Chocolate Macaroons

Once you have the basic macaroon recipe mastered, it is time to venture into the depths of the macaroon flavor chest. I have a few original ideas for flavors, but we will save those for later.

This weekend, I decided to take a try at chocolate macaroons. I mean chocolate macaroons. Chocolate. Macaroons. LOL.

Here is my recipe:

 

Makes 36 cookies, 18 sandwiched macaroons

Ingredients:

ingredients

1 3/4 powdered sugar

1 cup almond flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

 

Chocolate Filling:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter, cubed at room temperature

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper.

2. Mix almond flour, cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar in small bowl . Sift mixture thru a fine-mesh sieve. Use a spatula to add in this process. (Yes, it takes a while). Discard whatever does not go thru the sieve.macaroon process

3. Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy. Gradually spoon in the sugar and increase mixer speed to medium high. Continue beating until the mixture is stiff and shiny. (Took me 10 minutes total)

choco macaroon 8

4. Carefully fold in the almond flour and sugar mixture into the stiff egg whites. DO NOT STIR. Fold gently together; you want as much air as possible to remain in the egg.

macaroon process

5. Continue to fold until the mixture is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin, flat ribbon.macaroon process

6. Prepare a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch round tip (Wilton #12) and fill with batter. Pipe out the cookies on the baking sheet.

macaroon process

7. Let the cookies set for 15 to 60 minutes. The cookies should no longer be sticky… this means they are ready! It is imperative to wait until the cookie is ready… or else you will get cracked macaroons!

macaroon process

8. Bake at 275 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest.

9. Heat cream in saucepan and then add chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool completely in refrigerator.

10. Pipe chocolate filling into macaroon centers and sandwich cookies together.

11. Enjoy! 🙂 chocolate macaroons

 

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Peanut Butter Nutella Cups

peanut buter nutella cups, peanut butter and nutella, nutella, chocolate

From cookies, to crepes, cheesecake and pies, Nutella can be found on almost every dessert menu.

The delicious hazelnut spread pairs perfectly with peanut butter, top it off with toasted pecans and chocolate and you have the most delectable treat! *Best eaten with a cold glass of milk!

When I was searching around my kitchen, for something to use to make an indentation into the cups, I came across a water bottle and to my delight, it fit perfectly into the peanut butter cup!

peanut butter cupsAnother tip for this recipe is to use a sandwich bag to drizzle on the chocolate.

peanut butter nutella cups

Here is my recipe:

Peanut Butter Nutella Cups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36 mini cups
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or peanuts
  • ¼ chocolate for melting
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using mixer at medium speed, cream together butter, peanut butter, brown and white sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in eggs one at at time, mixing well.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in to wet ingredients.
  5. Line a mini cupcake tin. Scoop cookie batter into each cup. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookie will be loose. It will set as it cools.
  6. Using the top of a water bottle (wash it first), make an indentation into the center of each cookie cup.
  7. Spoon 1 teaspoon Nutella into each of the cavities.
  8. Melt ¼ cup chocolate with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (this makes it smooth and gives the chocolate nice shine).
  9. Spoon chocolate into a sandwich bag.
  10. Make a small hole at the end of a sandwich bag and drizzle on the chocolate.
  11. Toast pecans, and sprinkle on top of the chocolate.
  12. Enjoy 🙂

 

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Blueberry Pie

Today was a beautiful day in the Puget Sound, meaning it could only be spent  outdoors. Wish such lush land and all the rain, there are many farms, even in the cities. We decided to go to a local blueberry farm! blueberries

 

With the pulp berries we picked, I decided to make mini blueberry pies 🙂

blueberries

 

Makes two individual pies

Ingredients:

For pastry:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

1 beaten egg

 

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar in the raw (optional; to top pastry)

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. To make the pastry mix the flour and salt in a bowl. cut in the shortening, using a pastry blender or criss-crossing two knives, until mixture look like a bowl of small particles. It should look something like this:

pie

3. Sprinkle cold water over mixture until pastry leaves the side of the bowl.

4. Gather the pastry into a ball. Turn over onto floured surface and shape into a flattened a round. Place in refrigerator to firm up (this will also help make an extra flaky pastry).

5. While the pastry is in the refrigerator, make the filling. Combine all ingredients.

6. Roll chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface. Use a large cutter, to cut out 4 piece. On two of the pieces, using a small cookie cutter, cut out a small shape, in order to release steam (these will be the tops).

7. Spoon filling onto the two bottom pastry pieces. Top with second pasty and use a fork to crimp the edges together.

8. Brush pastry with beaten egg. Sprinkle Sugar in the Raw on top of pastry. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Enjoy!

I had mine with vanilla ice cream! blueberry pie with icecream

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The impossible cookie IS possible!!

By impossible cookie, I am of course talking about French Macaroon. Many before have tried to conquer the most elite cookie of our time and have failed this quest. I too, have failed and failed again. There was always something wrong; the color, the shape, no “crown”. But finally, I have created the perfect French Macaroon. The recipe I found was not the Ladure`e recipe, but one found in Food Network Magazine, May 2014 edition. I made some modifications (as I always do). It is important to know your oven. My oven runs very hot and so I always adjust the temperature on recipes.

 

The recipe is as follows:

Makes 36 cookies, 18 sandwiched macaroons

Ingredients:

1 3/4 powdered sugar

1 cup almond flour

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 drops food coloring

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blueberry Filling:

4 oz softened cream cheese

3 tablespoons blueberry jam

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with silicon mats (I used parchment paper for one tray and it was fine).

2. Mix almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in small bowl . Sift mixture thru a fine-mesh sieve. Use a spatula to add in this process. (Yes, it takes a while). Toss whatever does not go thru the sieve.

3. Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy. Gradually spoon in the sugar and increase mixer speed to medium high. Continue beating until the mixture is stiff and shiny. (Took me 10 minutes total)

4. Carefully fold in the almond flour and sugar mixture into the stiff egg whites. DO NOT STIR. Fold gently together; you want as much air as possible to remain in the egg.

5. Add 2 drops of food coloring and the vanilla extract. Continue to fold until the mixture is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin, flat ribbon.

6. Prepare a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch round tip (Wilton #12) and fill with batter. Pipe out the cookies on the baking sheet.

7. Let the cookies set for 15 to 60 minutes. The cookies should no longer be sticky… this means they are ready!

8. Bake at 275 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest.

9. Mix together cream cheese and blueberry jam. Spread onto cookie and sandwich together.

10. Enjoy 🙂

Blueberry Macaroons
Blueberry Macaroons

 

 

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Peach Dream

If you’re looking for a light, delicious dessert which uses one of the best ingredients that summer has to offer,  then this Peach Dream recipe is for you!

 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup almond slices

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger)

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon butter

2 juicy peaches

4 tablespoons room temperature mascarpone cheese

Mint for garnish (optional)

 

Process:

Step 1. Mix the rolled outs, almonds, pumpkin pie spice and honey together and spread evenly onto a baking sheet.

Step 2. Place into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until golden brown. Approximately 7-10 minutes. Remove and left cool.

Step 3. Melt butter on cast iron grill pan and place halved and pitted peach flesh side down. Cook until the peach is soft (but not too soft) and begins to caramelize. Approximately 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 4. Scoop mascarpone into peach center (I used a small ice cream scoop to create a dome shape) and top with granola and mint.

Step 5. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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