Mad Like Alyce

French Macaroon Feature

It was shortly after moving to Sioux Falls that I discovered the delightful delicacy that is the macaroon. We are incredibly lucky to have an award winning Patisserie right in downtown, which I often visit. I’ve always had it as a goal to learn how to make these, but I admit I was a bit hesitant to try, hearing just how difficult they can be to accomplish.

For my Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party, I wanted to have an assortment of brightly colored desserts, and macaroons fit the bill perfectly, but $2 a pop, while certainly worth it for the occasional treat, simply wasn’t going to cut it for the number I would need. So I dug into research to learn the tricks and pitfalls I could come across, bought my ingredients, and dove in!

Mastering the Macaroon

French Macaroon

Ingredients and Instructions

For my macaroons, I followed Wilton’s French Macaroon Recipe. It emphasized the importance of doing all of your prep work in advance, so I got out all of my gel food colors, frosting gun (instead of piping bags), and parchment paper.

They had a great picture of piping the batter onto parchment paper with equivalently sized circles. I made my own by tracing a bottle cap with a pencil, then flipping the parchment paper over so the pencil marks were on the bottom, but were still visible through it.

Macaroon Parchment Paper

Macaroon Parchment Paper

French Macaroon

Based on what I had read, I was already guessing that my first batch, a lovely robin’s egg blue, were going to have some issues (see those peaks?) but since I wanted at least 4 or 5 different colors, I was excited to troubleshoot each batch!

Trouble Shooting Your Macaroon

Half of the reason I even attempted the project was this incredible troubleshooting guide from Sweet and Savory by Shinee. I found this Pintrest image, which is a quick and fast reference guide as to what went wrong, and her article goes into incredibly helpful detail!

So my first batch was under-mixed, based on the peaks that didn’t fall completely into the rest of the shell once piped. That said, even though they are not technically perfect, they still tasted amazing!

More Mixing

So, more mixing was required, which I did (counting the “folds”) for my second and third batches of yellow then purple. With my purple batch, I was thisclose to that perfectly smooth shell… and I suspected the meringue was not being beaten enough.

Just Beat It

I had inherited my grandmother’s old Sunbeam stand mixer, but with limited space on my countertops, I sadly had not actually used it for a project, defaulting to a small electric beater that was easier to store. Needing a much longer time with the mixer, I broke it out and gave that meringue a good working over.

Stand mixer with Macaroon batter

And this worked! The combination of appropriate mixing for the meringue and the almond flour and sugar mixture did the trick, giving me these amazingly perfect macaroons! 4th time’s the charm!

French Macaroons

It really is a skill…

And it’s a skill I still haven’t really acquired. My fourth time appeared to be a fluke, because in repeating my process for the final batch of orange, I ended up with smooth, but hollow, shells. This was likely me getting overzealous with my stand mixer “quick fix” and actually over beating the meringue. So, it’s a work in progress. The best part, however, is that after 5 batches, macaroons no longer intimidate me, and I feel that I can produce decent amateur baker quality macaroons to share with friends and family, and that works for me!

Macaroon

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

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Super excited that my family is NOT doing gifts this year! We are all just bringing a side dish, dessert, and a board game for some quality family time. What are you doing for Christmas? #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies #grinchmas
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Probably my favorite line in the entire movie, so much so that it has stuck with me for years. This is often how my anxiety feels like, and I think of this line from the Grinch often when I'm struggling, even at the height of summer! So, the Grinch is a bit near and dear to my heart, and no one will ever take Jim Carrey's place in my heart, even if if it does grow three sizes. #grinch #thegrinchthatstolechristmas #christmas #grinchmakeup
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  • One of the reasons I liked this makeup so much was the incredibly simple nose. I’ve tried some looks in the past and I don’t know if it was the white face, orange nose, or just my lack of makeup experience, but I hated them. Instead of trying to literally draw a carrot, this is just a nod in that direction. Also, I’m not one for glitter but I really dig these eyes! Good thing I like them, because I still have glitter on my face. #glitter #frosty #wintermakeup
  • Sticking with my winter theme, it’s Frosty! Ok, this one is a great example of why I love the internet. I saw an AMAZING frosty photo on an Instagram feature account and took a screenshot because I was dying to recreate it. Normally I make sure I have the artists handle in the screenshot so I can tag them if I ever do try it, but somehow missed it this time. To find her, I took to YouTube to find @victorialyn ’s tutorial, and I’m completely blown away with not only the makeup, but the production quality of her videos. I know how much time and effort something like that takes and they are so much fun to watch, even if you don’t plan on doing the makeup in the tutorial. I love finding new artists to follow and be inspired by! #frosty #frostythesnowman #winter
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Im really pleased with how this turned out! I know it's no super glamorous but creating actual injuries and skin conditions is a great challenge. I'll spare you the reference material, but it was fun trying to re-create the blistering, as gross as that sounds. Stay warm my friends! #frostbite #frostbitemakeup #winterwonderland #sfxmakeup #sfxmua
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This look inspired by a 3 hour drive in a blizzard last weekend. It actually wasn't too bad, mostly just excruciatingly slow, but living in SD, I know how dangerous it can be going off the road in bad conditions. #frostbite #SFX #sfxmakeup #brrrrrr #sfxwound

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