Sean and I are planning a three week trip to Italy and France this coming January. In my extensive research of Paris I've discovered the pretty French macaron. Essentially a dainty meringue-based cookie, everything I've read online says that macarons are incredibly difficult to make.
I followed Tartelette's basic French macaron recipe and added 2 tsp of lime zest. I shot these photos of my first macaron baking attempt about an hour ago. Not nearly as temperamental as I anticipated, the macarons are lightly crusted meringue on the outside and ooey-gooey deliciousness on the inside. I sandwiched mine together with raspberry buttercream.
Freshly piped macaron batter. You allow the macarons to rest for one hour before baking - this reduces moisture content and allows the crust to form which in turn will prevent splitting and cracking.
Just out of the oven I was thrilled to see that my macaron had 'feet' - as the cookie puffs in the oven, it raises itself from the bottom of the pan creating the sought-after ruffled base called 'feet'.
My macarons turned out to be a little lumpy as you can see from the way this one is balanced below, but still, I'm pretty happy with my first attempt!!