At ID8 we love to hire staff who are eager to learn, determined, and creative. Our design assistant Kelly Blick, fits these standards to a "t". Kelly took a simple challenge to make macarons and started a hobby out of it! Read her full story below!

"Back when I was a year away from entering my thirties, I got this harebrained idea that I wanted to do 30 things that I had never done before. It was a way to kick off my next decade of life, having had this whole new collection of experiences. This mentality stuck with me as I have moved through these last few years, including returning to school, graduating and starting a new career path. Trying something that is either unexpected or out of the box has become my specialty!

It came as no surprise when my mom offered me a new challenge in August. Last summer, I enjoyed my first (of many!) macarons while I was interning in Minneapolis. That first bite was amazing and I was hooked! I wanted to share these delicious cookies with my family, so I went in search of finding them. It was at that point I found out how expensive they were to buy, how there were no bakeries within a 100-mile radius who made them, and how incredibly difficult they were to make. So when a major craving hit, my sister and I did what any other Xennials would do – we ordered them online!

I’m hoping you can guess where this is leading to…my mom’s challenge. She wanted me to figure out how to make macarons, both to save money from ordering them, but also so she and my sister could enjoy them too! As noted above, I’m not one to back down from a crazy hard opportunity so I agreed, even though one of the best bakers in my hometown wouldn’t touch trying to make them!

Just like when I was in school, I did my homework to soak up as much information online as I could on how to make them, watching YouTube videos on techniques, finding tricks of the trade, and searching for anything that would help me succeed. I compared recipes, found the one I liked best and felt as prepared as I could for my first test. I aged my egg whites, measured my dry ingredients and began my first time with the macaronage (FYI – mixing those two together to make the batter). I nervously piped my cookies out, waited a half hour to let them rest and popped them in the oven. I then sat on the kitchen floor and watched the inside of the oven for the next 20 minutes. I can’t even tell you all how overjoyed I was that I got good looking feet (the cute little ruffle on the base of the cookie)! After letting them cool, I made my white chocolate raspberry filling, added that to the center of the cookie and had my first ever batch of macarons made. Easy peasy!!!

Or so I thought...my second batch a week later tempered my glee in accomplishing what I assumed was a tough task. It was early September and the humidity was still very high, even inside the house. Lesson learned - macarons and humidity do not mix, and I got a good size batch of lemon pancake cookies! They still tasted amazing, but from that time on, I always check the thermostat before I start mixing up a batch!

It’s been about four months since my mom issued the challenge and I have experimented with all kinds of flavors – brownie batter, white chocolate blackberry, chocolate chip cookie dough, pineapple, spiced cider and more. Some were better tasting than others, but it’s still a macaron and it’s still amazing regardless! Each batch I make, I’m learning more about these deceptively simple looking cookies.

As the new decade is upon us, I’m considering a new challenge by having my own little home bakery, selling macarons to those who also want to enjoy these French beauties. I hope you also will find a new challenge for yourself as we begin 2020, because life is sweeter when we come across an experience we weren’t expecting to find."

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