I’m one of those kooky moms who does things with a baby. Here is a picture of me last weekend cross country skiing with the poor little guy strapped to my chest. Trust me when I say these activities are for ME and not for him. It keeps me sane to DO THINGS. Not that I ever was 100% sane to begin with. But being a mom naturally reduces that percentage even further.
Let’s talk about these cookies. Macarons have a real attitude problem (after all they are French – HA!), and so I have concocted a recipe that has been simplified so that even people with babies (moms!) can make them. Have you ever tried to make macarons WITHOUT a baby, much less with one? They are as hard as the first month of breastfeeding to make. For starters, egg whites are “fussy” (says every recipe I’ve seen, none of these people have ever experienced the fuss of an infant at 2, 4 and 7 a.m., clearly, or the egg fussiness level would be about as mentionable as hiccups) and the bowls and dishes used have to be immaculately clean, which is so the enemy of having an infant. I don’t even remember what immaculately clean feels like. I’m barely sure what day today is. Just kidding now that my little guy is older, but 3 months ago I wouldn’t have been.
So, I got it in my silly head that I wanted to learn how to make macarons (not macaROONS, the sweet coconut lump treats) and I started Googling macaron recipes. The first thing I noticed was that they are all long as hell. So I condensed steps to help make them easier for MOMS or anyone with a little baby to make. My full recipe is below.
There are 15 speedy steps.
MOMMY AND ME MACARONS
- Strap baby to chest in sling. A Bumbaroo or a Beeble or any other weird sounding named or Scandinavian sling will do.
- Google “Macaron recipe easy fast”.
- Take 3 eggs out of the fridge. Change baby’s diaper. Try to plan this for when you’re sure it’s a #2 so it’ll take a few minutes.
- Measure out 1/4 c. white sugar, 1 2/3 c. powdered sugar, 1 c. finely ground almonds (buy Bob’s Mill Almond Meal and save yourself 20 minutes of grinding almonds. What new mom has time to ground and sift almonds let alone MAKE MACARONS?!?).
- Gather all supplies, lay parchment paper onto baking sheets, realize you are missing the cookie template, say f@#% it, you’ll have to eyeball them, there’s only a small window of baby cooperation here and that window is closing faster than you can say butter cream filling or goo goo ga ga, your choice.
- Crack eggs and separate whites. Toss yolks. Some people save yolks and do things with them, like some kind of super heroes. *Be careful not to get yolk OR baby saliva in the whites!
- Sanitize / wash hands 3-4 times, or more if you’re a BRAND new mom. Babies & raw eggs = bad mix. (You’re encouraged to eat salmon, DIScouraged to eat Salmonella.
- Set baby down because whipping egg whites while holding an infant is akin to shaking the baby, and you’re not supposed to do that. Dump white sugar into whites and beat those eggs but good. Use this as an excuse to take out any internal anger and de-stress. Think about your useless birth plan, friends who vanished, how much you miss martinis. Beat, beat, beat. When eggs turn the color of foremilk and the texture of yogurt, OR you’re crying, stop. Add “Buy an electric blender” to your never ending to do list.
- Oh, shit–Did you preheat the oven to 285 – 300? Do that now!!
- Sift almonds and powdered sugar into a bowl. Toss any little lumps aside. You’re a mom now.
- Fold almond / sugar mixture into whites the way you fold laundry — like it’s your new job. Fold quickly – 30 strokes with a rubber spatula. No, this is not a chapter in 50 Shades of Grayish or whatever it’s called.
- Dump the batter into a piping bag, or for us normal folks who don’t have access to a french patisserie, plop it into a sandwich bag and cut the corner off for an instant piping bag. Pipe onto cookie sheet covered in parchment paper in fast half dollar sized dollops. Some say use a silicone mat on a cookie sheet, but what is this, House Beautiful? Who the hell has a silicone mat kicking around? Pipe faster, the baby is whining from his play mat where you *might* have left him just a few minutes too long and you have about 30 seconds before it escalates into a full blown howl.
- Breast feed or give baby a bottle while cookies set for a bit, uncooked on the tray. This is apparently an important step. Some say let them sit the length of lap sit story time at the library, others suggest a good long cry in the shower.
- Place the cookies, one sheet at a time in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes each.
- You know the macarons are done when the baby is asleep, or after about 10 minutes, and every dish in the kitchen is dirty.
Enjoy! If you try the recipe, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below, or tweet pics at me @JessicaDelfino. For filling, by the way, a classic buttercream works, and easy stuff too, like peanut butter and jelly. You know. Like the sandwich you’re going to get really good at making with your eyes closed in a few years.