Intimidation Level: Macaroons

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I stopped into Whole Foods yesterday, and of course I had to swing by the bakery section to see what they had going on. Usually there are a few vegan options, like the chocolate mousse and parfait I’ve mentioned before. But not this time. Of course I’ve got to get a chocolate fix, and my dad had settled on getting a few tartlets (which had a curd or filling that I couldn’t eat), so this led me to staring down a selection of macaroons.

I’ve tried a few of their flavors before, and I would not repeat most of them. I had a raspberry that was pretty tart, and a vanilla that had a strange flavor I can’t quite describe. But it’s pretty hard to screw up chocolate, so that’s my go to macaroon. They are a bit pricey ($1.99 each where I live), but the two chocolates I got were totally worth it (one of which is pictured above). But as much as they rock, they’re too expensive to get often. Coincidentally, my grandmother bought me a macaroon backing set (silicone mat, recipe book, and piping bag with pieces) for Christmas.

I started looking into making the macaroons myself. I bought the almond flour, some flavorings, and I already have some food coloring. But the recipe book that came with the kit doesn’t make the instructions all that clear. So I started poking around online and found a few places that have videos about making the cookies and how to fill them.

It’s never fun seeing “level: advanced” on a recipe. But I’m determined to actually make some, so I thought I’d ask if any of you have tips or experience making macaroons. Any tips fellow foodies?

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Pinteresty apple pie

I could have sworn that I posted this way back when I actually did it, but I don’t see the post. Weeks ago I made an apple pie and got a little Pinteresty with the top. I never make this much effort with a top crust, but I had some left over dough, so this happened. 🙂 I made some alterations to my previous apple pie recipe (a bit more sugar and a dash more cinnamon and nutmeg), so it turned out great!

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Today has been a baking day

It’s not very often I have the house to myself, but today it got very close. With just my brother and me, it’s been a very productive but quiet day in the kitchen.

On the oven’s roster were blueberry scones/biscuits and carrot muffins. The scones, lovely and soft, came from a can. I have patience and counter space enough to have made them from scratch, but Immaculate Baking makes great ones that only require that I put them on a sheet. I also choose to dust a bit of sparkling sugar on their tops which not only sweetens them a little, but they also look great.

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Now, for the carrot muffins, I had to do a little more work, but still not much. Back during my trip to Williams Sonoma I picked up a bag of quick carrot bread mix. Instead of making the usual loaf, I opted to pull out the muffin tins and load them up. The bag of mix says it will make 12 muffins, but I managed to get 16 slightly smaller ones out of the batter. Well, technically 17, but as a good cook I know I have to taste things to ensure quality. It had nothing to do with the fact that they smelled amazing or I have a thing for making even numbers of things.

Both baking endeavors were greatly successful and my kitchen is only slightly worn from it all. A good dish wash will set it all right.

What’s going on in your kitchens today?

It’s been 3 weeks

Since I last made pumpkin bread. I’ve got three bags of the mix just sitting in my cupboard. And since I can’t have pumpkin pie tomorrow, I think it’s high time I made another loaf, don’t you?

Now, there are dairy free pumpkin pies available (there’s a frozen one I’ve picked up at Whole Foods), but really, they just don’t compare. And frankly, I just don’t have the patience, what with all of the other prep and cooking I have to do to make a dairy free one from scratch. Also, grandma bought a pecan pie from a local bakery, so I won’t be completely pie-less tomorrow.