Whenever you walk past a French pastry case, they’re impossible not to admire.

Often showcased in neat little rows in every color of the rainbow, they’re light as air and yet, chewy somehow, in the same bite. Sandwiched with the most delightful of fillings in every possible flavor combination, they’re two to three bites of absolute heaven, depending on the size.

Like many French confections, their beauty is deceptively simple. But after making macarons from scratch last Saturday at Sur La Table, let me assure you, I’ll never look at these little cookies the same way again. While they only require three ingredients for the actual meringue, there’s a whole lot of work (and waiting) that goes into the finished product.

But can I just tell you how rewarding it was once they were finished? I felt like we’d just crossed the finish line after a 10K or something. I half-expected “Chariots of Fire” to be playing in the background.

We made two summery flavors of macarons, namely orange dreamsicle and coconut lime, and right from the start, we were dealt a questionable hand. Our instructor informed us that even under the best of weather conditions, macarons can be very temperamental. So basically, making them on a rainy and humid Texas morning was a bit of a wild card. Despite the odds being stacked against us, however, we soldiered on and threw up a prayer to the macaron gods (I’m guessing they’re somewhere in Paris sipping a cafe au lait).

Three hours later after frothing egg whites and being oh-so-careful not to deflate them, piping the batter, waiting for them to dry, making lime curd and orange buttercream, waiting for them to cool, carefully lifting them off the Silpat and filling them, we finally got to taste the little suckers.


While I’m not in any hurry to make them again, I’d probably give ’em a whirl with my pal Krista if we had an entire Saturday afternoon with nothing to do. But in the meantime, I’ll have nothing but mad props for all the macaron makers of the world. While I’m sure it’s infinitely less intimidating when you’ve made ’em a few times, I now know it’s not nearly as easy as whipping up the ol’ American classic, the humble chocolate chip.