Top: a row of chocolate-loaded “bottoms” waiting for their “tops.
Bottom: The finished macarons. 

This is why I love macarons–because they are never the same twice!  I’ve had several brilliant (to me, anyway) insights over the last few days.

1. Don’t bake them on a silicone sheet.  Those tend to buckle and result in lop-sided macarons.
2. When you remove them from the parchment paper and they’re still warm, press in the center of the bottom of the cookie, creating a little “well” for the filling to nestle in.  🙂
3.  Chocolate-based fillings won’t spoil if you leave them out.  This makes it possible to MAIL MACARONS TO FRIENDS!  🙂   Yea!
4.  Gel and powder food colors work best, as the liquid ones can water things down. But I’ve been using liquid flavorings, and they’re not too watery.

Before baking. Aren’t they pretty? 

5.  You can make two-toned macarons by putting two piping bags (one color per bag) into a large bag with a tip.  See today’s photos to see what I mean.  (Divide batter in half; use 2 colors).
6.  I don’t like licorice, but anise tastes slightly like licorice (but better), and was really great in today’s offering.  🙂

These photos are of anise-flavored, black and white, chocolate filled macarons.   🙂

Fresh out of the oven. See those pretty feet? 

Three trays ready to be baked. They should sit for at least 30 minutes. 

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