Let’s Chat about Baking BAD Macarons…


Welcome to the very first post in in our new Grandmother Style Blog format.

Today we are working on making the ever popular macarons. I’ve made them a lot and had great success but this time I tried using the Italian Meringue method.

As I’m of Grandmother age, I’m not a novice to meringue making but I had no idea there were meringue varieties. Thanks to The Great British Baking Show for using both the Swiss and Italian versions of meringue and making me aware they existed.

What I believe is a great part about what I am about to post is that these are bad macarons.

My attempt at these, using a more difficult recipe is a FAILURE and I’ve got the photos to prove it. However the BEST part is that I learned a lot and I’m not afraid to try again.

I’m including a click button so that you can jump to the blogs where I found the recipes because these are the hard work of others and I don’t claim them.   

Usually I’ve used the French Macaron method, and most recently the recipe here from Indulge With Mimi. I’ve had pretty good luck with that and find inspiring ideas there.

The recipe for Italian meringue is here at  Serious Eats.

The macaron recipe is from Everyday Annie

Both of those recipes work, it was not their fault I failed.Allow me to make a list of the BAD as well as the GOOD about this dainty sweets

1. Do you see the slight browning on the edge of a few there? pale blue macarons with browning on partEither my oven was too hot or I left them in too long. There should be NO BROWNING of the macarons.

2. Lots of negativity going on with this photo. First, bumps on the top. pale blue macarons with bumpy tops and ripped edgesThose are air bubbles and I should have carefully popped those before I put them in the oven. 3. Do you see the darker blue edge on some of those? That is where they touched each other in  baking and they should NOT TOUCH. My batter was too wet so they slid around and into one another.

4. Now for a positive!    Do you see that sort of “ruffle” around the edge of the cookie? Those are what are referred to as “Feet” Even though my batter was too thin and my oven probably too hot I got good feet going on here.  Looking at the pink ones before       they go in the oven they are super flat. And in this case too runny.  Looking through the oven door you can see them rising up on their little ruffly feet. Hurrah!

5. Next and totally my own issue, is the color.  I was making this practice batch for a July 4 party so I wanted Red, and Blue macarons that I planned to fill with some left over cream cheese icing in the fridge.  The rule of thumb with gel food coloring is less is more. Well, for me to get a dark sort of American Flag blue and red, I needed to go with the more is more concept.  But if I was taking these to a baby shower, I think they would be on point.

6. Lastly just look at these uneven messes. A circle template, that I downloaded and printed from a search engine, is really helpful to make them even. In my case, it was of little use since my batter failed. You can use a silicone mat they even sell them with circles but I prefer parchment since I’ve had (usually) success with it.

If you draw your own circles on the parchment, be sure and flip it over because the pencil will imprint into your macarons. (ask me how I know)

There you have it. What NOT to do to bake macarons using the Italian meringue method. But honestly these simple tips apply to any method you use to make these delicate little darlings.

Please be sure to comment below if you’ve had success or failure in you macaron baking.

Chat soon,


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