The Mad Cake Batter

sweet treats and savory deets


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Blueberry Lemon Macarons

“In everyone’s life, a little rain must fall.”

The words my boyfriend told me after making this version of macarons. The last time I made macs, I used the recipe from Bravetart. It cut baking time significantly, however, my taste testers said they preferred the Pierre Herme recipe because they were “gooeier.”

I decided I was going to conduct some experiments this time around. Instead of 115 grams of Almond flour from the BraveTart recipe, I would use 200g. Pierre’s recipe has 300 grams Almond flour to 300 grams confectionary sugar so I thought 200 grams to 230 g was a good idea. Well, the shells were definitely softer, but almost all them cracked. I could blame this on a few things. Instead, I am just going to chalk it up as a failed attempt.

macs3Obviously, I haven’t found the right ratio. I want to incorporate what I learned from both recipes. I may try next the 1:1 ratio for flour and sugar, but keep the egg white process from Bravetart and see how I fare… To be continued.

My second experiment was using natural food coloring. Since these were going to be a blueberry lemon, I pureed some blueberries in a blender. I started off with a small amount because I didn’t want to overdo it. The puree turned the dough into a soft blue. A complete surprise since it was a dark purple? But hey, good to know for the future.

MACARON SHELLS:

  • 200 g Almond flour
  • 230 g Confectionary sugar
  • 144 g egg whites
  • 72 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup blueberry puree

Preheat oven to 300F. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Set aside. In a standard mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Beat on medium (level 4) for three minutes. Increase speed to a level 6 for another three minutes. Then increase the speed to a level 8 for another 3 minutes. Add the puree and mix at level 8 for another minute.

macs1Fold in the egg whites to the flour mixture to break down the egg whites. Put the batter in a pipping bag and pipe on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-18 minutes. Since my oven gets super hot, I put a wooden spatula between the door of the oven to let moisture escape. It is supposed to prevent the shells from cracking which they still continued to do. Whomp.

BLUEBERRY LEMON FROSTING

  • 1/2 -1 squeezed lemon
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 cups confectionary sugar

In a standard mixer using the paddle attachment beat the butter on high until it becomes light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides using a spatula and add the blueberry puree and 1 cup of confectionary sugar. Mix until well incorporated. Add confectionary sugar cup one at a time until the buttercream starts to take shape. Pipe frosting into cooled shells and store in freezer in an air-tight container. Allow macarons to sit in the fridge for at least a half hour before serving.


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Mexican Wedding Cookies

I learned a valuable lesson when making these cookies…coconut oil should not go in the fridge, or it will be as hard as rock. If you have read any of my other posts, you know that I prefer to bake with coconut oil. mwc1This time, I thought I was being smart by making the dough the before work, placing it in the fridge, and baking them later that night. I took the dough out and let it sit for about an hour, and wouldn’t you know, it was still rock hard!

I drew up a hot bath in the sink to allow the dough to soften because, lets face it, it needed a little push if I was going to bake these babies that night. It took a little reheating every now and then and a little chopping at the dough, but everything turned out ok.

The thing I love about these cookies is that they are super easy and they just melt in your mouth. The recipe is from Food.com though most recipes for this cookie do not vary a great deal. In the end, the coconut oil was a great edition because it made the cookies sweeter.

INGREDIENTS

  • mwc21 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup confectionery sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • extra confectionary sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Cream together coconut and powdered sugar; stir in vanilla. Whisk together flour and salt; add gradually to oil mixture; stir in chopped nuts. Chill the dough for a short while, if the dough is too soft. Form dough into 1 1/4″ balls and place onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies start to turn light golden-brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. While cookies are still warm, roll in confectionary sugar until coated and allow cool cookies completely on wire racks.


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Mini Key Lime Pies

My boyfriend is a huge fan of key lime. In fact for his birthday, he requested the Key Lime cheesecake bars I made previously. I ignored his request thinking he may like something very similar but better. Cue the mini key lime pies!

pies2The recipe came from This Silly Girl’s Life, but I had left over lime curd from the Key Lime Cheesecake bars so I made my own version. I had about 3/4 cup of lime curd left which is how much lime juice I needed. Sadly, I did not squeeze a pound of lime juice this time… The difference is that the ones I made were a bit greener and less of a lime taste.

Either way, these are like a semifreddo and start to be come soft very quickly. If you are not going to serve them right away, keep them in the freezer. I put mine in the fridge because I thought they were fine and they became mushy. I moved them to the freezer immediately and they were able to keep their shape.

INGREDIENTS:

  • lime curd
  • 1 sleeve honey graham crackers
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ stick butter, unsalted, melted

pies1Crush the sleeve of crackers and mix with the melted butter. Set aside. To make the whipped cream, chill the standard mixer bowl and the whisk attachment for 10 minutes in the freezer. Add all the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix at high speed until medium peaks form. Transfer the whipped topping to a medium bowl and set aside. Using the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese until smooth, add the condensed milk and mix until smooth. Add the lime curd/juice and mix until smooth. Remove from the standard mixer and with a spatula, fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping until combined.

I used just regular cupcake liners and they were able to peel off easily, but This Silly Girl’s Life used silicon. If you don’t have silicon, the paper liners do work just fine. Fill 3/4 the way with the batter, and cover the top with the crushed graham crackers. Place tray in the freezer for at least four hours. If using the paper liners, you should be able to peel them off easily and place them crust side down on a plate. If using silicon, she suggests submerging the bottom half in warm water for a few seconds to remove from the mold. Top with whipped topping and serve!


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Puppy Treats!

treatsA little change from my normal post. My Boyfriend and I recently adopted a puppy and being the person that I am started looking for some healthy treats I can give to my new fur-bundle of joy. I found out there are a lot of things dogs can’t have such as avocado, garlic and onion, to name a few.

I started off with something easy that I found on Bake at Midnight. It had only a few ingredients so it wouldn’t be a complete loss if Bailey didn’t like them, and I halved the recipe. Please disregard that the cookies are bat shaped, I haven’t bought a dog treat mold just yet. I also added parsley because it helps fight bad puppy breath.

treats1INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 TBS water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oats and puree. Add water, one TBS at time to make a workable dough. Roll out to 1/8-1/4-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Turn off oven and let biscuits sit in oven until oven is completely cool.  This helps to dehydrate the biscuits for better storage.