{sms} a sweet melissa catch up

I’ve been baking most of the Sweet Melissa Sundays recipes but haven’t had time to write about them. The purpose of this post is just to catch up a bit. (I will admit, though, I did not bake the Coconut Custard Pie nor the Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Rum-Raisin Sauce).

Peanut Butter Truffles

Butterscotch Pralines

Orange-Blueberry Mini-Muffins with Pecan Crumble

Sweet Potato Bread with Cinnamon-Orange-Rum Glaze (love boozy desserts!)

Chocolate! Peanut Butter! Scones!

Need I write more? Who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate & peanut butter? Hannah of BitterSweet had the genius of making scones with them. Scones! Yes, scones. A treat you can call breakfast.

Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter Scones was the second recipe I tried from Hannah’s book, My Sweet Vegan. Not only is there peanut butter  (chunky!) in the scones, there is peanut butter (smooth!) in the chocolate drizzle.

Like all scones, the dough quickly came together. Instead of making four large scones as directed in the recipe, I made 12 mini-scones. The texture was very scone-like–a little dry, crumbly, and with just a hint of sweet. I’ve made vegan scones that were more cake-like in texture. When I make a scone, I want it to taste like a scone and they did.

I baked them for a meeting and they were enjoyed by all. The problem with making minis is that people can’t just eat one and they were gone quicker than it took to bake them–12 minutes.

If you would like the recipe, buy the book.

Chocolate Macarons

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Now that I’ve made macarons once…I’m addicted to making them. They’re so easy!
In the past I used to either throw away unused egg whites or make an egg white omelet. This is so exciting because now I have a use for them!

I made chocolate ones to get the second basic macaron recipe (the first were the vanilla ones I made for Daring Bakers) out of the before moving on to different flavors.

The recipe for the cookiecomes from Pierre Hermé via Gourmandise Desserts, who taught the macaron class I took at Surfas. For the filling I used the last of the Peanut Buttercream I had on hand.

You can find the recipe for the Peanut Buttercream HERE.

Chocolate Macarons

From Gourmandise Desserts
  • 1 1/3 cups (140 grams) almond flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (250 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) cocoa powder
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  1. Place the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in food processor and process for a few seconds until well combined.
  2. Beat the egg whites until you almost reach stiff peak stage.
  3. Fold in dry ingredients into the egg whites in three parts using a large spatula. Continue to fold until mixture forms a ribbon–batter falls uniformly off the tip of the spatula.
  4. Pipe macarons onto parchment or silcone lined cookie sheets. Let the cookies dry for at least an hour {I let mine dry for almost 3 hours}.
  5. Preheat oven to 425° F oven. Place cookies inside and immediately turn oven down to 350° F. Leave the door ajar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Once you’ve removed the cookies from the oven, pour a few tablespoons of boiling water underneath the liner. Wait two minutes and peel off the paper.

{db} Macarons! I got the feets!

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

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It often seems like the things I’m most trepid about making turn out to be easy. It happened with bagels and it happened again with this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. I’m back on track after missing two months and I was so excited when I found out the baking challenge was to make macarons.

I’ve wanted to bake these lovely French cookies for awhile and even took a class on how to make them at Surfas through Gourmandise Desserts. It was a fun class and I learned a few tips. The most important tip I learned was feet-achievement (the ridge at the bottom of each cookie half)  is a direct function of enough rest time after piping and before baking. You have to allow enough time for the exterior to harden before they go into the oven. That’s it. Now that I’ve made them once, I can’t wait to make them again. In fact, I decided I will make them every time I make ice cream. Use the yolks for ice cream and the whites for macarons. Perfect.

I made vanilla macarons using vanilla sugar and filled some with leftover peanut butter frosting, some with Nutella, and some with both peanut butter frosting and Nutella. I also sprinkled some with honey powder. The cookies came out perfect. Crunchy on the outside, with a slight chew. I served the macarons at my pizza party along with a gazillion other desserts and people loved them. It was very cool.

Thanks to Ami for hosting this month’s challenge. For the recipe visit her blog, Baking Without Fear.

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{sms} devil’s food cake and peanut butter frosting

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The frosting was unbelievable. These were good. These were hit. Too tired to write more. Had big party; now have to clean.

Thanks to Holly of Phe/Mom/enom for hosting this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book. Man, I’m tired.