one thing about living 1,500 miles from the closest ladurée is that a french macaron sighting is literally less common than an albino buffalo sighting.
so we compensate.
we put on the french café spotify radio, we wear stripes and invite the town french teacher, and we pile into my kitchen to beat egg whites to stiff peaks and pipe dozens of little macaron shells.
ok i'm saying this as if this is some sort of weird tradition that we do every month. we don't. yet. but! we did this past weekend for the first time and in the time that it would have taken us to ride the 6 train up lexington and then wait in line for ladurée (and take instagrams of our ladurée), we whipped up our batter, drank wine, made a sprinkle mess, and then ate macarons to the point of belly aches. well, really i got the belly ache, all of my friends are on wedding diets or whatever.
it was so fun!! i love a good chewy macaron.
want to have your own macaron party?? here are my tips!
make a batch of shells in advance. this isn't 100% necessary if you have mad macaron skills, but i recommend doing this to a) make sure that you have the recipe down (here's my recipe) and b) so that there are some extra shells to fill while the ones that you actually make at the party are baking.
sift the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture in advance. this process takes so long! it helps to do it in advance (or do most of it in advance and then demonstrate with the rest once guests arrive).
buttercream. make a big batch of plain buttercream in advance and then set out extracts, food coloring, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and other flavorings so that guests can make their own macaron fillings.
the setup. each guest should have a baking sheet with parchment (or you can have two guests to a baking sheet), one piping bag for the macaron batter, one piping bag for buttercream, a rubber spatula, a bowl for frosting, a plate for finished macarons, and a container for taking some home. also have some kitchen towels on hand, as well as decorations, like sprinkles!
don't forget the salty snacks and wine. salty snacks because all of that playing with buttercream will make you crave them. i served sea salted butter dipped radishes, mini quiche, and caramelized onion tarts. and wine, of course! i served kendall-jackson's grand reserve late harvest chardonnay. omg it is so good.
timeline. make the batter as soon as guests arrive, fill their piping bags, and get piping. since the macarons take a bit of time to sit/bake/cool, get this step out of the way and mingle/nosh/drink afterwards. at some point before the macarons come out of the oven, mix the buttercream and fill piping bags. assemble the macarons, decorate, and eat!