French macarons—crisp, light, and delicate sandwich cookies with ganache filling—are the ne plus ultra of home baking. They’re fussy: the proportions of sugar, almond meal, and egg whites have to be just right, and you need to mix, pipe, and bake them in a way that loses as little of the air you’ve just beat into them as possible. This method calls for an Italian meringue: hot sugar syrup gradually beat into softly whipped egg whites. It creates a stable mixture, so the macarons are a little less tricky to make. The filling here is luscious and vanilla-scented. Feel free to add other elements and flavors, such as finely chopped nuts or chocolate—even dehydrated fruit—to create interesting flavor profiles.
While these celebratory macarons are momentous, you can enjoy them while chatting about 2015’s key Oscar moments or these 25 mind-blowing Oscar trivia facts. As long as you don’t pull any long-winded jokes that fall flat like Neil Patrick Harris did, you’ll find your own hosting skills are right up there with Ellen’s. She’s tops in these Oscar host rankings.
To make the ganache: