My ideal Mother’s Day is pretty simple. Wake up no earlier than 7 am (because, let’s be real, the kids have no idea what day it is so 7 would be optimistic), simple breakfast in bed followed by lots of family snuggles, and hopefully some time to play in the kitchen. This weekend my wish was granted and then some. Ben completely surprised me with a Professional Series KitchenAid Mixer and I couldn’t wait to test it out. I thought briefly about what recipe would be the right one to break in the mixer, and it didn’t take me more than a few minutes to settle on macarons. I’d been having macaron yearnings lately anyway, and since the first time I ever made macarons was two years ago on Mother’s Day, it seemed like a fitting choice. It also didn’t take me long to decide on a flavor combination. I’ve been all about Nutella these days and when hazelnut Nutella macarons crossed my mind, there was no turning back.
I decided to take a chance and try a new macaron recipe, which in the past has always ended in complete disaster. However, I will grudgingly say that this recipe was so good, it will now be my go-to macaron base. (Unfortunately there was a typo in the book so I had to go with some guesswork and my instincts, but worked perfectly in the end.) Each time I make macarons I learn something new and this time I realized that the sheet on the lower level always looks nicer. The shells still have the proper shape and height but don’t brown as the ones on top often do. From now on I think I’ll be baking both sheets in the lower half of the oven. The texture of the cookies was absolutely perfect – moist and slightly chewy inside with a delicate crisp exterior. Take those lovely macaron shells, sandwich with a rich, silky Nutella buttercream and you’ve got a pretty fabulous little sandwich cookie. These were worthy of hoarding for just us, something I rarely do with my baked goods – a sure sign of a good thing.
For the basic concepts of macaron making, see this post with some step-by-step photos.