Mini Macarons

I enjoy spring as much as the next person but I LOVE summer. The warm weather, the shorts, and swimsuits. Spending a lazy weekend hanging out by the pool…what’s not to love?!

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These guys were inspired by summer. I love the light teal color and I dipped them in some marbled royal icing to give them a fun twist, I added a few stars and ta da..they remind me of a summer sunset by the beach. Not to mention how adorably cute they are and how great they tasted…they are the perfect little ending to a meal! The only problem I had was forcing myself to slowly back out of the kitchen once they were done so I didn’t eat them all! IMG_0714Macarons can be a little finicky but with some practice, you can be making these little guys in no time! A few little tricks I have picked up along the way:

  • Make sure your eggs are room temperature! If you listen to nothing else I say, listen to this.
  • Sifting the powdered sugar and almond flour really helps.
  • Know when to stop mixing the egg whites and flour mixture. I actually googled a TON of videos about this…which I recommend you do as well! “Lava consistency” is not very descriptive but there really is no other term I could think of using.
  • Weigh out your ingredient when possible. Kitchen scales aren’t too expensive and it makes baking a lot easier and more consistent if you have one.

Mini Macarons

Yield: about 30 mini macarons or 12 large macarons

  • 65 grams almond flour
  • 65 grams powdered sugar
  • 50 grams egg whites ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 45 grams extra fine sugar-I used granulated sugar that I put in a Ninja and pulsed a few times.
  • GEL Colour of your choice (DO NOT use liquid color)
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone mat if available. If using parchment paper, you can create a stencil to trace onto your paper to get more consistent maracron sizes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F
  3. Sift almond flour and powdered sugar together and discard any large clumps remaining.
  4. Using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Once egg whites begin to foam, add cream of tartar.
  5. Continue whisking egg whites until they begin to leave a trail. Slowly add sugar and continue whisking until all the sugar has been dissolved. Once sugar has been dissolved, add color of choice if using, and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
  6. Once stiff peaks have forms, add 1/3 of almond flour mixture and FOLD into eggs. DO NOT USE WHISK!
  7. Add remaining flour mixture and fold into eggs until you have reached a lava consistency. ** I test this by holding my spatula up and seeing if i can form a figure 8 with the batter. Once you reach this point, STOP!
  8. With a wilton 12 tip attached to a piping bag, fill the bag with the batter and begin piping small circles onto your parchment paper.
  9. Once all macarons have been piped, rap the tray several times to get rid of any air bubbles.
  10. Allow the macarons to sit for about 30 minutes or until the tops look mat. You can test this by slowly touching the top of a macaron and if you do not leave a fingerprint, they are good to go.
  11. Place the cookie sheet into oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Once done, allow macaroons to COMPLETELY cool on the cookie sheet.
  12. Fill with whatever filling you want! In this case, I used a standard chocolate buttercream, but you can fill them with different flavor jams or ganache…the sky is the limit with these!

Recipe adapted from: Macaron Recipe

Summer Cupcakes

Pound cake cupcakes with lemon curd filling and a strawberry buttercream frosting…let that one sink in for a minute.

Drooling yet??

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I have been thinking about these cupcakes for weeks. I think there has been about 3 days since spring started where it hasn’t rained and it’s starting to make me miserable! These cupcakes are just the pick me up I needed. As I was assembling these, the sun came out!! It made me so happy, I may have done a secret happy dance in the kitchen when no one was looking.

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These dense cupcakes have a tangy filling and fluffy, sweet buttercream and screams summer to me. They are a bit of work and I did have my lemon curd separate but it was completely worth it.  As for the separated lemon curd, if you put it in a blender for a few seconds, its back to perfect! Both the strawberry puree and lemon curd can be made ahead of time.  I hope you love them as much as I do!


Summer Cupcakes

Yield: approximately 24 cupcakes

Lemon Curd:

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Zest lemons and add to a food processor.
  2. Add sugar and pulse until combined. In a blender with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Add lemon sugar and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes or until light and creamy.
  3. While on low speed, add eggs one at a time until combined. Then add lemon juice and salt until incorporated.
  4. Pour mixture into a sauce pan and SLOWLY heat until temperature reaches 170°F or until mixture begins to thicken. Let cool to room temperature then put into the refrigerator until cold.

NOTE: If the mixture begins to separate, blend mixture until homogeneous again.

Adapted from: Ina Garten 

Strawberry Frosting:

  • 2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1/2 pound butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 TBS whipping cream
  1. Cut the strawberries and puree until smooth.
  2. Transfer strawberry puree to a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring often, until puree is reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  3. Add butter and powdered sugar to mixer. Using a whisk attachment beat until combined.
  4. Add the strawberry puree and whipping cream and whisk until fluffy.

Adapted from: Allrecipes

Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 pound butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F and line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. With a paddle attachment, beat butter until light and creamy, approximately, 5 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and creamy, an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  4. Add flour to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and mix.
  5.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Transfer to cooling rack to cool.
  6. To assemble cupcakes: using a paring knife, core out the center of the cupcakes. Fill centers with lemon curd and frost using a wilton star tip.

Adapted from: MyRecipes

 

 

Celebration Cookies

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I believe that if you put sprinkles on or in anything, the day automatically becomes a celebration. Today, we celebrate Monday, because why not?!

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Today is cloudy and a little rainy, what better to make the day better than with some warm cookies? Warm, out of the oven, gooey cookies could probably fix any problem you have..or at least get you to forget them for a few blissful minutes.

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I love these cookies because they are simple and have an endless amount of variations. I added mini chocolate chips (because anything mini is adorable!) and a handful of sprinkles. If you are feeling crazy, I have a feeling these would be really good with some pretzels pieces in them. A little sweet and salty anyone? I baked these guys a little longer than most normal people because, to me, there is nothing better than a crunchy cookie. Feel free to go crazy and make them your own!


Celebration Cookies                                                                                                                               Yield: About 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Sift all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy and light. About 3-5 minutes
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing throughly between each addition.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture. Mix until incorporated and dough forms.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and sprinkles.
  7. Using a small ice cream scoop or teaspoon, drop cookies onto uncreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Adapted from Hersey’s Chocolate Chip recipe