Tuesday, March 19, 2013

1 Ball 2 Strikes

I may be a lot of things in life but one thing I'm not is a quitter...unless you count the cello in 7th grade-which I don't cause I had an injury- so it just wasn't in the cards for me to lie down on this Macaroon business.  I plotted my attack all day yesterday.   I stopped at the store on my way home and bought actual almond meal flour -hangs-head-in-shame- thinking that maybe my home grind version might have been to "chunky" and "torn" through the cookies as they tried to rise.   I even busted out the oven thermometer, left by the previous owner, and as I cooked dinner attempted to nail down how out of caliber my temperature readings are...it was a piece of garbage by the way and lagged my oven temp by over 100 degrees. ..clearly why it was left bring behind.   Again I measured by weight,  sifted and beat down my meringue, I even left out any coloring, in hopes of removing a variable I couldn't control.  I filled my piping bag less full this time, eliminating one problem from round one, and worked to create uniform sizes -my patience failed me however,  they were sort of all over the map.

My "quarter size" turned into a silver dollars...

One big thing I did this time...banged those damn pans...a few more times than prescribed...which might explain the "silver dollar" phenomenon mentioned above...but whatever, there were NO air bubbles to wreak havoc!
I baked each tray individuality this time letting the pans rest too, 15 min for the first one, and subsequently longer for the others as they waited their turn in the hot box.   I hoped...oh I hoped upon hope. ..at the nine minute mark when I went to rotate the pan...cracks, ugly ugly cracks...I was greeted with cracks... Dammit...I felt defeated. I was committed to finishing the other two trays but the results were more of the same.
Tray one

Tray two

I even turned them over to cool, sort of like an angel food cake...

But I don't really know if it helped...Little tiny "feet" Boo.....

Bottom line was that I needed these for my party on Saturday and come hell or high water I had to  make them work.   So what does one do when taking a ride on the failure train you might ask...you ride that bitch to the end of the line...and that's exactly what I did.   I had all these Macaroon shells,  crappy as they were, and they needed to be filled so naturally I decide to make a brand new butter cream recipe...hey if your gonna fail at least do it spectacularly...and I'll have you know that Swiss butter cream came out fantastic!   Finally something went my way!!!  It was terrifying as it involved a double boiler and no powered sugar but it is the most amazing icing ever, now I know why the pros use it...so two strikes on the Macaroons but I'll take a ball on the icing.   Now if everyone likes them, that'll be a huge home run.

Swiss Butter Cream goodness

Matching up the shells...Today's debacle makes yesterday "failure" look pretty damn good now...

Its amazing what a little icing can do

We called these the little fugglies.  Not party worthy for sure, but still damn tasty and a nice little "cooks treat".  They gave me hope that everyone might actually enjoy these at the party after all!

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