One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever experienced in the world of pastry is when I go through the painstaking process of making macaron batter, lovingly pipe it into the most perfect circles I can muster, crank up the A/C in my apartment to give them the absolute best weather conditions for survival, then pop them into my oven only to find that almost every single shell on the tray has cracked.
It’s devastating. Utterly heartbreaking. And freaking expensive. Because all of those pricey ingredients have now been wasted and there’s nothing you can do about it, because no one wants to eat a cracked macaron.
That’s not what those are for! They’re supposed to be GORGEOUS before you pop them into your mouth. As the Romans once said, “We eat with our eyes first.” And that is especially true with macarons.
I guess there’s some comfort in knowing that these problems don’t just happen to me. There is a whole category on Reddit called “Macawrong” that I highly suggest you check out if you, too, sometimes struggle with macarons being completely uncooperative.
Each time I've had to toss a tray of macaron shells into the trash, I've gotten sick to my stomach and thought to myself, “there HAS to be something that I can do with these broken shells instead of wasting them.” I guess I’m still in that “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” mindset I’ve had for the last two months.
I brainstormed for weeks, but only had some lame ideas like using them as a cupcake topping, or trying to use them as a layer in parfaits or a trifle, but none of those options seemed quite right.
Then one evening as I was mindlessly scrolling through my phone, (i.e. avoiding all of my responsibilities), I stumbled across an absolute GENIUS who used all of her broken macaron shells in the Rice Krispies Treats® recipe, replacing the cereal with her mac shells.
I swear, in that moment a light bulb went off over my head!! (I also might have cried a little.)
So guess what kind of treat we’re all getting at my Memorial Day cookout?!? (To be totally honest, I have not come up with a fun title for these treats, so please send any clever suggestions you might think of.)
I only had a few broken shells, so I made a half batch of the recipe.
Also, my tip of the week for you is to chop your broken macs into more palatable sizes. I chose to cut my macs into 6 to 8 pieces.
Somehow the colors of broken macaron shells that I had stored in my freezer were very sea-themed, so I was thinking about calling these Ocean Snacks. But the more I look at them, the more they look like Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.
So maybe I’ll call them Monster Snacks (for this batch at least).
Happy Memorial Day, everyone! And happy eating, y’all!
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