Tag Archives: almonds

Chocolate Macarons

I finally attempted macarons again. While my first attempt wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t amazing either. And these cookies are quite intimidating. So much can go wrong. But when they turn out well, they taste amazing. This time I used a recipe from David Lebovitz, but still mostly used Tartelette’s technique.  And my second attempt went much better. Overall they looked better, the size was better, and they tasted better. They were just a wee bit lopsided. But they have feet and they puffed up. Oh, and they were lumpy. Yes, I made an incredibly dumb mistake and didn’t sift my almonds after processing them. Luckily, the lumps didn’t come across in the mouth, just in looks. This really is a cookie where practice makes perfect. The texture this time was much better. Very airy, a little crispy, and then the creamy center. What a great little cookie!

Chocolate Macarons with Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

Chocolate Macarons From David Lebovitz

Yield 15 cookies

  • 1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered almonds, sifted!
  • 3 TB (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg whites, room temp, 48 hours
  • 5 TB (65 gr) granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or silpat) and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready. Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor. Then sift!

3. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.

4. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. Should take about 50 strokes.  When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).

5. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart. I actually used a scoop this time and it worked well. The batter was thick and lumpy because I didn’t sift!

Some of them cracked on top and I’m not sure why….

6. Let rest at room temp for about 30 minutes so the shells can harden, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet. When cool, fill with strawberry cream cheese filling.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling, Adapted from Tartelette

  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temp
  • 3 TB strawberry jam or preserves

Stir to combine. Pipe onto half of macarons and top with the other half. Keep refrigerated.

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Granola Bars

I’ve been making granola for a couple of years now. It’s great to sprinkle on yogurt or just have as a snack. However, this was my first time making granola bars. I was browsing through an old Food & Wine Magazine and found a delicious  recipe for granola bars. However, I didn’t have everything in the ingredient list, nor did I want everything in the ingredient list. So I modified it and came out with a very addicting granola bar. It’s not perfect, in fact, they are a bit gooey, but for a first time making these, I’m in love!

Here’s a link to the original recipe, Sticky Oat and Pine Nut Bars

I like pine nuts, but they aren’t my favorite. And I love pepper, but just not in my sweets. I can’t seem to get into the pepper and sweet thing (though I love chocolate and chilis…). So I took both of those out and substituted almonds and cinnamon. Ah, that’s more like it! Oh, and instead of dipping the bars in white chocolate, I put the chocolate in the batter.

These are super easy to make, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool!

Almond & Cinnamon Granola bars

Modified slightly from Food & Wine Sticky Oat and Pine Nut Bars

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 oz white chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the honey and sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until an amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the white chocolate. It will melt. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until bubbling and brown on the edges.

It will smell absolutely intoxicating at this point, but you must resist the urge to remove the bars from the pan! They need to cool completely in order to have any hope of staying together. Mine were gooey, so I probably should have let them cool longer, but it was just about impossible! They smelled  so yummy! After they are cooled, lift parchment from pan and move bars to cutting board. Cut into whatever size you desire. I did pretty small squares since they are sweet.

I found these to be a great pre-running snack, but I think they’d be great just about anywhere. Just wrap a bar in parchment and away you go!

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