Category Archives: Cookies

Macarons, not Macaroons

vanilla bean macarons

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One of my biggest pet peeves after slow walkers (old people exempted) is when people make the mistake of calling macarons “macaroons”. Seriously, if you can’t get the name right, you don’t deserve to eat them. Either of them. OH, what’s even worse is when they try to correct me: “What are macarons? Did you mean macaroons?” AUGHHH. Sometimes, people annoy me to no end.

Anyway, rant aside, check out the FIRST macarons I have ever made!!!!! For years, I couldn’t muster up the courage to make these bad boys. Why? Well, they’re just super high maintenance and touchy. Everything, from heating the sugar syrup to folding the egg whites, has to be done JUST right. Last Saturday, I decided to get over my silly fear of egg whites and ground almonds and move on with my life.

Since it was my first time making macarons, I expected disaster. I expected cracked, hollow, and thin meringue shells. You see, I’m what you call a lazy baker. I don’t measure exactly. I hate taking the extra time to level off, sift, and pack. I just guesstimate. So even though I knew that macarons needed to be done with exact measurements, I didn’t bother because I expected everything to go wrong.

Annnd, a lot of things did go wrong. First, I couldn’t get the egg whites to form stiff peaks and after half an hour of trying I realized that idiot-me used a spoon that touched egg yolks to stir the egg whites. Then I spilt about 2 tbsps of ground almond, so that threw everything off balance. And to top it all off, I made the crappiest buttercream (I spilt about 1/2 a bag of icing sugar into the mixer, whoops) to sandwich everything together. 

Despite all of that, the macarons weren’t that bad! My mom and dad, for the first time ever, actually liked what I made!!! (They’re my biggest critics).

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Macarons, Bouchon Style

Ingredients

212 grams Almond Flour/Meal
212 grams Powdered Sugar
82 and 90 grams Egg Whites
1 Tbsp Vanilla Paste
236 grams and 1 pinch Granulated Sugar
158 grams Water

OR

1 3/4 cups + 2 1/2 Tbsp  Almond Flour/Meal
1 3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp and 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp  Egg Whites
1 Tbsp Vanilla Paste
1 cup + 3 Tbsp and 1 pinch Granulated Sugar
2/3 cup Water

How To

1. On parchment paper, make a template for piping out your macarons by tracing circles. You want your shells to be as close as possible in diameter because uneven macarons are ugly. 

2. Preheat your oven. If you have a convection 350 degrees F, or to 400 degrees F if you have a standard oven. 

3. If your almond flour has chunks of almond, grind in the food processor using the “pulse” function to get reallly find almond flour.

4. Sift almond flour and icing sugar into a large bowl and whisk it together.

5. Make a well in the center, then pour in 82 grams or 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp of egg whites and stir to combine. Add vanilla and stir.

6. Place the rest of the egg whites, 92 grams or 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp, in the bowl of a standmixer or a bowl where you can use your handmixer on.

7. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Over medium heat, cook the mixture until it reaches 203F/110C to make a syrup.

8. While the syrup is cooking, add one pinch of sugar into the bowl of egg whites. On medium speed, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. If you reach soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248F/120C, then reduce speed to low just to keep the egg whites moving.

9. When the syrup reaches 248F/120C, take the saucepan off the heat! 

10. Keeping your mixer on medium-low speed, slowing drizzle in the syrup while it is still hot. The egg whites will deflate, don’t worry it’s normal!

11. After all the syrup is added in, crank mixer up to medium speed and whip the egg whites for about 5 mins to get stiff and glossy peaks. The bowl should be cool, but if not, just keep on whipping. This syrup and egg white mixture is called a MERINGUE. 

12. Fold 1/3 of your meringue into the almond mixture. Continue folding in small portions of meringue until you can fold the batter over itself like a ribbon. The mixture should hold its shape – not too stiff but not too loose that it dissolves into itself

13. Transfer mixture into a piping bag and fill the circles on your template. 

14. Bake for 8-10mins in a convection oven. For standard oven, reduce heat to 325F and bake for 9-12 mins (make sure to reheat back up to 350F before putting in the next batch). You want to look for these indicators: shiny surface and crispness

Recipe from Bouchon Bakery

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Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

There’s a pile of papers and textbooks waiting for me to read, but I just have to share this cookie with you. I was going to wait until the weekend to share, but that would just be way too selfish of me. I can’t make you guys wait until the weekend, could never do that to you, that would just be cruel. You need to know about this nooowwww.

Look at it. Isn’t it beautiful?

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skillet cookie

Best part: it was made and baked in ONE skillet. If you hate doing dishes like I do, this is the cookie for you!

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I have always always always wanted to make a skillet cookie. They just look so much better than the average baking sheet cookie. So much chewier, and thicker and chocolatey-er. The result? Faaaaantasical. Every bit as delightful as I imagined, except I may or may not have burnt the roof of  my mouth… Yea, don’t be like me. Let the cookie cool before digging in. I hope someone benefits from my dumb mistake :P

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I realized (after I ate the entire cookie) that I forgot some crucial crucial ingredients: ice cream, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce. I was banging my head against the wall and holding the empty skillet in my hand. How could I forget?!

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Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 stick Butter (salted/unsalted will work here)
  • ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cups Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate, Cut In Chunks

How To

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat. Stir in sugars and vanilla and remove from heat. Let rest until pan is warm, but no longer very hot, about 5 minutes.

2. Crack an egg onto the butter and sugar mixture, and use a fork to whisk it into the mixture. Place flour, baking soda, and salt on top, and very carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and well-mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks. Place in the oven for 15-25 minutes, or until starting to turn golden on the top and around the edges, but still soft in the center. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Source: How Sweet Eats

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies… thus far

sea salted ccc

 

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I’m always hesitant to use superlatives to describe food. I mean, how do I know that it is indeed the best of the best in the whole entire world? 

Like every other baker, I’m on the hunt for THE chocolate chip cookie. I have 3 simple criteria: chewy, soft, and a subtle hint of a caramel undertone. The closest that I’ve ever come to finding my favourite CCC was the cook’s illustrated recipe and a browned butter ccc recipe. Those were good recipes and they satisfied my undying craving for CCCs… but then I came across Alice’s recipe. I saw her recipe over at Two Peas and Their Pod a couple years back when Maria, a fellow cookie monster, featured it on her blog. I knew it must be good to get a feature, but I never tried it out because the recipe says to weigh out the ingredients… ain’t nobody got time fo dat! 

So I kept the recipe bookmarked for a couple of years before I finally tried it out. I didn’t weigh out the ingredients even though it was recommended (rebel status) but fortunately the cookies turned out nothing less than fantastical! Seriously, these cookies changed my life! I think I may have found THE chocolate chip cookie recipe for me. I don’t know how you did it Alice, but your cookies sure do live up to the “best ccc” title. It might have been the salted butter or the touch of sea salt instead of regular table salt. Or maybe because I used chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips, but dayummmm these cookies were thebomb.com. 

If you’re on the hunt for a good ccc, I highly recommend this one! 

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