Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ariel's making ... french chocolate macarons

leenie dear threw us a "french night" this past weekend, in preparation for our very near trip to france. i opted to bring dessert and decided to try and tackle the infamous french macaron. now don't get these confused with macaroons -- those are the coconut ones.

so here's what i did ... in a bowl mix together:

2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. almond flour
6 T. cocoa powder

in another bowl -- add the whites of 4 eggs -- that are at room temp.

beat the egg whites 'til they form soft peaks. then add to the whites 10 T. of granulated white sugar and beat that together for 2 minutes. it will start to get gooey and smooth in texture.

now carefully fold together the dry and egg white mixture until totally combined.

put your batter into a plastic bag and cut the tip off. pipe little blobs of the batter onto a baking sheet, that is covered in parchment paper. bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes at 350*.

now it's time to make the ganache filling. chop up some dark chocolate -- as much as you want.
on the stove, heat up to a slow boil, about 1/2 a c. of heavy cream. turn off the cream and then add to it a dollop of butter and a few T. of cocoa powder. mix 'til combined.

then add in the chocolate chunks and mix 'til melted too. mix for a few minutes with a whisk. then place in a glass container and chill for at least 2 hours -- or overnight.

this is how the macarons looked right out of the oven. let them cool completely before taking them off the parchment -- otherwise they stick and fall apart (and then you have to eat the "mess-ups").
once they are totally cool -- and the ganache has firmed up -- slather the ganache on one cookie -- then find it a cookie buddy -- and you've just made a french macaron!

they were pretty awesome tasting -- and i even had a second batch that i made to take to a feast a liz's the next evening.
i still have a bunch of ganache leftover too ... what should i make it into??
happy baking.
hope you're all doing lovely!

Monday, February 14, 2011

ariel's making ... love cookies

happy love day, sweeties. it's been forevs! sorry. been way busy getting this whole photo biz started .... but today's special ... so i decided to make something extra tasty.

how about cookies with choco-mint for sam love? yum!

for these buttery delights ... you'll need:

1 stick organic butter
1 cup organic sugar or sucanat

mix these together. this may be difficult -- if you live in a cold house -- i put my stick of butter on my table this morning to let it thaw.

then i went and did my laundry.

when i came back it was still hard-as-a-rock ... so i used a potato masher to mix the butter and sugar. that worked great!

next i opened a bar of fair-trade mint-chocolate -- then i ate a bunch of it.
with what was left -- i chopped it up into chunks and added it to the butter sugar mixture, along with an organic egg.

then i mixed in 1 1/2 c. of organic flour, a pinch a sea salt, 1 t. of baking powder and a dash of milk.
once it was all mixed, i put in plastic and threw it in the freezer to chill.
while it chilled, i got way productive by putting away the laundry.

about 30 minutes later -- i rolled the dough out -- cut into cute heart shapes -- and baked at 350* for about 15 minutes ... give or take.

i hope sam love likes them. i bet he will.
now -- give someone a kiss! and tell at least two people you love, that you love them -- today and everyday!
p.s. the valentine's are by two amazing girls ... siren suzy and countess karin. i love you both so much!