before I get into talking about what happened, let’s look at the anatomy of a macaron.
There were 3 batches that day, none of them went well.  I beat soft peaks.  
I mixed my almond meal, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor before sifting.
I mixed. I am a little worried that I over mixed, but that will be determined with my next attempt.
My batter seemed wet compared to the pictures in my book, but I moved forward and smacked the crap out of my baking pan.  Round one.
I searched through the trouble shooting guide in my macaron book to figure out what was happening.  I did not expect the first batch to come out perfect.  I’m a realist.  Issue 1: “baseball cap” feet.
So I let the oven completely cool and then restarted at 200 degrees.  I turned my baking tray halfway through the second part of baking and put a baking sheet above the macarons to help keep them from browning.  Round two.
Less brown, weird feet (I couldn’t find a troubleshooting section for the way these feet look), and they didn’t really rise.  {Getting frustrated that I’ll never get this right.}  Onto round three.  This time I kept and wooden spoon in the oven door so the macarons wouldn’t brown as quickly.
So much for that idea.  These macarons were turned during 2/3 of the way through the 350 degree part of baking.  Better feet, but way…WAY too brown.  I gave up at this point.  I threw out the remaining batter.  I’m starting over with a new batch tomorrow and hoping for the best.
If you’re good at making macarons I would LOVE to hear any tips or tricks you can offer me.  I’m using an Italian meringue method.  I fee like this post has every problem I did.  I’ll be reading more.  
I will say one thing, thank god I didn’t pop the $8.75 for vanilla bean just to have everything go south.  I highly recommend getting your technique and baking down before splurging on high end ingredients to kick things up.  Wish me luck.
For next Sunday, something I know well.  Cookies.  Regular old make me feel like I’m 5 again cookies.


  1. says

    Eek, macarons have never been made in this house yet because I'm scared of them! Ahhhh I need to conquer my fear one of these days, but until then, I'll just daydream about them 🙂 glad to see everyone has a fail now and then; we're not all perfect! But I KNOW you'll get the most beautiful macarons soon!! Chin up!

  2. says

    I am dying to make macarons. You'll get them to work if you just keep working at it. Unfortunately with any job or hobby or part of life, failure is bound to happen. I can't tell you how many kitchen failures I've had, some from faulty recipes of other people's, some from not using my head, and some for whatever reason I have yet to figure out. I've learned from pretty much all of the failures and if the recipe means that much to me, I keep working at it until it clicks.

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing your experience with macaroons. I've never attempted to make them but they are on my list if things to make. I look forward to reading more of your posts about your quest to make kick ass macaroons!

  4. says

    thanks for sharing this! I'm a pastry chef in training and know from experience how difficult it is to create perfect macarons!

    FOund you through Homemaker on a Dime

  5. says

    Hey! I've made them three times.
    The first batch came out great tasting, but pretty ugly.
    Second batch was a total fail. And I know why– I didnt leave them out on the counter for an hour before they hit the oven. Also I think they were over baked.
    Third batch didn't have proper feet, but thy were perfectly round and great tasting. Good enough for me and I blogged about them!
    One tip I have for you is to use parchment instead of your silpats. I've noticed the silpats are quite difficult to clean–easy to leave oil/fat/grease on them which is not good for a merengue/macaron!
    I'm about ready to throw those things in the trash and stick to parchment!

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