French Macaroons

three french macaroons sit on a white plate

My one and only decided to challenge me a bit for last week’s baking recipe. He kept saying a baked good until my eyes “showed a little fear,” and that’s what he ended with. So, French Macaroons was the final decision.

three french macaroons sit on a white plate

I had never made a French Macaroon and so I decided to start with the standard, plain flavor. I went with Martha Stewart’s recipe as a guide. I made a few adjustments due to lack of supplies and laziness.

I haven’t had a chance to buy myself a new pastry bag set, so I used a spoon to scoop out the dough onto the baking sheet. That would be one of the reasons my macaroons ended up about 3 times the size of a normal macaroon. I also only sifted my flour/sugar once. And, I used granulated sugar instead of superfine sugar.

french macaroons sit on a white plate in a kitchen with a mixer and a stove

I was going to be make a Swiss Merengue Buttercream for the filling, but at the last minute changed my mind and used Alton Brown’s Honey Butter Recipe. In all honesty, the buttercream recipe was for a whole cake and I didn’t want to do math early in the morning to try and figure out the amounts for filling 6 macaroons. I know, my culinary teacher would be so upset with me. These are the things you are supposed to take care of days in advance, not on a whim at 6am the day you are baking. Oops.

140115_frenchmacaroons

In the end, besides being a tad bit weird looking around the edges, they turned out pretty well. I got not suggestions for improvement from my husband, so I think we have a winner! I will say, from my end, they were super rich. The honey butter on the inside certainly contributed to the richness. The dough is much stickier than I imagined. And, my favorite part is also the most frustrating part. They are very delicate and break easily, but that also means they are crisp and light when you bite into them.

Next time, I’ll try for a flavor. I’m feeling the color pink lately. Maybe we’ll go for strawberry macaroons.

English Muffins

A grid like photograph of english muffins sitting on a baking sheet

english muffins sit on a baking sheet on top of a stove

I made English muffins for the first time. It seemed to work out well. They taste delicious, especially when toasted and slathered with butter. My husband likes them with jam. I started with this recipe here, but made some changes along the way.

A grid like photograph of english muffins sitting on a baking sheet

  • I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I substituted 1 3/4 cups of milk and 2 ts of cream of tartar. I let that sit for about 5 minutes to get “spoiled.”
  • I haven’t bought myself any real biscuit cutters yet, so I used a heart shaped cookie cutter instead.
  • My version seemed to have puffier muffins. It might be because I put the dough in a warm oven during the rising process. It’s cold here and I didn’t think my kitchen was necessarily room temperature. But, comparing my final product to the recipe I may have let my yeast rising go a little too long and get a little too warm.

    a close up of an english muffin with a pad of butter on it
    My little helper keeping an eye on me.

What really matters is that they turned out tasty! Another plus is that they don’t take too long to make.

PB & J Cookies are so delicious

peanut butter and jelly cookies on a white plate with a few more in the background

peanut butter and jelly cookies on a white plate with a few more in the background

My dear husband loves, I mean LOVES peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I’m not exaggerating when I say he would (and pretty much does) eat a PB&J every single day.  I’m not as crazy a fan as he is, but I do love cookies.  So, I decided to smoosh the two together and make some peanut butter and jelly cookies over the weekend.  I think they need a bit more peanut butter flavor and some more fluff, but other than that I’d say they were a huge success.  Worth slaving over (not really) for sure.