The goal:

The process:


(Photo credit here)

Yup, that’s pretty much what I’ve been caught up with for the past few days in the mad rush to get our Christmas goodies and gifts ready before we leave on Friday. I’ve lost count of the number of macaron-baking sessions I’ve had since the third and fourth attempts, which means too many wrinkled/cracked/hardened-macaron-shell-wannabes have left my oven over the past month. Way too many to be funny. The good news is, I’ve gotten to know my oven better, its sweet and not-so-sweet spots. I’ve also gotten to know myself better, like discovering that I shouldn’t attempt to bake these cookies before my morning coffee. Never. Ever.

So it’s been one heck of a rollercoaster ride.

I hope to have this skill nailed down by Thursday, which might actually be a realistic goal. After learning how to recognize a batter that has been mixed “just right” (therefore avoiding Attempt #2’s prune-like appearance), baking at a lower temperature (hence avoiding Attempt #3) and the importance of letting your batter sit long enough to form a skin (which would banish Attempt #4 into history), the current batch of orange-flavored batter in the oven actually look like it might just be the perfect bookends to an Earl Grey-infused ganache waiting in the fridge. Keeping my fingers crossed here that I’ll have a batch to share with you soon. Until then, I’ll be hovering around the oven chanting “Feet! Feet! Feet!” like a mantra.