Macarons – c’est magnifique!

Macaron.

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Macaroon.

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2 very different things.

I’m sure World Macaroon Day is lovely too, but today we celebrate the delicately sweet French meringues.

Macaron Day TO is happening here in Toronto with many local shops participating, and with a portion of the day’s macaron sales from every participating location to be donated to the Red Door Family Shelter.  Macarons and money going to a good cause?  Win-win!

If you’ve never had one of these little pieces of heaven, you’re missing out.

I have not tackled a macaron recipe, as it is better left to the professionals.  With an ingredient list that is basically egg whites and sugar, they can be finicky.

So your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to get out there and explore a local pâtisserie near you and try one of these delightful treats.

I am enjoying my Butter Avenue selection tonight.  (My thanks to my awesome husband who went out on his lunch hour to pick these up)

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My selections: Molten Chocolate Marshmallow, Pistachio Cherry, Almond Brûlée, Cream Cheese Passionfruit, Sea Salt Caramel and Raspberry.

Fake it till you bake it – lemon meringue pie

Tonight we’re attending a friend’s annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner and I’ll be damned if I show up empty handed.

This week, I’ve been feeling a little rough, so rather than baking a pie from scratch, I got some help from the grocery store.

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All you need is:

  • pre-made crust (lightly baked and left to cool before adding the filling)
  • 2 large eggs (yolks for filling, whites for meringue)
  • Lemon filling (I like to add  about 3 tbsp of real lemon curd to the Shirriff while its warming on the stove)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar to whip up a light and fluffy meringue (electric mixer recommended)

Voila!  In about 30 minutes you have a freshly baked pie to bring to a party.

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In another post I’ll show a real pie from scratch, but for this week, you get fake it till you bake it

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Salted chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

Things I find delicious:

1. Benedict Cumberbatch

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2. Salty Sweet desserts

In regards to #2, my favourite cookies are these guys right here:

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It’s a tried and true recipe that has never let me down in the ‘that’s a damn good cookie’ category.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • kosher or flaked salt (for sprinkling)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, combine butter and both sugars on a medium speed until it is light and fluffy (about a minute)

Reduce speed to low and add salt, vanilla and eggs. Beat until mixed thoroughly. Add flour, baking soda and oats.  Mix until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips last.

Drop a generous tablespoon-sized ball of dough onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart (line sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat)  Sparingly sprinkle tops of cookies with kosher salt/flaked salt

Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown

Remove from oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to let them cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen

It’s hard to let them cool without having a taste, but its totally worth the wait when you get the salty-sweet goodness hitting your palate.