Tuesday, November 27, 2012

French Macarons

Mommy in law got me a kitchen scale a few months back and I've been trying to find a reason to use it.  So here we are with my post for French macarons.  I'm a bit late on the macaron craze.

Macarons are very intimidating to make.  Many of the recipes I've looked at emphasize weighing the ingredients instead of using volume measurements.  Annie's Eats has her recipe for chocolate macarons and gives detailed instructions for making these bite size delights.  However, I opted with using David Lebovitz recipe instead.  He doesn't weigh them and I think my first batch turned out well...don't you?  

I did try making a another batch of macarons using weight measurements and tried Annie's recipe for pistachio macarons.  They came out just as nice but the flavor was a bit off to me (the cookies tasted a bit pepper-y?).  I was finally able to use the pistachio extract I was gifted and added about a 1/2 tsp of it to the cookie batter.  I forgot to take pictures so that will be another macaron post to look forward to.  

Happy baking and hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  


I tried my best to pipe the batter all about the same size. 


Chocolate Macarons
Makes about 20-25 cookies
Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway) by David Lebovitz
Macaron Batter
1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature (I aged mine for 12+hours)
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar

Chocolate Filling
½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 gr) butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C). I baked mine at 300º F for only 8 min, rotating half way through.  

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).

Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, **I let the piped batter sit out for an hour prior to baking...then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mexican Hot Chooclate Cookies

The J-O-B threw a party in honor of Dia de los Muertos and I thought it fitting to whip up a batch of mexican hot chocolate cookies.  I love the combination of cinnamon and chocolate!  Martha Stewart has a great recipe for double chocolate chunk cookies so I knew she was my go to for this particular cookie.  This was my first time making them and it certainly will not by my last.  They were a great hit.  I can't begin to tell you how amazing my kitchen smelled while these cookies were in the oven.  This recipe will be on my holiday baking list for homemade gifts.  Happy baking! 


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, I used 2 tsp
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, **I added about 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the cookie batter
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder (optional), **I added about 1/2 tsp of chile powder to the cookie batter
  • **1 tsp vanilla extract, not called for in the actual recipe 
  • **1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds ( I always bake with one rack at a time. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes (8 min for my oven), rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Treats

I wanted to bring in some treats for Kylie's class and came up with "Ghost Poop" aka homemade s'mores popcorn and jack o lantern fruit cups.  I am constantly inspired by others on Pinterest and love finding creative homemade treats.  

I was able to find free halloween printables and used this recipe for the s'mores popcorn (I added some kettle corn to the ghost poop as well).  Happy Halloween from Mommy the Chiquita Banana, Kylie the silly monkey, and Dylan our cutie banana!