I’m not going to sugarcoat this: macarons are finicky little beasts.
Out of the various times (read: 5 or more) I’ve tried to make them, all batches have failed to some degree.
Sorry to say, the batch pictured was somewhat of a failure too. I admit I’m sort of deceiving you with these pictures.
This batch wasn’t a disaster by any means and the macarons tasted delicious, formed adorable ‘feet’ and had a perfectly soft/chewy texture combo, but the other 3/4 of the batch had cracks.
I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t let the macarons rest long enough before baking them, given the last ones in the oven had the fewest cracks. Lesson learned.
From my many attempts at macaron making, I can give the following tips with confidence:
- Let the macarons rest!
- Weigh the ingredients. For a while I didn’t have a scale and thought measuring in cups would work just as well. It doesn’t.
- Let the macarons cool before filling. The last thing you want is to ruin a perfectly good beautiful batch of macarons with runny filling — I know from personal experience.
- If the macarons stick, wipe a damp cloth on the bottom side of the parchment. (Works best if they are still warm.)
- Don’t over or under fold the batter. Over folding can cause excessive spreading, and under folding can lead to bumpy macarons. (I wasn’t lying when I said macarons are finicky.)
- If you succeed on your first try, gold star for you (and please, send some of your skills to me!). If you don’t, try again.
- 150 grams powdered sugar
- 110 grams almond meal
- 10 grams dutch processed cocoa powder (~2 tbs)
- 100 grams egg whites
- 50 grams sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift together the powdered sugar, almond meal, and cocoa.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually adding the sugar. Stir in the vanilla,
- Fold the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites until no streaks remain.
- Pipe or scoop the batter onto 3 parchment paper lined baking trays. Allow to rest for at least an hour and a half.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 16 minutes. If the macarons stick to the parchment, wipe the bottom side of the parchment (below the macarons) with a damp cloth. This should loosen them and make them easier to remove.
- Fill with ganache.
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a saucepan, heat the chocolate and heavy whipping cream until a smooth chocolate mixture forms.
- Cool until spreadable.
On a side note, I’m interested in posting more dinner recipes! For some reason, I’m feeling quite sugared out. Lately I’ve been cooking my own meals (or having my mom order takeout), so there’s a bunch I can potentially share!
I’ve never really liked peanut butter. Peanut butter is just so rich and sticky, and only really tastes good when paired with lots and lots of jelly and bread. However, these cookies are crumbly and buttery and just taste so good. They remind me of peanut shortbread.
I originally intended for this post to go with “Alphabet Around the World,” but these were too good to wait until the letter “M”. They’re cute bite-sized treats — perfect for a tea party or the like.
Malawai Peanut Balls
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1 cup flour
- Powdered Sugar
- Chop the roasted peanuts into fine pieces. (I think a food processor might work for this, however be careful not to over-process, or you will end up with peanut butter.)
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Stir in the vanilla, salt, and crushed peanuts.
- Stir in the flour.
- Divide into 2 tablespoon sized portions (easiest with a small ice cream scooper) and roll into balls.
- Bake at 350, for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While they are hot, roll in powdered sugar.
- Place on a rack and allow to cool completely.
- If desired, roll in powdered sugar again.
I’ve made countless versions of chocolate chip cookies: some calling for bread flour, others for egg yolks, some even for vanilla beans and brown butter and the like, but I’ve found, when it comes down to it, simplicity is best.
These cookies are good. They’re not too thin, not too thick, not too crispy, not too soft. They’re not the most extravagant cookies - they’re far from it - but they’re buttery and chocolatey, and sometimes simplicity is best.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe adapted from here.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 bag (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- In another bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract.
- Fold in the dry ingredients until there are no streaks of flour. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour (or just skip this step - most of the time i do)
- Divide the dough into 2 tablespoons sized portions, and then bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Bake for shorter or more time depending on personal preferences. :)
This week I was looking up recipes to make as a post-finals celebration and I stumbled upon this recipe for funfetti cookies. Even though chocolate cake is my ultimate favorite (you can beat chocolate, really), I’ve always loved funfetti cakes. Funfetti specked foods are just so pretty, and of course, delicious. But mostly pretty.
Anyways I decided to make the cookies, and figured that I could make an extra large batch and give some to my teachers as a ‘thanks for putting up with me the whole year’ sort of deal. So I did. Wednesday. At midnight. (time management isn’t one of my strongpoints, obviously)
I was making the dough - had nearly finished making it actually - when I realized that I didn’t have any sprinkles. Since funfetti cookies without sprinkles are a no-go, I figured that I could just roll them in cinnamon sugar and call them snickerdoodles. Surprisingly, it worked out really well!
These cookies straight out of the ovens were just pillows of warm, soft, cookie goodness. Once they cooled they assumed a more traditional soft, chewy center, crisp edges cookie texture, but that was perfectly delicious as well. The recipe was really simple, and the results were delicious. Try it~
P.S. I’m thinking about incorporating some gifs into my posts. They’re fun to make and way cooler to look at that traditional pictures.
adapted from here
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cups cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Cream the butter and 1 1/4 cups of sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and two extracts.
- In another large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones until no streaks of flour are visible.
- Using an ice cream scooper (or just by eyeballing it), make 1/4 cup sized balls of dough.
- In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, and the cinnamon.
- Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture, and place on a greased baking sheet.
- Bake for about 13 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the edges are light golden brown.
- Let cool on a baking rack for several minutes (or be like me and just burn your tongue), and then enjoy with plenty of milk!
I have this idea in my head, an idea which I’ve been considering for the past few weeks. Since one of my New Year resolutions was to, I quote: “Bake different styles of food!,” I’ve obviously got to follow through on that!
To accomplish this resolution, my idea is: Desserts Around the World-alphabet style
Basically, every two weeks I will post a new recipe that originates from a foreign country. Simple enough right? The only other criteria is that there are going to be a total of 26 recipes, and each recipe name will begin with a letter in the alphabet.
To start myself off, here’s a recipe for Apple Pie Cookies, with the country being AMURICAAA.
These are essentially cinnamon oatmeal cookies, with an apple pie filling and a simple icing on top. The cookies have almost a biscuity texture, which really enhances the idea of an apple pie. These cookies are made for eating with a glass of milk (I’d even go as far as to say glasses of milk are made for drinking with these cookies), and if you’re aiming for a totally vegan dessert, a glass of soymilk is perfect too. Eat these cookies to celebrate the United States- a mess of a country, but one built on honest ideals.
Apple Pie Cookies
For the cookies:
- 1/2 cup butter (I used vegan butter)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup flour (reduce to 3/4 cup for a less biscuity cookie)
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Whisk in the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oatmeal, flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and stir until a dough forms. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Take 1/4 cup size balls of dough, and form into round disks on a baking sheet. Make an indent in the middle of each disk as a bowl for the apple filling.
For the apple filling:
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbs butter
- Melt the butter in the pan, and add the brown sugar. Heat until bubbling.
- Add the apples, and cook until they begin to soften. Reduce the heat and keep cooking until the apples caramelize and the filling is deep golden brown. Cook less for a more gooey filling (in my cookies, I cooked the filling until very golden brown, and it was almost like a chewy apple caramel in the final product). Divide the filling among the cookies.
- Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until they are a light golden color. Cool completely before adding the glaze.
For the icing:
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tiny splash vanilla
- milk (or soy milk)
- In a plastic bag combine the powder sugar and vanilla.
- Add a tiny splash of milk, and squish the bag until a homogenous icing forms. If needed, add another tiny splash of milk.
- Cut a corner off of the bag and pipe the icing onto the cookies.
- Allow the icing to harden, then enjoy the cookies with a glass of milk.