"We signed up for the macaroon workshop," one of our fellow cruisers said to me at lunch yesterday. "I'd rather do that than walk in this horrible cold."
"Did you have the macaroons at dinner Friday?" her husband, Al, interjected. "They were the best. I love coconut in just about anything, but macaroons are my favorite." Mike started to agree with Al when I interrupted them.
"These are French macaroons, called macarons (mac-a-rohns). They're all different flavors, and they don't have coconut in them. They're made with egg whites and almond flour. They're very popular right now. You see them in all sorts of colors." Everyone looked at me as though I were a little looney. (Ok, so maybe I am, but I do know the difference between macaroons and macarons.)
"I think maybe your wife was right," Al whispered to Mike (thinking I couldn't hear him). "I don't see American macaroons at all." I sighed audibly.
"Are you okay, Babe?" Mike asked me. I just nodded and rolled my eyes.
Rene and Sophie showed us how to make a lemon and a salted caramel filling for the macarons before making the meringue base for the cookie portion of the macaron. The link to a macaron
recipe follows, but in short, they made Italian meringue and then added almond powder, icing sugar and powdered food coloring to the meringue. By hand, they folded the mixture together for 5-10 minutes to get the air out of the dough.
Rene filled a pastry bag with the dough and showed us how to make the little cookies. The recipe makes about 120 little discs which translates into 60 cookies. A few of us had the opportunity to try our hand at forming the discs, which was nice. I was pleased that I didn't end up with a long line of dough (Bob), trails of dough (Marta) or big blobs of dough (Anne).
"I'm ready to try these now," someone who shall remain nameless said. "How long are they going to take?"
"Your husband is so funny," one woman (Lady #1) said to me. "Does he joke like this all the time?"
"He's not joking," I retorted. "Don't get between him and the cookies when they put them out." She blinked at me, apparently not liking my jokes as much.