Bob’s Red Mill Cooking Class – French Macarons

When you love cooking as much as I do, you can imagine I also enjoy a good cooking class from time-to-time. In fact, when we travel there is always at least 2-3 cooking classes on the agenda (or more if I can squeeze them in). I love to see other cook’s processes to create a recipe, their tips and tricks, and learn from their failures. Yes, we all have failures sometimes. 

Bob’s Red Mill has had cooking classes for years. Since it is primarily a grain manufacturing plant with a store and restaurant, the classes I’ve taken there before have been more “grain” focused. They are always enjoyable and I get a bit giddy in the store looking at all the beautiful packages of oatmeal, variety of flours (regular and gluten-free), cooking utensils (oh be still my heart), and I avoid at all cost the pastries, cookies and other tempting treats (most of the time). 

Today I was invited to join a good friend (thanks Kristi!) who told me about this Macaron class. This is a cookie I’ve never made and didn’t realize how complicated the process is. I was surprised to learn that there are two distinct ways to make them, the Italian method (which the instructor preferred), and the French method. Oh my, this cookie does require a bit of attention (no binge watching Handmaidens while preparing). As the instructor was pointing out the steps in preparation and what to watch out for, my eyes glassed over, and I’m thinking OMG I will probably make those same mistakes.

Italian cooks aren’t known for cooking in a precise manner. My grandmother couldn’t give me one of her recipes to save her life. It was always a pinch of this, a dash of that, or “oh just throw a few of those in” type of measurements. Now I have to be exact in creating these cookies? Well, I watched the instructor and took copious notes JUST in case I decided to try these at home. However, I did feel like I was in a commercial with a red flashing warning label “DON’T try this at home.”

The instructor, Katie Shyne did a fabulous job! She was so cute dressed in red – the signature color of Bob’s “RED” Mill. You can find more of her creations on her Pinterest page. 

For those of you who don’t know Bob, he is the founder of the mill, store, and restaurant. You can still see him from time-to-time hanging out at the store. What a character. His story Meet Bob. The great thing about Bob’s Red Mill products is that you can find them in stores across the country and online. In fact, you can find them around the world. When we were in South Korea we found Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal and a few other products at the Costco in Seoul. Shopping Costco in Seoul was an experience, but that’s a whole other blog. 

The instructor Katie Shyne. What a delight. I enjoyed her enthusiastic cooking methods and she wasn’t afraid to admit failures in the past. 

I learned some great techniques on piping the cookies and fillings. Worth attending just for those tips!

Peanut butter and jelly filling. One of my favorites of the three presented.

Check out this short video of the piping process. VIDEO

Hazelnut cookie with chocolate ganache filling, vanilla flavored cookie with peanut butter and jelly filling, and a Cammomile cookie with buttercream filling. 

A discussion ensued in class on the pronunciation of this cookie. These are not coconut macaroons (pronounced with “oooh” – mac-a-rooohhn), they are macarons (pronounced mac-a-raaahhn). Well, it must be a French thing. 😉 Here’s a cute short video on how to pronounce this cookie. MACARON.Taste tested them all (of course). The class was from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. so I declared this dinner!

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