I’ve always loved baking, and French macarons have always been one of my favorite pastries to buy. When I realized that I had never actually tried to bake them, I knew exactly what my next project should be. After some research and hours spent on Pinterest, I decided on three recipes to try out: chocolate coconut, coconut, and pumpkin spice.
Since it was my first time baking macarons, I had relatively low expectations. Everything I read seemed to indicate that they were one of the hardest recipes to actually succeed in baking, but I already had my heart set on giving them a shot.
I actually combined two different recipes to make these -- a video on chocolate shells and an article on coconut buttercream. Since this was my first time baking these pastries, it took a surprisingly long time. I had to use many tools, such as a food processor, piping bags, and a hand beater while I baked. My biggest struggle while doing this was piping the batter into perfect circles that would eventually transform into the macarons’ shells. I had never done anything like this before, so they were a bit lopsided, but when the shells were finally out of the oven, I was shocked at how delicious they were. At this point, I attempted making a honey buttercream filling, but it did not work; the only way I could describe it was as super eggy and gross. That’s when I found the coconut cream recipe, which was amazingggg!!!
Once the macarons were completed, I was pleasantly surprised with how they turned out. The shells had crunchy skin and were chewy on the inside. Even though they were a little lopsided (my fault for being bad at using piping bags), they looked pretty nice; the brown and white colors contrasted each other well. Here are some photos I took of the completed chocolate coconut macarons:
Rating: Absolutely delicious, especially for a first attempt! 5/5 stars. I would recommend this recipe to any avid baker who isn’t allergic to the ingredients (almond flour, eggs).
In case you haven’t picked up on the trend, I really love coconut. Since the other two recipes I found contained almond flour, I wanted to try a nut-free recipe as well. This recipe boasted using coconut flour -- rather than almond flour, which is what macarons are generally made from -- as a base. Still riding on the high of my previous trial, I had high hopes for these. It turns out I shouldn’t have.
When the shells cooked after coming out of the oven, they were crinkly and fell apart in my hands. When I tried them, they clearly had way too much sugar. I could literally taste individual granules. There was no crunchy skin, just an overwhelming void of chewiness. I didn’t even bother making a filling for these shells; they couldn’t be saved. Seriously, look:
Rating: Honestly, ew. 1/5 stars. I would recommend these to anyone who likes overly sweet and chewy shells that taste more like failed coconut sugar cookies, I guess? Sorry to everyone with tree nut allergies; I was really hoping these would come through.
In honor of the Fall season, I decided to try out a pumpkin spice macarons too. This recipe was pretty straightforward; the only problem I found while baking was that the shells’ batter was a little too liquidy. I added a bit of orange dye to the batter make it look more like pumpkin as well. The filling was easy to make, and I probably spent less time on this recipe than I did on the others.
After frosting the macarons, I finally tried them, and they tasted pretty good! The flavors mixed together quite nicely. Onto texture, the shells definitely had crunchy skin, but they were missing the trademark chewiness that it supposed to rest underneath. Literally, they were hollow when you bit into them and crumbled easily if you held them with too much pressure (even though I tapped out all of the air bubbles before baking them). The pumpkin buttercream was perfect, though. Below is a photo displaying how hollow the shells are:
And here’s the final product, hollow shells and all:
Rating: Aside from being too crunchy, these were great! 3.75/5 stars. I would recommend these to any pumpkin spice lover who isn’t allergic to almonds or too picky about yielding perfect macarons.
I really enjoyed testing these recipes out, and I feel like I have a newfound appreciation for the time and effort it takes to make macarons. I spent at least two hours in the kitchen (aside from letting the batter set for a long time before baking) with each recipe!
The chocolate coconut macarons were by far the favorite of everyone in my family, and I definitely recommend trying them if you want to give yourself a challenge and have a lot of time on your hands. You’ll be well-rewarded for your efforts.😉
^What I wish I had to pipe macarons!