This past winter in Texas, I taught myself how to make French Macarons.

It’s been a challenging and rewarding journey.

Our daughter is getting married at the end of June and I offered to make these cookies as wedding favours for her guests. She was excited and thankful for the offer. I started the process as soon as we returned home from Texas.

They’re expecting 150 guests and each box will contain two macarons – one white and one coloured. Here’s the shade of white I’ve settled on (yes, there are many shades of white in macarons).

Because they’re a sandwich cookie, this means I have to bake 600 shells. The white ones will all have the same coconut fudge filling and the coloured ones will have different fillings to coordinate with their colour. Eg: The orange ones in my feature photo will have orange creamsicle ganache filling and the blue ones will have French buttercream blueberry filling. I have seven different colours besides white.

I’ve decided to bake and freeze all of the shells first, and then fill and refreeze them until it’s time for the wedding. I belong to three Macaron Facebook groups and have been advised by many in each group that this is exactly how they manage big orders.

After my last bake this morning and if all goes well, I’ll have completed the shells. Out of all batches so far (I bake 50 shells in one session), there have been only two bakes that resulted in less than wedding-worthy cookies. Hubs hasn’t complained, as these have become his.

Am I crazy for making this offer? … Maybe. Am I having fun doing it? … Absolutely! Retirement puts me in a good place in life to have the time and energy to even consider attempting something like this.

A wonderful plus (besides being happy to be able do this for our daughter) is that where I was once extremely intimidated by these cookies, I’m now very organized and confident with each bake. It’s hard to describe the feeling of satisfaction and triumph with each successful pan that comes out of the oven. I actually smile and cheer each time!

Photo Note: Where I usually add a vignette to food photos, I decided to leave these as shot. The feature photo was taken in natural light near a window. The photo of the white macarons was taken under my kitchen LED lighting, but surprisingly turned out very close to “as seen” so I left it alone as well.

“You don’t have to love cooking to cook, but you have to do more than love baking to bake. You have to bake out of love.”

Tom Junod