Fellow bakers and macaron obsessed people!!!! This one is for you!
This summer I had the opportunity to go to NYC! I have to pinch myself every time I think about my time there because it was truly amazing! I was blessed enough to do so many amazing things from visiting the Museum of Natural History, seeing Wicked (OMG I could go on and on and on about how stunningly incredible that show was), and scouring the streets of NY for unique places and matcha; but out of all those great moments nothing can compare to my visit to THE Dana’s Bakery! For a whole morning to afternoon I got to live out one of my dreams and it was everything I could have ever imagined if not more! So want to hear all the details! Keep reading!
Did I plan a trip to NY just to visit Dana’s Bakery…well I wouldn’t put it quite like that, but the cards magically fell into place and before you know it my NYC trip was booked withTHE BEST POSSIBLE ADDITION: a class to learn how to make macs from the infamous and amazingly talented people at Dana’s Bakery! Let’s just say I cried when I got to book my class. I got to do it with my mom who has been so sweet when it comes to my macaron making (& consuming) obsession!
The class was about 2.5-3 hours in length and the whole time I was in this dream like state where I could not believe I was actually at Dana’s making macarons and learning great tips & tricks! Seriously the best day ever! Okay okay details! Dana’s Bakery Headquarters is actually located in S Hackensack, NJ. It is here where they produced all the macarons that get shipped out nationwide and to various businesses and associations! They also recently opened up a pop-up shop in the city where you can go in and buy macarons (we did not get to visit the pop-up shop but I mean I got to go to the BIG KAHUNA of their business so I was not upset in the least bit!)
Walking in I was immediately drawn to how cute of a space they have! They have cute
little seating chairs and a hallway of desks (to take care of the macaron needs of the world). Now because I am such a fan of the bakery and Dana herself, I have to admit that I creep and follow their social media accounts religiously. I mean it is a great day when Dana’s Bakery has an IG story. That being said, I got to actually be in the place that I have seen so much of via social media! Walking past the hallway of desks, I was ushered into the most amazing commercial bakery space ever! It was HUGE and set up for macaron success. It was so much to take in! I had never been into a commercial baking space before and it measured up BIG time. I got to meet Tiffani and Gia (huge fans of them). It took everything in me to not blurt out OH MY GOSH I see you on your social media and I can’t believe I get to meet you! It was such a pleasure to meet them and they are just as sweet and amazing as you see them on social media.
Of course I got to the bakery early, so my mom and I got to talk to Tiffani (I think this is how you spell her name, if not I am so sorry Tiffani!) and Gia for quite a bit. I sheepishly told her about Sarah & I’s macaron journey and she seemed interested. But let us be clearhere, I did not want to paint the picture like I was a macaron pro only to fail miserably in the class. The purpose was for me to truly nail the art of making macs (something that Sarah & I have attained only a couple of times throughout our mac journey) by learning from the pro’s and let me tell you, making macs is so much easier after having taken their class. Didn’t I tell you they were the best!
After talking our other classmates joined us (a group of best friends celebrating their friend for her birthday!) and we got to look at our supplies for the day. Recipes (that’s right I got Dana’s Bakery macaron recipes! I could not believe that I got to keep them!), an apron (was almost in tears at this point because the apron I got to keep), piping bags, flour and sugar, egg whites, whisk, gloves (again another great item to use when making macs) piping tip, scraper for folding (never again will I use a spatula to fold), mixing bowls, and a kitchen aid mixer.
After hearing about all our equipment in front of us and some tips and tricks when it comes to our equipment we got into the actual making of the macarons! My mom and I tagged teamed. We whipped up those egg whites until we got the perfect meringue and the folding lessons began. Folding with a scraper was new to me, but it was a lot easier than a spatula (at least for me). I finally got to learn what the heck a perfect ribbon should look like in your batter (praise the Lord for that) and before you know it we were choosing our food coloring option (so many great choices) and we were piping out our lovely macs! Piping is not my greatest skill, but Tiffani kept a close eye on me and I did better than I usually do (the three second counting thing really helps). Then we banged the heck out of the macarons, let them form a shell, and then popped them in the oven! I was like wow making macarons really isn’t that bad! They make it look so easy! But I mean they do this all day every day so…they are basically macaron gods and goddesses.
The overall experience there was AMAZING and I definitely recommend doing it! Seriously make it happen you will not regret it! Our macarons came out perfect! And they tasted delicious! We had so many we gave some to our Uber driver and found a way to bring them back to FL with us!
I don’t want to give away too many of their tips & tricks because I think the class is definitely worth taking and learning all those things from them, but I will share a few things that I learned from them:
- Visit their FB page and watch their live videos of Dana (yes Dana herself) teaching people how to make macs! I literally have watched that video at least 100 times! It is so helpful!
- Prepare in advance! Those egg whites need to be room temperature when making macarons. They age their egg whites there which means that you need to be thinking in advance. The feet in macarons comes from the egg whites so your macaron success all comes from the vital step in making sure your egg whites are prepped and ready to go. You cannot speed up this step. Time is your friend here.
- To keep parchment from moving around and seriously causing you the biggest headache ever-take a stick of butter and rub it around the edges and in the middle of the sheet pan before you put your parchment down. This will ensure the parchment will stay secure.
- Bang the heck out of those macarons before letting them form a skin (seriously all that pent up anger can be unleashed in this step).
- Take it easy, don’t stress yourself out too much, and have fun in the process!
- Go book a class or buy some macarons from Dana’s right now!
Peace, love, and baking,