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Floridians and snow birds all know to the core that South Florida is... humid. Things get drenched in sweat and dew in no time.

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In college, I was introduced to the French Macaron and of course fell in love.

I had only seen coconut macaroons prior to. There was this artist named Janda that I looked up to in college. And one day she posted about how she was finally attempting to bake french macarons for the first time. But soon after, she had mentioned she was having trouble with developing the "feet." The feet are basically the little bubbly bottom crust to a macaron cookie. The way to know if  someone has succeeded in making a macaron is determined by the feet.

Ever since then, I had it in my head that it must be hella hard to make macarons. But I was too busy, and frankly poor, in college so I didn’t even get to try one until later on. My first job in video production was filming live events, and that is when I finally got to try one. They are so frikin good it is insane. There are all sorts of flavors and some have additional jelly in the middle, ugh - so good. At these events I started to dream and created a life goal that I was going to try real french macarons from France, and then learn how to make them myself back home in Florida! Cue the photos from my trip to France and visiting Ladurée!

Fast forward a couple years and I finally made them! Took quite a few tries though lol!

Apparently, South Florida is the worst place to bake french macarons because of the heat and humidity. Recipes you find on the internet just don’t work on their own. There needs to be some finesse, additional thought, and experimentation.

So I did my best to understand the base recipe and what could cause issues in the process. What made it difficult to get the feet? How to create the texture for not only the cookie but the filling?

The hardest part for me is the meringue. For basic obvious reasons, number one - because I am a newb, and two - because you can’t just use cheap instruments to make meringue. I tried... and it is soooo hard. And it ended up being a waste of time and ingredients. Macarons take a lot of ingredients lol. At least a lot to me. So leggo! Let me give you my tips and tricks for making a french macaron in sunny South Florida.

Tip #1

Turn down your ac as low as possible from the moment you wake up to help start cooling down your house. People that don’t live in Florida are probably like "Whaaaaaat? How cold does it need to be?"

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Well, it doesn’t need to be that cold to the average person lol but our houses are hotter all the time in Florida. The room temperature is too hot here for normal recipes. And we all are trying to save on energy bills and don’t lower the temperature too low because air conditioners end up breaking a lot here. Anywho, rant over lol. So yes, please turn down your ac to what you know to be the safest lowest temperature for your home. Right away. For me, it is 68 degrees. Pull out the cozy blankets you use for the holidays! Lol You probably won’t get to that temperature in the actual kitchen cause the oven makes that room hot. But ironically, everyone else in the house will be turning to ice because they are not used to the house being so cold in the middle of the day.

Tip #2

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Pull your eggs out of the fridge at least 30 mins before instead of hours before. You don't want them out too long because our room temperature is hotter than average. From my experience, the longer they are out, it actually makes it harder to meringue.

I recommend using an electric hand mixer that has an actual whisk attachment. I thought this cheap stand mixer would be fine cause c’mon it’s a stand mixer. But nope, it doesn't have an actual whisk attachment and it doesn't fully get all of the meringue in the bowl mixed.

Tip #3

Create good air circulation.

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Macarons need to settle before and after baking the cookies themselves. So when it gets hot and humid, the air feels stagnant at times. Sometimes all you need is a ceiling fan and you are gucci. But, the kitchen I used had no fan anywhere nearby, so I brought out a box fan. Kept it on low facing the kitchen, with an ac vent angled towards it as well. This did the trick for good air flow. The general consensus seems to be to let the raw cookies settle till they are smooth and not sticky to touch. I waited for an hour and a half with the fan going and did not turn on the oven until they were ready. Make sure to keep them away from the oven while it is preheating. This can ruin it all. By the time the oven was ready I popped them in, baked for 14 minutes, and they came out perfect!!

Keep that ac going! You can have the fan off while it is cooking but once they finish baking, turn the fan back on! Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack away from the oven. Then, it is time to make the inside!

Tip #4

After the cookies are built with the filling, freeze your macarons for at least one night before consuming. Something about the overnight chill makes the flavors really all come together. It is best to use an air tight container or Tupperware. I cut up parchment paper for between the cookies (to keep them from touching) and added a few extra pieces on the top and bottom to help keep too much air touching around them.

Definitely keep them in the freezer till you are about to serve. It only takes 10-20 minutes in the Florida heat for it to start getting a little too warm for taste. After removing them from the refrigerator, make sure to pull them out of the container right away as well so that condensation does not have time to form in the container. This happens with the humidity and messes up the texture. I'm tellin' ya, SoFlo humidity ain't no joke.

Welp! There you have it! My tips and tricks for making french macarons in south florida! These may seem simple but they are actually serious. I failed in some way every time until I did each of these at once. Nothing is impossible, you just need patience! The same goes with pies... Will post about my first time making pies this past winter soon!

Here are the links to some of my baking tools for macarons!

Silicone Baking Mat Macaron Mat... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PJ26CGX?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

Love the look of these, but not too fond of hand washing all the time lol.

9 piece rainbow colored measuring... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y9GF3HT?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

This sifter is a necessity and imo it is the best tool for sifting. I have this exact one, but it does rust a tiny bit so it would be good to find one that won't. Make sure to get the right size.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Crank-Sifter/482768654

XO Starlight