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Thursday, August 29, 2013

it's NOT like riding a bicycle

considering the fact that i haven't made a batch of macarons in, oh, probably about a year, i don't know what i was thinking when i filled out my entry form for this year's l.a. county fair culinary competition.  after i wrote in the code for the sugar cookie category, i got all crazy and threw in "french macarons" in too.  good lord.

and then i promptly forgot all about it until i looked up while driving last week and noticed the banners advertising the upcoming fair.  it opens this friday, and that's when i realized i needed to get my shit together and figure out what i was going to make for my entries.  well, i'd already figured out what to do for the sugar cookies.  they came together pretty easily since i'd just done these designs not too long ago:

as i was debating what kind of macarons to make, i remembered something.  thanks to the dude at the hot chocolate 5K this spring who was handing out jars all willy-nilly, i had a crazy stockpile of delicious biscoff spread sitting in my pantry, just waiting to be used.  and then i remembered seeing a recipe on the picky palate blog for biscoff macarons.  well, duh.

the ingredients were simple.

because i didn't want to be stuck with a stupid number of leftovers - which sounds wrong somehow, i know, but the hub's not a big macaron fan - i thought i'd cut the recipe in half.  but when two eggs yielded about 2/3 the amount of whites listed in the recipe, i decided to use that fraction instead.  thank god for calculators, is all i can say.

the biscoff cookies ground up easily in the ol' baby food maker (yup, i sure do still use that thing on the regular).

i decided to add the almond meal and whirl it together.

whip the egg whites to a stiff peak?  check.

by the time i folded everything together and scraped it into a pastry bag, i was feeling like i'd never stopped making these things.  kinda like riding a bicycle, right?

and that's when shit started to go awry.  i got the dreaded "hershey's kiss" top as i piped out the shells.  no amount of whacking the cookie sheet on the counter got rid of 'em on most of the cookies.  damn.

not only that, but as soon as i got 'em in the oven, i somehow managed to knock over one of my very favorite mixing bowls.  r.i.p., small pink bowl.

although i managed to achieve the desired macaron "feet," i was super bummed when i pulled the sheets out of the oven and the shells were...ugly.  meh.  didn't stop me from assembling them with the biscoff spread buttercream and sandwiching them together.  look at how fug it turned out.  boo.

luckily, i had enough shells that did turn out to my satisfaction to create six sandwiches - exactly the number i needed to submit my entry.  voila:

i suppose they look okay, right?  i can tell you this much:  they're damn tasty.  and those shells actually came out with the most lovely, satisfyingly chewy texture to them.  the bean and i happily snacked on a few of them as soon as they came out of the oven.

the fair opens tomorrow.  i have a packed schedule, but i wonder if i can make it over there to at least get a peek and see how my entries fared.  it'd be cool as hell to win some sort of a ribbon again!


  1. Best of luck- love both of your entries! Sooo wishing my son was still small enough to appreciate the farm animal cookies! Mind if I ask which icing recipe you used? Thank you from N. CA!


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