Homemade Milano Cookies

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My daughter-in-love loves Milano cookies.  This year for her birthday I thought I would make some for her birthday.  These cookies were inspired by Tessa Arias @handletheheat.  The recipe is easy and the cookies are so good!! Thanks Tessa!

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick room temperature unsalted butter (113 grams)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (133 grams)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1 large room temperature egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (159 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (113 grams)

Instructions:

Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl for 2 minutes.  Scrape bowl and paddle as needed.

Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.

Place batter in pipping bag fitted with a 1/2″ tip.  Pipe 2 1/2″ lines at least 3/4″ apart on prepared baking sheet (line with parchment paper or silicone pad).  I piped 3 rows with 8 lines on each row.

Place piped batter in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C) while the dough is chilling.  After dough has chilled, place in preheated oven and bake for 16 minutes (turn 1/2 way through baking to ensure even baking).  Edges will be golden in color.

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Remove cookies from oven and place on cooling rack.

While the cookies are cooling,  place chocolate chips in microwavable bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and continue until chocolate is melted.  Cool slightly and then spread the chocolate on a cookie and then sandwich with another.

This recipe makes 12 cookies.

I placed 2 cookies in a birthday themed cupcake liner.  I put them in a container and tied it up with red ribbon.

It’s Melissa’s 40th birthday today and times are a bit crazy right now, but I think she liked having some homemade Milano cookies.

Happy Birthday Missy…I love you so much!!!

 

Madeleines

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Are they a cookie or are they a cake?  They are actually little sponge cakes, and they are DEEEELICIOUS!!!

I have to confess; I have bought these before.  No, not in a French bakery, or any bakery for that matter.  I’ve purchased them in one of our local grocery stores and I even bought them in, gulp…Home Goods!  I know, I know, what was I thinking?!!  They tasted like individually wrapped pound cakes.  Pound cake??  Wait…didn’t I say they were little sponge cakes?!!  They are when you make them yourself:).

As we are getting through these days quarantined in our homes it can be stressful and make us anxious!  We have been praying for our friends and family, reading God’s Word, Facetiming our adorable grandchildren,  taking walks, doing home workouts,  playing board and card games, doing 1000 piece puzzles (and extremely difficult 500 piece puzzles!), and last, but not least, I have been baking!

As many of you know, I received a new Canon camera for Christmas.  I love taking pictures of my children and grandchildren, and food for my Instagram page and blog :).

My son recently sent me a link to Joanie Simon’s,  “The Bite Shot”.  So, I have been binge watching her YouTube videos and honing up on my photo skills.  So much fun!!! What have you been doing to help get you through your days?

I know everyone doesn’t have extra baking supplies, but when  you get a chance to make these, let me know by tagging me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your pictures!

Stay safe my friends and God Bless!!

Ingredients:

  •  1 stick unsalted butter (113 grams) browned and cooled
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  •  Zest of 1 lemon
  •  1 cup all purpose flour (120 grams)
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  3/4 cup caster sugar (150 grams)
  •  Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (this is optional)

Instructions: 

Place the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low once the butter has melted, and continue cooking until golden brown and the solids sink to the bottom of the pan.  This takes about 8-10 minutes.  Be careful because the butter can go from browned to burnt FAST!!  Remove the browned butter from the heat and pour into a bowl (make sure to get all those brown, flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan…yum!).  Add the extracts and zest to the browned butter and set aside to cool.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and set aside.

Beat eggs on medium speed (using a whisk attachment).  Gradually add the sugar to the eggs while they are mixing.  Increase the speed to medium/high once all the sugar is incorporated.  Continue mixing until mixture is thick and very pale in color.  This takes about 8 minutes.

Fold in the flour mixture in three additions.  Do this gently so you don’t knock out all that beautiful air you just whipped into those eggs.  Stir this just until combined. Fold in the butter mixture until combined.

Cover batter and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  The batter will get light and fluffy as it sits.  Don’t stir the batter before you scoop it into the pan(s).

Remove batter from refrigerator.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease pans with melted butter.  Place a scoop (I use a medium sized cookie scoop) of batter in the middle of each shell.  Let the batter spread on its own.

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Place pan in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until centers spring back when touched.  The cakes will have a “belly” in the center (that’s how they are supposed to look).  Place extra batter back in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake the next batch.  I only have 1 pan so I have to bake them 1 batch at a time, but if you have 2 pans, you can bake them all at once.  This batter makes approximately 24 Madeleines.

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Look at those beautiful “bellies”!

Remove from the oven and invert onto  a cooling rack.  Cool slightly and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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These are best eaten right away, but they can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days,  but I doubt they will last that long.

Enjoy these with a cup of coffee or tea…YUM!!!

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Delicious, light and fluffy! Trust me, you are not going to get that in some store bought Madeleine!!

 

 

 

 

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

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So light and “fluffy”!

I remember when I was a little girl, I loved peanut butter and fluff sandwiches!  I would spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one slice of delicious soft Wonder bread, and I would pile on as much marshmallow  fluff on the other slice as I possibly could.  I would sandwich the two slices together, and, Voilà, a delicious peanut butter (remember, there was a little bit on the one slice of bread) and fluff sandwich.   Okay, now that I think of it, maybe it was a fluff sandwich.  C’mon….Like you never had a fluff sandwich.  Yummmm!!

Ingredients:

 

Jammie Dodgers (Linzer Cookies)

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A couple of years ago I started watching youtuber Cupcake Jemma’s videos.  They are not only informative, but she is hilarious and so entertaining!!  Being an American, I enjoy her British slang and accent:)!

I love her recipes!  Jemma has introduced me to a lot of new ingredients and techniques. So many of her cupcakes are inspired by cookies and desserts.  She uses a lot of ingredients and cookies that can’t be found in our local grocery stores here in Cape May County, but there’s a little gourmet shop in Lewes, Delaware (Lewes Gourmet) that carries a lot of British cookies (or biscuits, as they are known), candy, and Lyle’s golden syrup.  This shop was purchased a few years ago by a husband and wife.  The husband is British, hence the merchandise.  I have purchased my baking vanilla there for many years.

Now, back to the reason I made the Jammie Dodger cookies.  Cupcake Jemma made a Jammie Dodger cupcake using the cookie by that name.  I found a small bag of these cookies in the Lewes Gourmet.  I was excited to try one!

I like to have a hot cup of tea at night before I go to bed, so of course I had to try one with my tea.  It was pretty good!

Time passed and the cookies were eaten.  Baking the cupcakes seemed to fade away, but my love for the cookie remained:).  Imagine how excited I was when food blogger Clare Smith @clarescauldron posted her homemade version of these cookies.  They looked amazing and I was sure they tasted even better!

I immediately searched Amazon for a Jammie Dodger cookie cutter, and, you guessed it!  I found the Jammie Dodger cookie cutter and it came with three other biscuit cutters. I can’t wait to make copycats of those too!!

I made homemade strawberry jam and decided to have a shot at making these.  Looking at recipes I realized they are basically a Linzer (shortbread) cookie, so I used my Linzer recipe and I was so happy with how they turned out.  I know a lot of shortbread recipes only have 3 ingredients (butter, confectioners’ sugar and flour), but my recipe uses an egg yolk, almond extract and pure vanilla extract too.  These cookies will melt in your mouth.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter (200 grams) room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (80 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk , room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam to fill cookie (you can use whatever jam or curd you would like)

Directions:

Place the butter in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment,  and cream for 2 minutes until light and fluffy (scraping bowl and paddle as needed).

Add egg yolk and extracts and mix until combined.

Measure flour and confectioners’ sugar.  Sift together and add to butter/yolk mixture (all at once).  With mixer on low speed, mix just until dough comes together.

Divide dough in half and form into two flat discs.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats (I use silicone mats, but parchment works also).

While oven is preheating, remove one of the discs of dough from the refrigerator and roll 1/4″ thick.  Do this on floured surface, using a floured rolling pin.

Cut out 14 cookie bottoms and bake for 10 minutes.  While cookies are baking, roll other dough disc and cut out 14 cookie tops (don’t forget to cut the small heart in the center of the top cookie so you can see the delicious jam peeking through).  Bake cookie tops when the bottoms are finished baking.

Cool completely on wire rack.

Place approximately 1 teaspoon of jam on cookie bottom.  Place cookie top in place and gently press together; sandwiching the jam!

FYI-These cookies are waaay better than any cookie you will purchase in a store!

Enjoy with your beverage of choice.  I’ll be having mine with a nice hot cup of tea:).

Thanks again Clare, for inspiring me to make these delicious “biscuits”!

 

 

 

 

Favorite Carrot Cake

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There are some of my all-time favorite recipes that I can’t believe I haven’t posted yet,  and my carrot cake is one of them (chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, and sticky buns are a few more!).  But I will be posting all of them in the very near future!

Well, here it is friends.  I am going to share my favorite, best-loved, all-time go to carrot cake recipe!  I always say that the secret ingredient is “love” in all my cooking and baked goods, but the secret in this recipe is a little bit of unsweetened applesauce added to the wet ingredients (love is in there too!).   Applesauce adds to the moistness of this cake without making it heavy or oily.

Some people like things like walnuts or pecans, pineapple, coconut or raisins in their carrot cake.  That’s all fine and good, but I have always kept it plain (for a lack of a better word, because my recipe doesn’t have any of those things, but it is anything but plain!).

Follow this simple step-by-step tutorial and you will have a delicious cake that will have your friends and family oohing and ahhhing.  It is my favorite and it will be yours too!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup canola oil (164 grams)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (122 grams)
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (340 grams)- You can use light or dark
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (330 grams)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Prepare two 8″ or 9″ pans with shortening and flour. Line with non-stick parchment paper and set aside.

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Grate carrots on a box or handheld grater.  Measure 330 grams into a bowl and set aside.

Add dry ingredients (first six ingredients in recipe) together in medium sized bowl and set aside while you’re putting the wet ingredients (next six ingredients) together in another bowl.  Whisk together until fully incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until just combined.  Do not overmix.  Stir in the carrots until fully incorporated.  Divide evenly between to two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Check with a cake tester or toothpick and remove from oven when it comes out clean.  Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely before applying the cream cheese frosting.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened to room temperature (226 grams)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (360 grams)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

In mixing bowl, add cream cheese and butter and beat on medium high for 2 minutes.

With mixer on low speed, add extract and salt.  Mix to incorporate, scrape paddle and bowl as needed.

Add the confectioners’ sugar (with mixer on low speed) until incorporated.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Add more sugar if mixture is too runny and some milk or heavy cream if it’s too thick.  Frosting should be a nice spreadable consistency.

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So smooth and creamy!

Frost cake and serve! Enjoy!!

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I hope you make this carrot cake.  If you do, I know you are going to love it too!!   Please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BEST Chocolate Chip Scones!

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I am a lover of all things chocolate!!  Remember those delectable blueberry scones I made a few months ago?  Well, why not make scones with chocolate?!!  Mind you, this  recipe can be adapted to add pretty much anything your little heart desires, but you are going to love these!  They are so flaky on the inside and crunchy on the outside!  This is achieved by rolling and folding the dough a few times (just as we do when we make puff pastry).  This creates layers that are forced apart by steam when they are baked.  This technique prevents a dense and crumbly texture.  It also keeps the abundant amount of chocolate chips evenly distributed throughout the scones!!  Adding melted butter and course sugar gives them an amazing crunch with each and every bite.  YUM!!!

First you are going to want to put ½ cup (one stick) of unsalted butter in the freezer. You are going to be grating this so it will be easier to mix into the flour mixture. Gently folding the grated butter into the flour and folding a couple of times is going to give these scones a nice rise and flaky texture.

It is very important not to overwork the dough. If you do, your scones will be tough instead of tender. You will only want to knead and fold the dough the number of times called for in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter (113 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups dark (or semi-sweet) chocolate chips (252 grams)
  •  1/2 cup sour cream (115 grams)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (120 grams)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (50 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter and turbinado sugar to put on top of the scones before baking

Instructions:

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone pad.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Measure chocolate chips in a medium bowl and set aside.

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Grate frozen butter and place in a bowl.  Put in the freezer until ready to use. Place milk and sour cream in a medium bowl and whisk until incorporated.  Put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Whisk flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.  Add grated butter (frozen from the freezer) to the flour mixture.  Gently fold in with your fingers until coated.

Remove milk/sour cream mixture from the refrigerator and fold into the flour and butter mixture just until combined.

Transfer dough to a generously floured surface and gently knead 6 to 8 times with floured hands (do not overwork dough).

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Now roll the dough into a 12” square. Fold the dough into thirds (like a business letter). I used my large bench scraper to help me with this process. Fold into thirds again, starting with the short ends and bringing them towards the middle forming a 4” square. Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes. (I put mine on a floured plate).

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Place dough on lightly floured dish and freeze for five minutes (do not overchill)

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a 12” square again. Place chocolate chips on top of the dough and gently press into the dough.

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Roll the dough into a log. With seam side down, gently roll and press into a 12” X 4” rectangle.

Using a sharp (and floured) knife or cutter, cut dough into four equal squares. Cut each square on a diagonal (making 8 triangles). Place them on a prepared baking sheet, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 17-22  minutes or until tops and bottoms are golden brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minute.  These are best served warm or at room temperature.  (You can make them ahead of time and freeze them too, if you would like.)

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Crispy on the outside…flaky on the inside!! PERFECT!

These are perfect accompanied with coffee or tea, but they are definitely the star of the show!!!

I hope you make these very soon, and if you do, be sure to tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your confections:)

Nutella Stuffed Bomboloni

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A couple of years ago on National Doughnut Day (it’s June 5th if you want to mark your calendar), my daughter made a comment on social media that she was going to get doughnuts at a local dou…dough…doughnut shop.  What?!  My cupcake, cookie, cake, anything baked good snob daughter was going to buy doughnuts at a doughnut shop?!!! Can someone please take the knife out of my heart?

Well, I immediately searched for a doughnut recipe that wasn’t going to take a ton of rest time, and I found this Bomboloni recipe by Laura Vitale.  I’ve made many of her recipes and I knew these were going to be amazing!!  As I watched the video I was so excited because I knew I could have these finished before my daughter was finished her shift (she manages and waits at a local restaurant).

I removed the butter, eggs and milk from the refrigerator and gathered the remaining ingredients.

I was so excited to make these Bomboloni, and even more excited to see the look on my daughter’s face when I walked in bearing these bits of goodness!

As I was making the dough, I couldn’t believe how easy these were to make.  I put all the dough ingredients in my mixing bowl, and using the dough hook attachment, started the kneading process.  After five minutes, the dough came together and was so smooth!

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The remaining process came together rather quickly and the outcome was amazing.  I’m going to walk you through the process…step-by-step!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour (480 grams)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams), plus 1 teaspoon (4 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons *vanilla powder (8 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (9 grams)
  • 1 cup milk (242 grams)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature (56 grams)
  • Oil for frying Bombolini (I recommend peanut oil because it can withstand high temps)
  • Granulated sugar to coat doughnuts
  • Nutella to fill doughnuts

Instructions:

Place flour, sugar, salt and vanilla in your mixing bowl.  Whisk to incorporate ingredients.

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Heat milk to 110 degrees (use food thermometer). Place yeast and teaspoon of sugar on top of warm milk and slightly mix.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast becomes active and bubbles.  It should look like this.

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Add eggs, butter, and yeast mixture to the flour mixture.

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Room temperature eggs and butter

With dough hook attachment, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes.  This dough comes together beautifully and is so soft and smooth.

Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper sprinkled with flour.  Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place on floured surface.  Roll out dough to approximately 1/2 inch thickness.

Cut 12 doughnuts using a 3″ cutter.  Cut the circles very close to one another as you don’t want to re-roll your dough or your final product won’t be as light and fluffy.

Place the circles at least 2 inches apart to allow room for the dough to rise.  Sprinkle the tops of the doughnuts with flour and place a light cotton towel on top and place in a warm spot to rise.  This will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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Doughnuts will puff up and double in size.

While the dough is rising, add your oil to your pan (I use my dutch oven.  Make sure you use a pan with a heavy bottom and sides.)  Place a candy thermometer in the oil and heat to 350 degrees.

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Heat oil to 350 dgrees. If your oil is too hot it will burn your doughnuts, and if it’s not hot enough, the doughnuts will be oily.

Once your doughnuts and oil are ready, place dough into the oil (four at a time is good).

Cook approximately 2 minutes on each side.  Remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to remove some of the oil.

 

Dredge the warm doughnuts in the sugar until coated (I used very fine sugar…also known as caster sugar, but regular granulated sugar works well too.)

Make a slit in the side of your doughnut with a sharp knife.  Put the tip into the slit and gently squeeze to fill the Bomboloni with the Nutella.  Do this gently and take your time or your doughnut will burst (I’m speaking from experience).

I place my Bomboloni upright in a container.

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Bomboloni placed upright in a container.

You are going to love these delicious Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts), and they will go FAST!!

In case you were wondering, my daughter was so excited and happy to receive her Nutella stuffed Bomboloni (and so were her co-workers).

I love to bake and cook for the people I love and it puts a smile on my face every time I get a chance to do so!!  It’s my love language!!!

I hope you make these, and if you do, tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I’d love to see your creations!

ENJOY!!!!

*This is the vanilla powder I use.  If you don’t have this, you can use regular pure vanilla extract.  Add it to the dough when you add the eggs.

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Birthday Cake Macarons

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(cue music… “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you!”).

Make a wish!!

Who doesn’t like birthdays?  Cake, ice cream, presents?  Did I mention cake?  What if we could have birthday cake macarons?  The simplicity of a macaron,  colored any color you would like, covered with pretty prinkles, and filled with a delicious buttercream.  That sounds like a celebration to me!!

I made these macarons for a neighbor.  I wasn’t sure what to get her for her birthday, so I figured, why not make her some birthday macs?  She enjoyed the macarons I gave her along with her Christmas cookies, so I decided birthday cake macarons were the way to go.

I used my original macaron recipe and put a little purple gel color in the meringue (in hindsight I would have put more in for a more vibrant purple….next time!).

 

After piping the macs on my silicone pad, I sprinkled them with multi colored sprinkles.  You want to do this before they start to dry and form their shell.

My shells dried for 30 minutes and I baked them for 18 minutes at 300 degrees.  After they were finished baking I allowed them to cool completely.

After matching the tops and bottoms, I filled the bottom shell with American buttercream.  I had some blue buttercream left over from the Pokemon cake I made for my grandsons, so I decided to use it for the filling.  I think it was a nice contrast with the light purple…what do you think?

I’m glad I made these, and if you’re wondering what to give that neighbor, friend, co-worker or maybe a family member, I hope you make a batch of these “birthday cake” macarons.  I can guarantee you;  the recipient will be very happy and thankful you did!!

If you make these, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi .  I would love to see your pictures!

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Happy Macaron Monday!

 

Heart Macarons

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I am excited to share my heart shaped (well, sort of) macarons filled with strawberry Swiss meringue butter cream.

Are you pro or con about this day?  I have always enjoyed this day, but when I had children and grandchildren, it gave it a whole new meaning.  I’ve always loved baking goodies and buying little gifts and trinkets for them.

I taught and worked with children for 29 years (Preschool and Kindergarten age).   It was always fun having Valentine parties, enjoying yummy cupcakes, handing out cards to all their classmates. Making crafts and playing games!  So much fun!!

Speaking of fun, I’d like to share a few fun facts about this romantic day that I found on the internet. You’re welcome!

  • Valentine’s Day is the second largest card giving day of the year, just after Christmas. I love getting homemade cards from my grandchildren.
  • The “box of chocolates” (sorry, I just had a Forrest moment) tradition started by Richard Cadbury in the 19th Century,  jumped at the opportunity to make selling boxes of chocolates as a part of this “sweet” day.  While Valentine’s Day goes back to Roman times, giving candy (conversation hearts, heart shaped boxes of chocolates and truffles) is a more recent development.  More than 36 million heart shaped boxes are sold every year….that’s a LOT of chocolate!!
  • According to Smithsonian, ‘Vinegar Valentines’ (also called penny dreadful) were contradictory to conventional valentines and were used to humorously reject and mock unwanted admirers. You definitely don’t want to get one of those!
  • During the Middle Ages, men would write on their sleeves, the names of the women they would be coupled with in the upcoming year. They would do this while attending a Roman festival honoring Juno. They did this to show their bond during the celebration.  Hence the term “wearing your heart on your sleeve”.
  • ‘Sweethearts’ candies started out as medicine. According to Food Business News, Oliver Chase (a pharmacist and inventor) created a machine that would make throat lozenges quickly.  The machine was later switched to make candy (known as Necco Wafers).  In 1866 his brother came up with the idea to print messages on the candy.  In 1901 they got their heart shape. Appealing to Valentine’s Day Sweethearts.
  • Cupid has two different arrows in his quiver; one (the gold arrow) to cause people to fall in love, and a lead arrow that repels love (or causes one to fall “out” of love.
  • Almost half of yearly marriage proposals will happen on Valentine’s Day and half of women would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentine’s Day (that’s harsh…ouch!!!).
  • All over the world, over 50 million roses are given on Valentine’s day each year. Red roses are most commonly associated with this day because it was the favorite flower of Venus.  My favorite flower is the daisy and my favorite color is yellow, so if my Valentine wants to woo me, that will happen with daisies (not roses).  Take that Venus!!

With all that being said, I think your Valentine would love to receive these heart-shaped macarons, or you could just make a batch for yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites (100 grams) room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 2 drops pink gel food coloring
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (198 grams)
  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour (96 grams)
  • pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

Prepare baking sheets with silicone pads or parchment paper.  This is a matter of preference.  I use silicone mats, but I have had success with parchment paper too.

Wipe mixing bowl, whisks and mats (if you’re using them) with white vinegar or lemon juice to be sure there are no traces of oil.  Oil will break your meringue and it won’t mix properly.  Please don’t skip this step!

Measure the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and salt and place in a medium mixing bowl (I like to use a scale when I’m baking.  This ensures a consistent outcome in your baking.  They are very reasonable in price and I highly recommend purchasing one).

I don’t use a food processor to mix the almond flour/confectioners’ sugar mix.  I use a hand sifter, and sift back and forth between two bowls (4-5 times).  Discard any large bits.  This makes for really smooth and shiny shells and an overall beautiful macaron!

After sifting, set aside while mixing the meringue.

Place the egg whites in your mixing bowl that’s been wiped with the vinegar.  Start mixing on a low speed for two minutes or until the eggs start to foam.  Add the cream of tartar and mix for another minute.

Gradually add in the sugar one tablespoon at a time.  Increase the speed of your mixer and mix for 2-3 more minutes.  You can tell when your meringue is ready when you have stiff peaks and you can turn your mixing bowl upside down with nothing falling out.  Add the vanilla and food color and mix until incorporated.  Do not over mix your egg whites as this will cause your shells to crack!

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Meringue before the flour/sugar mixture is added.

 

Add the flour/sugar mixture in 1/3 increments to the meringue.  Gently fold and pull the spatula through the batter.  Do it until no dry ingredients are visible.  Continue to fold and pull the spatula through the center. Start to gently press the batter up the side of your bowl as you continue to fold and mix. Do this until the batter flows slowly off the spatula and you can form a figure eight.

Place batter into a decorating bag with a circle tip.  Pipe hearts on silicone mat about 3/4 inches apart.  If you don’t have a mat with heart templates, you can find templates on the internet.  You can place them under your mat or parchment to use as a guide.  Remove the template before baking.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Allow the macarons to dry for 30-40 minutes.  You should be able to run your finger across the top without it sticking.  A thin shell should form.

After the macarons have dried, place them in the oven and bake for 11 minutes.  They will start getting their “feet” around three minutes in (I love watching this!).  Check to see if the tops move.  If they wiggle, bake at two minute increments until they finish baking.  They usually are finished baking in 16-17 minutes.

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Look at those beautiful feet and smooth tops!

Remove from the oven and allow your macarons to cool completely.  The shells should pop off the mat or parchment.

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I brushed some pink luster dust on the macarons.  It makes them look even prettier (if that’s possible)

 

I filled these macarons with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream.  I used my Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe and added 4 tablespoons of Strawberry Filling.  Allow your macarons to mature for at least 24 hours (I won’t judge if you don’t wait to taste one).

I loved sharing these and I think they would make a wonderful gift for your Valentine, but make sure you save some for yourself!

I hope you make these.  Don’t be intimidated by these treats.  With a little practice, you will be making these little gems with ease.  If you do make them, tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I’d love to see your photos!

 

 

 

 

 

Brown Butter Icing

 

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Brown butter takes any recipe you use it in to a whole new level!  The nutty aroma that swirls through the air as it’s turning from plain butter, to a golden brown liquid with tiny specs of mouthwatering goodness, is so enticing!!

I like to use this delectable icing on bundt cakes.  It takes the overall flavor of the cake over the top!  YUMMY!!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (113 grams)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (227 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 5 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Butter will start to bubble. Continue stirring constantly, until  golden brown (about 7-10 minutes).  Immediately remove from heat as soon as it turns golden in color. It can darken very quickly.

Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl.  Make sure to get most of those brown bits.  They have so much flavor!  Sift confectioners’ sugar into the bowl.  Add the vanilla bean paste, milk and salt to butter and sugar mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Add more milk if needed.  

Spoon icing over cake and spread with an offset spatula.

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Look at those delicious specs of yumminess!!

I hope you try this delightful icing, and if you do, be sure to post pictures and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi .  

Enjoy!!