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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  • I love finding inspiration in new places, and when @bearded_horror shared artwork by @xsullo a week or so ago, I knew I had to give it a try as a makeup! Seriously, such amazing art. I hope I did it justice! Check out their profile to see even more incredible works and compare to the original.
  • After this photoshoot im not sure how to go back to my plain black background... I mean if there isn’t ominous fog in the background, does it really even count?!?! #fogmachine #clownmakeup #scareactress #hauntlife #evietheclown
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  • That’s not a Wiley grin, that’s me clamping my teeth together so I stopped chattering. This spring was BRUTAL in SD, and it was in the 30s when we shot this in an unheated parking garage. #clowningaround #clownmakeup #scareactor #scareactress #hauntlife
  • Evie is probably my favorite full-costume character I’ve created to date. It’s so fun to think a practice look I made for haunt last year will be a fully fledged character come haunt season next year! Also, I NEED these light bars @jibclimmer used in this shoot. If anyone has a few hundred dollars to donate to the cause just let me know. 😉 #clown #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #hauntlife #makeupartist
  • If only @grave_digger_the_clown would learn to share, Evie wouldn’t have to steal his shovel! #justclowningaround #clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife photography credit goes to the incredibly talented @jibclimmer
  • Hey guys! It’s been a hell of last few months, but trust me, I’ve been busy! I’d like to introduce my newest character, Evie the Clown! Thanks so much to @jibclimmer for these incredible photos... more to come very shortly. #clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife
  • Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more. 
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
  • Even if I wanted to go, my schedule wouldn't allow it! 4 o'clock: wallow in self pity. 4:30: stare into the abyss. 5 o'clock: solve world hunger (tell no one). 5:30: jazzercise. 6:30: dinner with me, I can't cancel that again! 7 o'clock: wrestle with my self loathing. I'm booked! Course if I bump the loathing to 9 I can still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear! #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies

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