After the first batch was kind of a downer, I wanted to try again. I can't let a batch of cookies beat me! I did some research online about macarons, and the universal discussion is that they are hard to make. I'm one up on ya, Interweb - I already knew that! I found a site with a bunch of good tips, which I read carefully. Then, for some reason, I decided to try a different recipe the second time. This one called for totally different proportions of almond powder and powdered sugar, and the egg whites were whipped on their own (no granulated sugar). I tried hard to follow the tips I'd read regarding consistency and to be mindful of not overbeating or over folding.
The batter was a totally different consistency than the first batch. These were practically runny by comparison. They spread on the baking sheet, and during baking, a few of them even ran together. To complicate matters further, I baked the cookies on Silpats rather than parchment paper. Yeah, I know... no changing horses midstream.
Taste-wise, these scored well! However, the consistency was completely different. They were wide, flat, all cracked on the top, and chewy. They didn't come off the Silpat 100% cleanly. I sandwiched about 2/3 with leftover ganache, but when I ran out, I did a couple with Nutella (for Josh - I don't touch the nasty stuff) and the rest with seedless raspberry jam (yum!). They had the desired effect of the centers becoming deliciously chewy, but the whole cookie was chewy to start with, so perhaps that's not such a triumph.
I kept these (and even fed them to my parents), but I had to try again to see if I could get the consistency right. Next up: take 3.