Thursday, December 31, 2009

Flavor of the Month... MACARONS!

It is no secret that I LOVE reading Bridget's blog Bake at 350.
After months of browsing through her Flavor of the month, I've decided to give it my own go.

This month, the flavor was Cookies (which is not truly a flavor, but I can overlook that because cookies are fun to make, and I am sure there will be an assortment of different types to browse).

Anyway, being the strange person I am, I decided to make Macarons. I think they are so beautiful, and so perfect, that to resist the opportunity would be foolish!

There was only one problem. I burnt the first batch! :( So we'll just ignore that, and move on to the successful batch.

So, these wonderful Macarons were flavored Chocolate Mint (For the season). The tops of the Macaons were put into a swirl pattern, which I then started to hate. The conventional flat-topped Macaron looked a lot nicer, and sat better together. Still these were cute too.

The Recipe:

1 1/4 cup icing/powered sugar
4oz almond flour
2 lg egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla

1. Trace 1inch circles on parchment, flip over

2. sift almond flour and icing sugar together. In a dry, clean bowl, whip eggs whites with salt until foamy. Increase speed, add sugar, extract and color. Whip to stiff peaks (should be firm and shiny).

3. With a rubber spatula, fold in the icing sugar mix until incorporated. Make sure to touch the mix only as much as needed to mix together. The mix should 'flow like magma' when ready.

4. Fill piping bag, then fill in 1inch traced circles on parchment. Tap baking sheet to remove air bubbles, then let dry at room temperature for 1/2 an hour.

5. Heat oven to 325 and bake for 8-11 min (depending on oven ).

6. Remove Macarons from oven and transfer parchment to cooling rack. When cool, slide Macarons off with pairing knife. Pipe filling (below).


These babies can be filled with all sorts of things. I like using Swiss Meringue found on Martha's webpage. Thanks Martha!

Now, go and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3 Feet of Snow and Counting down' the New Year!

New Years Eve is Tomorrow! This means it is time to party down!!!

I never like to attend a party without being prepared. So, off to the kitchen I go again. Rather than more conventional 2010 cookie, I decided to make these adorable snowmen and snowflakes (I may have been inflenced by the 3 feet of snow we got over the holiday).

These flood cookies are orange-ginger cookies, with orange flavored icing. YUM! I absolutely love the way they turned out!

Of course 'Big Blue' is my absolute favorite. The teal-blue snowflake is accented by classy black. So pretty! I honestly do not want to eat these snowflakes; they look too good to eat! These snowflakes are 5 inches each, so more than enough for any kiddies who may wish to take them on!
Finally, because we got 3 feet of snow here in the 'Fort, I made these wondrous Snowmen. Now that I'm ready to go, I will wish everyone a Happy New Year. All the best for 2010!

Simple Snowflakes

I am always getting requests from 'my kids' for different types of goodies. On Fridays, I like to give my class a chance to catch up on work, and to relax a little. So, for a little Christmas goodie, I made these 'simple snowflakes.' My kids were thrilled to see these snowflakes:

Upon seeing the snowflakes in the tin, one of my kids asked "are the little silver things edible?" That made me smile.
The cookies are a basic sugar cookie, with light-blue royal icing. For a little twinkle, and to add a little character to an otherwise simple cookie, I added the silver-sugar balls to the center. Now, who would not like a little 'festive cheer?'

Kahlua Cake Truffles for Christmas!

Christmas is a time for chocolate. This year, I actually had to give it up as a result of excessive baking. The bottom line: Be careful when you bake! Testing your product can be very dangerous!!!

Since my chocoholic brother-in-law can't get enough of the sweet stuff, I made him these Kahlua Cake Truffles. On the inside, sweet, melty-good Kahlua-chocolate cake, on the outside, soft, delicious chocolate.

Careful little brozer, you don't want to suffer my fate at the hands of happy deliciousness!