You’ll be so glad to know this post is subtitled, “And now I’m going to shut up about macarons.”  Because after this, I promise I am.  I am quite satisfied, for now, with the results of my most recent macaron baking fast.

Yes, I’m a freak, I baked another batch tonight.  I think this time I folded just the right amount because I piped out the macarons and the tips disappeared, though it did take awhile for that to happen.  Also, the feet were high.  I’m talking, “Daaaaaaamn son!” high.

Let’s take a look at the evidence.  Here’s a picture of the bottoms:

On the left side are yesterday’s Silpat adventure.  See how they’re all sort of sponge-y looking?  And you probably can’t tell, but the bottom left is actually concave.  Also, overall, they’re larger because I likely overfolded and they spread more after being piped.  On the right side are the results parchment produces.  Look, the bottoms are smoother!  And even though the tips were more pronounced upon piping, they slowly (like over an hour) sank back in.  Also, you can definitely see which ones were single-trayed, as the bottoms just look firmer.

Tonight, I piped out 4 trays.  I kept the same 1:1.2:2.35 ratio and I had only 92g of egg whites this time as opposed to 100g.  And even though I didn’t mean to, I actually let these sit out for over an hour.  It wasn’t on purpose, I just decided to make homemade potato chips tonight (I know, I’m a freak) and it took longer than I expected.

Here’s a side view (top to bottom, trays 1 – 4):

Tray 1: Rest, something ridiculous.  Like 1h20 I believe.  Double trayed.  Baked 12 minutes with a starting oven temperature of 350-degrees and then dropped down to 300-degrees.  As you can see, these are hollow because the insides collapsed after pulling them out of the oven.  Every single macaron I baked yesterday had even more dramatic hollows than Tray 1.

Tray 2: Rest, 1h32.  Single trayed.  Baked 8 minutes.  I forgot to bring the oven temperature back up, so baked continuously at 300-degrees F.  Less dramatic hollow.

Tray 3: Rest 1h40.  Single trayed, using the high/low temperature method.  Baked 8 minutes.  These, I flipped over to cool upside down actually.  Looks not bad.

Tray 4: Rest 1h48.  Double trayed, using a constant 300-degrees F temperature.  Baked 12 minutes.  Flipped over to cool.  These look like the best of the bunch.

Upon inspection, the bottoms of Tray 4 are the softest, but I was also anxious to get the results and probably peeled them off too soon.  They are soft on the inside and not sticky, which I appreciate.  I am also glad the cookies did not collapse, so I will definitely cool them upside down in the future.  I also tend to like the long and low method of baking, but mostly because I know I’ll just forget to keep raising the temperature.

And now with that said, one thing I have learned about making macarons is to definitely make sure that the egg whites are foamy before adding any sugar.  They should at least double in size, you want to make sure to really break up the egg whites before adding any sugar.  Otherwise, your egg whites won’t achieve the volume and structure it needs.  I’ve also taken to adding 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar.  Do this step on low.  Add the granulated sugar incrementally until well combined, then amp up the power to high.

Foamy!  The bubbles in the egg whites should be small and uniformly distributed.  Initially, big bubbles will form but really make sure you whip the egg whites.

Also, don’t be afraid to really bang the cookie sheets after piping.  You want to make sure to release any large air bubbles in the batter.  The way you pipe them is pretty much the way they’re going to bake (with the exception of the tips sinking back into the batter).

In conclusion, I think I have clearly demonstrated that I am a freak.  The amount of time I’ve spent baking macarons these past two weeks is probably bordering on unhealthy.  You know it’s bad when your husband walks through the door, looks at the cookie trays on the table and can’t even muster up a single emotion besides reserved resignation.