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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweet Surrender

After all the stress of living abroad, my husband and I finally started storming at each other. He left with the boys and I sat alone in a dark house sulking. The kids tell me that I stress-bake, and I'm pretty sure that's true. Within a few minutes I was rummaging through the refrigerator in search of inspiration. The only thing I found was a Tupperware container with 6 egg whites in it (I'd made sable for a party earlier in the week).

A couple of hours later, Tim called to say they were headed for home. By that time, my entire mood had shifted—I'd baked! We rented a movie, invited a friend and settled in to a truly delicious evening together.

Here's an awesome recipe for French Chocolate Macarons:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered almonds (don't know if you can get this in the US, but you can grind your own in a food processor)
3 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 large egg whites
5 tablespoons castor sugar (fine white sugar)

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon butter
  • Run powdered sugar, almond powder and cocoa through a sifter.
  • Beat egg whites until they begin to form peaks. Slowly add granulated sugar until stiff and firm.
  • Slowly fold dry ingredients into egg whites, begin carful not to over-mix them. You should end up with a brown sticky batter.
  • Spoon batter into pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Let your unbaked cookies sit for 1 to 2 hours before baking at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare filling:

  • Heat cream in small saucepan. 
  • Add corn syrup. 
  • When cream begins to form bubbles, remove from head and add chocolate chips. 
  • Add butter as it begins to cool.
  • Put the filling in the refrigerator until the cookies are ready. If it is too runny when you fill the cookies, add a teaspoon of powdered sugar.

The finished cookies should have a small "foot" around the edge.

Fill the cookies and enjoy!

French Macarons come in all different flavor combinations and make a terrific treat or gift.

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