Friday, November 25, 2016

What do I do besides eat, sleep, work, and stamp?

I LOVE to bake!  Let's be clear about this, baking is NOT the same as cooking.  Cooking is a chore, something that you have to do to make food to stay alive.  Baking is optional, and you made things that people enjoy eating, that you can give as gifts, and that make the house smell good!

For the last year and a half I've been learning to make macarons.  Macarons are a labor of love.  They are seriously temperamental.  You can make a batch of shells one day that are perfect and then make a batch the next day in exactly the same way and they go wonky on you!  But no matter how they look they still taste great...you just might not want to give that batch away as gifts!

I wanted to make some to take to the Mills for Thanksgiving.  I wanted a try a new flavor or combination that I haven't tried before, something fall-ish.  I found a recipe for S'mores macarons on pinterest.  They looked wonderful and graham cracker shells sounded fun.  Also, the recipe used homemade marshmallow fluff and how could I not try that?

So, a trip to the grocery store later, I was ready to get started.

Last July I bought a "how to make macarons" kit in Kansas City.  It came with this silicon mate that has slightly raised circles on it.  It generally keeps the macarons the same size.  I haven't ventured out to using a silpat mat and hand drawn circles yet.  Baby steps!  (I found a different kit at Target last Christmas that had the same mat in it, so now I have two and can pipe all of the shells at the same time!)

graham cracker macaron shells
Graham Cracker Macaron Shells

As you can see, some of the shells did wonky things. A couple cracked, some of them rose unevenly (??), a couple had tiny feet, and some of them ended up with growths out of the top of them.  I'm blaming the weather!  It was chilly and rainy yesterday.
There were enough good shells to make about 20 pretty macarons.












Homemade marshmallow fluff

While the shells baked and cooled, I made the milk chocolate ganache and then the marshmallow fluff.
This was new to me.  If you've made marshmallows, then you know that they use gelatin and sugar.  Marshmallow fluff uses egg whites and sugar.  
You first make a syrup of water, granulated sugar and corn syrup. You beat the egg whites to a soft peak stage and then pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites while beating...then you turn up the mixer and beat it until it's thick and glossy.  Once you add some vanilla, you continue to beat it until it cools off.  Voila! Marshmallow fluff!



S'mores macarons
Here they are!  S'mores Macarons

 
 Look at them!  They're so pretty.  And they were DELICIOUS!
The milk chocolate ganache was divine...I used Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate...I might have snuck one square of the chocolate while I was chopping it.  Cadbury Dairy Milk is my absolute favorite chocolate.













Joyful Baking!
Elizabeth

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