All the flavors of samoas cookies in macaron form… HEAVEN!
I’m currently in Chicago photographing for my bff Monique‘s blog. Every time I come here, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed. Being a blogger is solitary, so coming into someone else’s space where they have their own work flow and creative process instantly excites me.
Monique and I have been following each others’ blogs for years now. So we sometimes give each other advice on what we like or how we should take things in different directions.
One thing that we talked about yesterday is how my style of writing has changed through the years. Towards the blog’s inception, I wrote very casually and… weirdly. For example, from this post on buttermilk biscuits and a KitchenAid:
Using your KitchenAid for the first time is like a toned down version of losing your virginity. It’s gotta be with someone (or something) that you like and will want to remember.
This is the perfect cake for a Sunday teaparty, or anything with snobbery. “Hulloooo, I’ve brought a rosewater cake for you all.” People will think you are just so super classy for making it. But really all you did was hang out in your kitchen in your underwear and throw a bunch of ingredients into a bowl while texting and getting flour all over your phone.
Reading through my archives, I was laughing out loud. I thought to myself damn, I used to be funny.
I don’t feel that way anymore. For me, writing is a chore. I save it for last. I wrack my brain for stories relevant to the post that will “improve my SEO,” or things that I think you all will approve of. Because after a while, it felt weird receiving comments like this post looks great, but your use of the F word really turned me off. So I got normal.
And I hated it.
I don’t feel like the person you read about in this blog is the person who I actually am. I feel constrained. Like I’m at a job interview and I can’t tell you that I have a mild obsession with dinosaurs or that in my spare time I talk to my cat, like, a LOT. Or that I enjoy writing in incomplete sentences, just because.
This is my pledge to you, friends, bloggers, and readers. Things are about to get weird around here.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, cut into tablespoons
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temp
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
For the chocolate drizzle
2 ounces dark chocolate
Make your macarons
Using a fine mesh strainer, sift the almond flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder into a medium bowl.
In a standing mixer using a whisk attachment (or mixing bowl with a hand mixer), whip the egg whites and salt on high speed for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Add in granulated sugar and continue to beat for 1 minute until very stiff peaks form. The egg whites should be foamy and firmly hold their shape.
Carefully pour the powdered sugar mixture on top of the whipped egg whites. Fold a spatula into the center of the mixture, scooping down to the bottom of the bowl, and then scooping upwards along the side of the bowl. You should be making a rough circle with your spatula: center, down, out, center, down, out. Slowly but surely, your two mixtures should come together. Continue to fold the mixture until it resembles molten lava- when you pick the mixture up with your spatula, large ribbons should fall down into the bowl, unbroken by the air, and the entire mixture should slowly seep downwards like molten lava.*
Fit a large pastry bag with a ½ inch tip and scoop your mixture into the bag. Pipe 1¼ inch circles onto 2-3 parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving at least 1¼ inches between each macaron. The best way to make even circles is to pipe from directly above the macaron so your pastry tip is perpendicular to the cookie sheet. Squeeze the pastry bag from the top with one hand while using your other hand to steady the tip. Once you’ve piped your circle, swirl the pastry tip in a small spiral and lift upwards at the same time to finish your macaron.* Garnish the macarons with 2-4 dried lavender flowers. Allow macarons to air out for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake macarons for 17 minutes. Allow to cool completely on their tray before frosting.
Make your caramel
In a small saucepan, heat the sugar on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to occasionally stir the sugar, getting to the bottom of the pan. At first the sugar will be lumpy, but will soon melt and start turning a brownish color. Don’t stir too often, just enough to keep everything evenly cooking.
After 5 minutes, the sugar should become fully melted. Once it becomes an amber hue, remove from heat immediately and stir in butter. The mixture will violently bubble. You’re doing it right.
Use your spatula to stir the butter and sugar until they melt together completely. This can take 1-2 minutes.
Next, pour in the heavy cream. Stir until combined, then place back on the stove for about 30 seconds, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat and stir in coconut, then allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Assemble your macarons
Place a small amount of the caramel coconut mixture onto one macaron, then sandwich it with another. Repeat with all remaining macarons.
Melt your chocolate slowly over a double boiler. Transfer to a small pastry bag fitted with a tiny tip. Drizzle over macarons!