I did a lot of research on macarons leading up to today. Probably more than necessary, but I heard rumours they were hard and finicky and stupid. I've read blog posts from people who sounded like they had a mental breakdown after making numerous batches and having them all fail miserably. It scared me, I'm not going to lie. I narrowed it down to a few recipes that looked 'simple' and finally decided on this basic macaron recipe. Mostly because it's basic (I don't want to get all fancy and stupid on my first go of something that might not even turn out), it's got some nice pictures to follow along with, and it's a nice small manageable recipe (I definitely didn't want to have 50 cookies to junk if things didn't work out.)
I reduced some lemon curd jam to fill them. I should have planned for making ganache or something, but I wanted to focus on the shells first. I figured I'd be able to throw something together if the shells turned out any way decent. I tasted the under mixed shells first, and they had a delightful crunch with a nice soft middle which I think is pretty close to how they're supposed to be (I've only tried bakery macarons once don't forget). They did have a pretty big air pocket, but you know, they're already wrong, I'm aware of that. The flatter ones also have an air pocket. It's very small and not as noticeable as the under mixed shells. To be honest, I'm just happy with the crunchy shell and chewy interior. That's a win in my book. Also the lemon curd tastes really nice, too. It's had some time to sit and dissolve into the shells which probably also contributes to the chewy texture.
I'm going to attempt these again. Firstly, I need to change my folding technique. I think I can get the batter right the second time now that I know what I'm looking for (and now that I know I don't have to be so gentle). Obviously I'm not going to overfill my piping bag, but one thing I realized is that these cookies are a lot better if they're smaller. I made them fairly large and I don't like it. It's too much and they look odd. Like bulls in a china shop, you know? And I know I complained that the store-bought ones were about the size of a loonie but I take it back, ok!? 40 lashes with a wet noodle. I get it now. I'll probably trace some circles on to my parchment paper as a guideline, too. It was hard to match some of my shells up so I can see the need for uniformity.