I Dream in Macarons

Don’t be fooled…I left the extra “o” out of there on purpose. These are not the coconut cookies that so many people either hate or love. After a long time comin, dreaming in macarons, I finally stepped it up to create this delicate French treat. Macarons are those fabulous little cookie sandwiches that look like they’re dancing out of their pastry case…like these on Tartelette! They’re made with almond flour, powdered sugar, and egg whites. People make quite the fuss over them, so I was kind of nervous to make them – hence why it’s been almost a year since I set my sights on them :/

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, this happened…

I made a chocolate macaron cookie with three different combos: one with a salted caramel filling, one with a chocolate ganache filling, and finally a salted caramel filling dipped in chocolate ganache. Oh. My.

The inspiration all started with a surprise in the mail! I thought I had a small little something arriving from a friend, but NO! It was a HUGE box marked with perhaps four of the best words ever combined, “KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER.” AND IT’S YELLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Best surprise ever, Mom and Dad! So the inaugural recipe had to be epic. And epic it was, my friends, epic it was.

And then I meticulously went through the recipe in my fancy black and white apron :)

They were met with open arms, and divine praise. I think the salted caramel dipped in chocolate ganache was my fave.

**French phrase for fun!

Il s’avère que les macarons ne font pas peur, après tout.

It turns out that macarons aren’t scary after all.

I basically used the cookie recipe from the LA Times here: http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-macaronrecb-20100401,0,6389216.story

And I used the salted caramel recipe from Baking Equals Love here: http://www.bakingequalslove.com/2011/10/caramel-latte-macarons-coffee-macs-with.html

And a basic chocolate ganache like this one from David Lebovitz: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/10/french-chocolat/

Coffee’s Favorite Biscotti

(ya see what I did there?! …clever, I know. That’s why they pay me the big bucks.)

So I’m fully aware that I have a slight coffee addiction, but I’m really ok with it (especially because of the reported health benefits, seriously, check it out.) As soon as my new boss mentioned, “And we have a coffee club if you’d like to—” me, “Absolutely! I’m in.” And praise the Lord, they do nice, freshly ground coffee – the good stuff! Soooooo exciting!

You may think I’m a little over the top, but it’s really the little things in life that I get excited about. Like that great cup of coffee, or the fact that I saw a 60 year-old man in… JEANS. SHORTS. OVERALLS. Fact. It was ridiculous. I loved it. I also get excited about that guy you pass on the street with a handlebar mustache- he must spend so much time on that! Really, wow. I also LOVE perfectly painted nails and this delicious biscotti!

They’re Dark Chocolate Anise Biscotti from the new Joy the Baker cookbook! They have a very subtle licorice flavor from just 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed anise seeds, and the dark chocolate is the perfect match for these crunchy delights! Add a good, hot cup of coffee into the equation, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful breakfast or an awesome afternoon treat. You deserve it! :)

These biscotti from Joy the Baker would also be delicious!

**French phrase for fun!

Enthousiasmez-vous pour quelque chose de petite ce week-end!

Get excited about something little this weekend! :)