Tag Archives: macarons

Macarons: Success

After the last attempt I decided to try a recipe that actually included the measures of ingredients in cups, as I don’t have a kitchen scale, and this time it worked out (for the most part, a few of the shells were still hollow so I’m in the process of perfecting it.) But I decided to do a post on the recipe, in the hopes that it will show how I’ve corrected from what I did last time. I made the same nutella-chocolate filling as last time, so if you’d like to see that click here. This time I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the cookies, although I altered the cooking time/temperature a little due to paranoia that I would burn them. This makes about 10 macarons (20 halves.)

Ingredients:

1.25 cups plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 cup (4 oz) almond flour
6 Tablespoons egg whites (3 large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (although honestly how long does an oven take to heat up, I don’t think it’s necessary to do this as the very first step, considering how long it takes to whisk the egg whites, I think it’s a waste of electricity, just keep it in mind for a later.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour and powdered sugar.

apart

 

together

 

3. Separate your egg whites into another bowl. Whisk until frothy/foamy. This time I was very careful not to get any yolk in here…

egg whites

 

4. Gradually add your granulated sugar while whisking (so much easier with an electric mixer than by hand) and continue whisking until the white mixture forms stiff peaks.

peaking

 

5. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into your meringue until fully incorporated.

folded

 

6. Pipe your batter onto  parchment paper/wax paper or a Silpat on a cookie sheet. Make evenly spaced, similar-sized circles. Lift the cookie sheet and drop it lightly a few times after you’re done piping, in order to spread and remove air bubbles from the batter. This makes about 20 cookies halves, or 10 macarons.

allow to rest

 

7. Allow to rest about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is no longer sticky/shiny and a skin forms over the tops. Then bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Check cookies every 3 minutes after that point. They are done when the top is hard and the bottom slides against the baking surface and removes easily (though you may need a spatula to remove them, still.)

baked them

 

they're cute

 

they're cute

 

8. Pipe/spoon in your desired filling and sandwich it up!

finished cookie

 

enjoy

 

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa

Advertisements

Tallahassee: Au Péché Mignon and the farmers market

Recently I looked at my bookmarks on Yelp. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Yelp lets you bookmark places that you want to try and organizes them into lists for you by category. I looked at all the places I wanted to try around Tallahassee and found there were almost 80! A few I had already tried and hadn’t taken off my list yet, so I reviewed them and deleted them and I’m left with about 75. I don’t know if I’ll get to them all, but I did cross one off my list today!

Today I went to Market Square in Tallahassee and tried Au Peche Mignon, the local French bakery. It was amazing! I didn’t think that macarons existed in Tallahassee, but I was wrong. Today I tried three of them and one amazing almond chocolate. The bakery is conveniently located next to the farmers market (on Saturdays.)

First, the market. I was happy to see it was here, I’d never been in this area on a Saturday before and it was really quite cute. There were lots of fruits and vegetables for sale and a man playing guitar. It was pretty lively but I had no trouble parking, which made me happy. It probably helped that it was a gorgeous, sunny day.

farmers market

food!

After I walked around the market I headed over to the pastry shop.

au peche mignon

So I had a look around.

macarons omg

pastries and cakes omg

more pastries and cakes omg

chocolates omg

sign and more pastries! and cheese!

I ended up with 3 macarons (which I’ll get to in a moment) and a delicious almondine chocolate. The macarons come in this adorable bag (which they actually seal at the top for freshness, which is such a nice touch.)

cute bag

macarons!

I got these flavors, from left and around clockwise(in picture 2): strawberry jam-filled,  hazelnut with kirsch buttercream & nutella. I liked them all, but the strawberry jam one was the most perfect and delicious. The nutella one was great but the shell was a little hollow, and the hazelnut one was the perfect consistency but I should’ve paid more attention and gotten the chocolate-filled hazelnut, because Kirsch is a type of brandy and I was confused as to why the macaron tasted a bit like alcohol. However, if you like that sort of thing, it had a great texture, brandy’s just not my thing. I’ll definitely try more macarons there in the future!

Next, the chocolate. I’m not sure any of my pictures captured the true beauty of this chocolate! I got the “almondine” chocolate, which is described as: “a whole caramelized almond and ganache covered in dark chocolate” and I could pretty much eat these all day every day and not get enough.

could it be in here?

so good

In summary, amazing. I recommend. If you live around the area you must go, and if you visit, you must go. I’m excited to return in the future and I really want to try their baguettes!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Macarons at Fresh Flours & Golden Gardens (Beach) Park

mushrooms! delightful

Ever-searching on our quest for macarons, my mom and I stopped by a bakery in Ballard called Fresh Flours. They had many delicious-looking baked goods.

assorted baked goods

 

more goods

 

the macarons! 6 flavors

 

the menu overhead

 

christmas goods 50% off

 

Don’t be alarmed by the Christmas sweets, it was much closer to Christmas when this visit occurred/pictures were taken so these were not super old cookies. They were still fresh and delicious, they had just not been sold yet.

We brought along a box of 5 to Golden Gardens and ate them there on a bench.

macaron box

Speaking of Golden Gardens, it was lovely! I’d only been here once before in the summer, and while I do prefer it then, it was not horribly cold and was still pretty to walk along near the end of December.

so many seagulls

 

boat

 

beach

 

So many footprints in the sand! This is a popular spot.

 

sand!

 

sunshine-y day

 

trees and beach

 

sometimes there are seals

 

This little bench area was pretty cute.

 

artwork by children

 

seahorses

 

other creatures

 

 

 

docks of boats

 

strip of rocks

 

the beach from the pier

 

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Lunch in West Seattle and the quest for macarons

My mom and I headed off to West Seattle so I could get my hair cut. I was very happy because I only do that about twice a year when my hair gets a bit thick and unmanageable. After that we decided to walk around a bit and stop in some shops, and we also had lunch. I really wanted to go to my favorite West Seattle bakery, Bakery Nouveau, but they were closed. It was the day after Christmas and they had given their employees the day off but I was heartbroken, until Trader Joe’s saved the day More on that after lunch.

We went to a place called Azuma Sushi and both ordered off the lunch menu.

AZUMA SUSHI

culture

It was very cute inside and although we didn’t order sushi per se, the sushi that the other people around us had looked great. Both our meals came with miso soup, though I saw no reason to photograph that. It was what you’d expect from sushi restaurant miso soup. Pretty good.

I got the chicken teriyaki lunch, though ordered it without the salad.

chicken teriyaki and rice

My mom ordered the chicken katsu bento & tempura bento box.

20121231-185041.jpg

Both our meals were good and not too filing, which is what I expect from a sushi shop lunch.

Anyway, all the bakeries we called were closed and I was disappointed to learn that no macaron-carrying bakeries around us seemed to be open, so we desperately decided to visit Trader Joe’s to pick up some almond flour in a desperate attempt to make our own. Not finding any almond flour, it was a happy coincidence that we stumbled upon some frozen French mazarons of the Trader Joe’s brand. My only complaint is that they were peppermint flavored, but I could never stay mad at that store. If you do a quick search you’ll find plenty of bloggers talking about them, but they were new to me. You put them out for half an hour to defrost and they are supposed to be ready to eat. For frozen macarons, of a flavor that’s not my favorite, I still really enjoyed them and would recommend them if you’ve got a TJ nearby and can’t get or make fresh ones. They’re very cute and I think they’d be great for a party. Keep in mind that they’re pretty tiny, but priced well as far as macarons go.

little macarons

so pepperminty and perfect

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure days 3&4: Disney World, a diner, and the rest

We woke up early(ish) Sunday morning to get ready for Disney World. I’ve been to Disneyland, but never Disney World and I was pretty excited. I felt lucky to live in a place at least semi-close to such a popular tourist destination, if not in the actual BIG CITY. We stopped to get ready in the morning by picking up some Subway sandwiches, snacks and smart water from Target, and we were on our way!

Disney cast spotting (Johnny Depp impersonator/Jack Sparrow, making some great faces):

And of course, Aladdin and Jasmine (making great faces as well):

I had also not been on the It’s A Small World ride. What I learned from the ride:

Goats are all around the world.

Owls are universally adorable.

And lastly, I’ll close the Disney World section with the iconic castle:

The next morning, we started out with breakfast at 5 & Diner. I had the breakfast sandwich on an English muffin and HOME FRIES. SO good. I have been absolutely in love with home fries since having them at a continental breakfast in a hotel on my road trip. These were even better, of course.

We went out to walk around Orlando again after breakfast, and ended up eating at a Latin place downtown where a lot of business people tend to eat lunch, called Latin Square Cuisine. I had the pulled pork plate with a side of yellow rice and red beans. I wanted to try the potatoes as my side, but they had run out! It was a very popular place.

The pork was really tender and garlicky, and you can tell you get SO MUCH of your side choices. They were good too but there was no way I was going to finish all that. It’s a very good value and a quick place to stop for lunch.

Lastly, we stopped at Whole Foods before heading back to the house (and me having to make the long drive home) and I picked up some more macarons. I don’t have a Whole Foods in my area, and I was excited to try them. Normally I wouldn’t buy so many, but they were pre-packaged and so worth it.

The rosy-colored one is raspberry and pretty much that and the green one (though I can’t place its flavor) are my favorites. If you have a Whole Foods near you and like macarons or just want to give them a try, pick some up. 🙂

This concludes my Orlando mini-vacation recap. Hope you enjoyed. Did you go anywhere over the 3 day weekend? I was glad I could get out of town for a while.

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure Day One: 4 Rivers and French macarons

I went to Orlando over Veteran’s Day weekend to visit a friend and we went out to eat a couple of times and to Disneyworld, among other things. I’ll tell you about a couple of them below. 🙂

I think I’ll split these posts up  a bit to keep it to a readable level.

On Friday, after I arrived, we went to 4 Rivers Smokehouse and had some delicious piles of meat, accompanied by bread.

I opted for the Brisket Sandwich and my two sides, BBQ beans and bread pudding.

We also took a look at the Sweet Shop in the back of 4 Rivers, and it turns out that they carry a dorito and mountain dew cupcake, but none of us wanted to try it that badly. That’s the green/orange one on the top tier below, surrounded by much more normal options.

That night we also headed to the Wine Bar, which was a fun experience and reaffirmed in my mind that my favorite type of wine is an Italian Moscato. Hope I got that right. I didn’t try any red wines, because that’s not generally what I like.

That night we also walked around Park Avenue (where the wine bar was located) and stopped at Le Macaron.

I picked out 2 delicious macarons (which I didn’t end up eating till Saturday night, but they were still very good.)

 

After that, we went out to visit Universal CityWalk (not sure about the spacing there) and to Dave & Buster’s. It was my first time there and it was really fun! I won a bunch of tickets on the Wheel of Fortune game (which I thought I didn’t get to keep unless I solved the puzzle but I GOT THEM ALL ANYWAY.)

We also spotted this Doodle Jump game, which I was happy to see because I love playing it on my phone. We ended up leaving with a pint glass and a stick of candy each.

Next, I’ll post everything about day 2 (and may combine day 3, depends on how many pictures I decide to keep in there.)  🙂

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa