in the days leading up to new year's eve, as friends asked the question, "what are you doing?" (i dont know, what are you doing?) "what are you doing?" (i dont know, what are you doing?) i knew only one thing: i wanted to greet the new year eating french macarons and drinking champagne with some good friends. it just seemed like such a decadent and celebratory thing to do -- so that's what i did.
i've been wanting to make these for months, but never had the right reason or occasion -- new year's eve seemed as good a time as any. so, in my mama's kitchen, i whipped up the meringue cookies. it took me a few batches to get them right -- i've never made these macaron/macaroon things and i didnt really know what i was going for. i'm used to making meringues, so in my first two batches, i was being careful not to deflate my whipped egg whites. (that's why the pink (vanilla) ones and the slightly over-cooked white (almond) ones have swirly texture to them.) but by batch number three -- the green pistachio ones, i figured out that the mixture had to be mixed more to get the texture right. by the time i did the chocolate ones, batch number four, i knew what i was doing. i brought the baked cookies with me to brooklyn and assembled them there, an hour or so before going out to meet up with friends for the new year toast. the almond and the chocolate ones got nutella fillings, the vanilla ones got raspberry pomegranate jam, and the pistachio ones got a vanilla buttercream (as suggested by alec).
in the end -- i'm pleased with my first attempt at these beautiful little pastries. they really are not difficult to make -- you've just got to be gentle and careful with them when assembling (the cookies are really delicate.) and they really are impressive to look at. tastewise, i dont know if i am a fan -- they are SOOOO rich. i think i am going to have to seek out someone else's macarons so i know what they are supposed to taste like.
thank you ron and jay and alex and kent for a lovely new year toast...
and thank you, friends and family and blog-readers and chez customers and fans and supporters, for a really cool 2008. it's been exciting and i feel really pleased and proud of what i've been able to accomplish for chez-sucre-chez in such a short amount of time. so seriously -- i could not, definitely could not, have done this without you all. you've been so sweet and good to me.
let's make 2009 super-fine.
(any one out there got loads of money that they want to invest in a bakery/shop? we've got the location, the business plan and the desire... )