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Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Made French Macaroons!



I can't take all the credit for this one, I did have one great sous-chef! These were a lot harder to make then expected. The ingredients are simple, but everyone warned me that they are harder than they look. Now I know! It took a couple tries and there is still some perfecting to be done, but I have to say I am pretty darn happy with the results.

They are the perfect little cookie. Bite size, pretty, great as a gift, and you can color them and flavor them however you like. I chose rose flavored, pink, macaroons with a cinnamon butter creme center. Oh-so-delightful! Here is how you make them:

Ingredients:




Macaroon batter:

  • 2/3 cup ground almonds (or almond flour, which is what I used)
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 5 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rose water
Butter cream filling:
  • 7 tbs unsalted butter
  • 3 tbs water
  • 3 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Macaroon cookie:


  • Mix together the almond flour (or ground almonds) and powdered sugar (this is also where you would add the rose water)
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high until they are thick and foamy and create stiff peaks. Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites as you are beating them
  • Add vanilla and food coloring to above mixture
  • Once the meringue has a glossy texture, it is done
  • Stir in half of the flour mixture, folding from the bottom. Then add the second half and stir lightly. Be sure not to over mix this as you want to keep the consistency of the meringue!
  • Place the batter in a pastry bag and squeeze them onto a cookie sheet in little circles about an inch in diameter.
  • Let them dry out for 15-30 mins. You'll know they are ready to be baked if you can lightly touch the top of one and it does not stick to your finger.
  • Bake for 15 minutes (tip: Add a second baking sheet underneath so that the macaroons don't burn)
Butter cream:


  • Stir the water and sugar in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 2-3 minutes
  • Beat the above syrup mixture with an egg
  • Add the butter and mix at medium speed until it is creamy
  • Add cinnamon
Once the macaroons are done baking let them cool, add the butter cream center, and you are finito!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Streusel-Topped Muffins

I have a list of fancy pretty things I want to bake but I don't have any events or occasions to bake them for, how unfortunate. So I'm left with the more practical, useful, baked goods like muffins. I can get my baking fix and have breakfast for the next couple of days. Perfecto.

I bought a very heavy cookbook from Sur La Table and decided to make use of it with this muffin recipe. I just substituted the fruit and flour types to make em the way I want em ;)

Preheat oven to 400

Ingredients:

For the muffin:



  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (original recipe calls for white flour)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 2/3 cup milk (original recipe calls for buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen blueberries (equivalent of 6oz, fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Streusel topping:

Whisk together
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbs melted butter
Mix with a spoon and crumble over muffins before you put them in the oven

Directions:

  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl
  • In a small skillet, melt the butter with the lemon zest. Apparently it helps bring the flavor out of the zest
  • Turn off the heat and add the milk to the lemon butter mixture. Let cool.
  • Pour the butter mixture into a bowl, and mix with eggs and vanilla until well blended
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and mix in the wet ingredients
  • Fold in the berries and stir everything together
  • Pour batter into lined muffin tins. If you want the big fluffy muffin tops (who doesn't?), fill the tin/cupcake liners to the top!
  • Crumble 1 tbs of streusel atop each muffin
  • Bake for 18 minutes
Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Classic Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip



Nothing fancy about these guys, they're just tasty. I'm sure everyone has made an oatmeal cookie at some point in their life, but I'll post the recipe anyway.

Preheat oven to 350

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter (I used 1 stick butter and 1 stick margarine so they come out softer)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Directions:

  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla
  • Add eggs, and mix
  • Add oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
  • Mix all of it together, then add the raisins and chocolate
  • Add to a lined baking sheet by tablespoons and bake for 10-13 minutes
And there you go, cookies!