The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The way the cookie crumbles
future and has found a passion for baking. Photo by Emily Foley | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

The kitchen counters are covered with baking supplies. There are broken eggshells and empty food coloring bottles in the trash, as well as sugar scattered throughout the table and floors. Krista Colteaux is exhausted from trying what she thought would be fun, yet it has failed for the fifth time. Who knew it would be so difficult to make the ever-popular confectionary, a macaron?

Colteaux loves to cook, and as of recently has been dipping her hand into the mixing bowl of baked goods—literally. Everyone likes cookies and cupcakes, so she has been baking sweet treats for birthdays, events, and just to satisfy a craving.

It seems as though almost over-night, the macaron is at the top of everyone’s ‘to taste’ list. So she decided to give them a try. As any confectionary connoisseur would know, making a macaron is a feat in itself. But Colteaux’s desire guides her determination.

“The macaron has all of a sudden become so popular,” Colteaux says. “I would love to be able to just make them on demand, but it’s not as easy to make as a macaroon would be.”

A macaroon (mack-ah-roon) is a soft cookie made with egg white, sugar, shredded dried coconut, and often dipped in chocolate. The more sophisticated macaron

(mack-ah-rohn) is a meringue-based confectionary made with egg whites, sugar, ground almonds and food coloring. Its smooth, domed top and flat base characterizes the treat.

Colteaux, 22, is a City College student, majoring in recreation administration, with a concentration in commercial hospitality. She believes that one universal activity enjoyed by many is eating. Whether it’s a hearty home-cooked meal or a gourmet baked good, everyone bonds over food.

Colteaux started watching the Food Network and cooking channels when she was younger, and not long after, she started trying out recipes herself. Even back then, she would always try to put her own twist on whatever she created.

The macaron, however, is a completely different story. Colteaux just wants to be able to make it, plain and simple, and for it to come out how it’s supposed to. She is determined.

She grew up in Pleasanton, where she lived a quiet life with her parents and older sister, Jena. When Colteaux is not at school or studying, she spends a lot of time with her friends and family.

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One day, after realizing she was often spending money buying macarons, Krista decided to try baking them. It takes a minimum of 30 minutes prep time, and a short 10 minutes of actual cook time, yet the treat is not ready for at least 2 1/2 hours.

To create a successful batch of macarons, proper kitchen equipment is needed: silicon baking mat and a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.

First, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Next, beat in white sugar and continue until egg whites are the right consistency. Then, sift confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds in a separate bowl, and quickly fold the almond mixture into the egg whites.

The next step is to spoon a small amount of batter into a plastic bag with a small corner cut off and pipe a test disk of batter, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, onto a prepared baking sheet.

When the batter is mixed enough to flatten immediately into an even disk, spoon it into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet in rounds, leaving space between the disks. Let the piped cookies sit out until they form a hard skin on top, after about an hour. Then, and only then, are you ready to put them into the oven for the final step.

“I have seen Krista try to make macarons, and she is determined,” Colteaux’s good friend Corina Cost says. “She’s failed a few times, but I’m not one to complain considering I’m the friend that gets to eat these deformed macarons that actually still taste pretty good.”

Krista has yet to successfully make a batch of macarons. She describes how each batch failed because of something different. First, she didn’t have the proper equipment. Then her batter wasn’t the perfect consistency.  Another time, she rushed into the wrong step. The list goes on.

She quotes from one of her favorite movies, “Bruce Almighty” and laughs.

“And that’s the way the cookie crumbles,” she says.

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