Conquering Fears and Pistachio French Macarons

There are a lot of things that scare me ...
like the dark for instance.
Or gory, freak me out so bad I'll have nightmares for a week movies!
Those huge, ugly spiders that come out once it's starts getting warm give me the heebie-jeebies, too.
You know what else I have been fearful of?
Making French Macarons!

I know what you're thinking ...
but, I've heard so many stories
about how difficult they are to make,
and {I guess} I didn't want to destroy my kitchen, just to fail.

Well, I conquered that fear last night!

I needed to bake.
I just had to get into the kitchen,
bake my heart out
and relieve some stress!!

So, I brought out the big guns:
And the Paris Pastry.

Between the four of us, I not only made French Macarons, I made delish French Macarons!

- with Pistachio Cream Cheese Filling

{Like I said earlier, I made these last night and the lighting in my kitchen is evidently horrible! So, although I took pictures for a tutorial, not a single one is worth even posting! I guess I'll just have to make them again! oh, darn!}

I do, however, want to share the recipe I used! :)  I took pieces from all 3 lady's recipes, but I followed closest to Martha Stewart's - mainly because I didn't have "aged egg whites." Her recipe can be found in Martha Stewart Living Magazine as well as on her website. I did make a cream cheese filling {rather than the traditional buttercream} by taking your standard vanilla bean cream cheese frosting recipe and adding crushed pistachios to it.

There were a lot of elements to these cookies that I had to pay close attention to, but honestly, they were not even nearly as hard as I thought they were going to be. And, they were yummy! {Even my husband loved them, and he is not a macaron fan!}

A few things I learned:

  1. Do not buy pistachios that are still in their shells!! I had to shell a cup of nuts, one by one!
  2. If you want to tint the cookies, you must add a lot more food coloring than I first thought - I added a good squeeze of lime green dye, but as you can see it didn't take!
  3. Be very careful when piping the batter - I made 12 cookies out of the amount of batter that should have made two dozen. They turned out huge - like whoopie pie big! :)
  4. Cream cheese filling is much better than buttercream!
  5. Homemade macarons are fabulous! And, totally worth destroying the kitchen for!
So, I conquered that fear! I definitely need more practice - the shells were a little thinner than I like ... and I look forward to trying other recipes and flavor combinations. When I find a recipe that works best, I will certainly share! Now, I guess I should work on not squealing like a 5 year old and running away terrified of those huge {really, they're gigantic!} spiders! 

Have a great week!