Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine’s Macaroons & Cake Pops!

Happy Valentines Day everyone. As promised on Friday I had a busy weekend in the kitchen baking up a hodge-podge of goodies. The first up to bat was Valentine Macaroons!

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Oh Martha! How your “Holiday Cookie” magazine suckered me in! Back in December I was super excited to purchase Martha’s 2010 Holiday cookie edition magazine as it is filled with all kinds of goodies! Goodies such as the above Macaroons!

holiday cookies

As always I slightly tweaked the recipe to make it my own, but the overall ratios are within the same guidelines as I didn’t want to screw up the consistency. My rendition of the recipe is at the bottom! Martha’s is in her magazine!

It all starts off with eggs whites, food coloring, fine ground sugar, and a dash of Cream of Tartar!

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Starting with the egg whites alone whisk on high until soft peaks form and the add your fine sugar. Work them up into stiff peaks (8-10 minutes).

Then go ahead and fold in your flour and confectioner’s sugar (and the cocoa powder if you’re making the chocolate ones!)

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Now for the fun part! Piping out the batter!… Now listen closely, I have several tips that Martha forgot to mention!

  1. When squeezing the batter out, keep the tip of the piping bag still & at the same height (do not pull up while squeezing) the height (believe me) will take care of itself in the oven!
  2. Do not try to circle around with the tip, instead keep a continuous pressure on the bag while allowing the circle grow to the desired width.
  3. Let off on the pressure/squeeze once at desired size and then swipe tip gently across and down the side of the macaroon.

The Right Way

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The Wrong Way

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The Swipe…
 
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Then we bake!

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…“Holy CRAP they’re huge!”
 
Yeah, these puppies are going to more than double their size in height! They do not seem to spread however, and this is a good thing, otherwise we would have been looking at a giant pink mess!
 
Round 2! The Chocolate Macaroons!
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Much better! I made this batch about the same size as a quarter; same height and width! Now I fill, decorate, and plate!

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The Chocolate Macaroons:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
4tbsp Milk Chocolate coco powder
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
3 to 4 drops gel-paste food coloring, in Teddy Bear Brown
1/2 Homemade simple white icing (You can easily use canned icing)

 

The Pink Macaroons:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
3 to 4 drops gel-paste food coloring, in Rose Pink

 

The Macaroon Madness all happened on Saturday, Sunday was a day for Cake Pops! I’m not sure if you’ve been following this current craze, but “Cake Pops” have really become the “New Cupcake”! (Yes, this does make me a little sad. But I’ve been making cupcakes since my 1st birthday and that’s not gonna change.)

However, I am well aware that these little bites of goodness are indeed very charming and catchy, and therefore it would be in my best interest to “get familiar” with them! So, I bought the book, “Cake Pops”.

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After many frustrating moments, I finally had some success! As much as I LOVE this book, I truly love the book for the ideas and guidelines, not so much the user friendliness of it all. I understand there are only so many hints and tips a writer can include, and I also understand that it really takes practice to get “good” at these little pops, but reeeeeally? If I wasn’t so determined to make these and make many of them efficiently, I would have quit hours beforehand!

So what I’m going to do is post the pictures of along my weekend’s Cake Pop journey, and then in maybe a month or so after I have re-visited them and experimented with different products, I’m going to do a more in depth post on the “how to”. I would like to think a mom or babysitter should be able to set up a sort “station” and have a blast making these with kids, or spend the afternoon creating an army of Cake Pops as a “take home treat” for their child’s upcoming birthday party, etc. But that sure ain’t happening right now. So for now, I’m just posting pictures.

Here goes:

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And there you have it. Sorry to leave you hanging on my thoughts on how to make these in a much easier process, but I’m still ironing out some kinks!

Other than that, I made Blueberry Muffins for breakfast in bed for the Boss.  That post is for another day as it is so good it needs a post of it’s own!  Also, I had to train.. you know the thing that allows me to keep sampling these bakery treats on a daily basis? Big news coming on that front as well!

Happy Valentines Day, I hope you got what you came for… a little sweetness!

2 comments:

Christi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Happy Valentines Day!

Misty Stahr Boyd said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow, you have been baking up a storm. I love all of the photos that you take. What kind of camera do you have? Lets get together soon :)

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