Cooking with Liz: Tea Parties and Macarons

Cooking+with+Liz%3A+Tea+Parties+and+Macarons

Liz Berndt, Editor-in-Chief

When deciding what I wanted to do for my 18th birthday, I came to a road block. In years past, I went to dinner or to the beach, but this year I wanted to do something different. So I decided to throw a Tea Party for 30 girls. Although tea parties may be a classic six-year-old event, it was perfect nonetheless.

I love cooking, as you know, and I love flowers, dresses, heels and mini sandwiches. Put all of those together and you have my Tea. However, what I really wanted to tackle through this experience was macaron making (Notice: Macaron is the correct French spelling of this delicious dessert; however, I have seen it both ways on English websites).

I had read recipes before and watched videos on how to make a macaron’s consistency perfect, but I had never actually tried a recipe myself. The Tea was a perfect excuse.

They say the keys to macaron making are the consistency of the egg whites the timing of adding the sugar. I don’t know, yet at least, what is the perfect combination; however, I will try to share the tips I learned.

 

  1. Make sure the eggs are completely frothy before adding the sugar or vanilla to the egg whites. Otherwise, you will never get the eggs to make the meringue base (I made this mistake and had to start over).

  2. DO NOT use cooking oil in addition to the parchment paper. It makes your cookies run and bleed together.

  3. When they say whip for seven minutes, they really mean it.

  4. MAKE SURE YOU’RE BLENDER IS ON HIGH. If you don’t, you may be blending for years.

  5. If you don’t have a decorating bag, spoon mixture into a large resealable plastic bag and snip a 1/2-inch hole in one corner of the bag.

I made two kinds of macarons: pumpkin spice and pink vanilla with chocolate filling. The pink vanilla batter ran and didn’t work, but I learned from it!

Pumpkin Spice Macarons:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups  finely ground almonds

  • 1 1/4 cups  powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice

  • 3 egg whites

  • 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla

  • Dash salt

  • 1/4 cup  granulated sugar

  • 8 drops yellow food coloring

  • 2 drops red food coloring

  • 1/2 cup  pumpkin butter or apple butter

Directions:

1.Line three large cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together almonds, powdered sugar, and spice; set aside.

2.In a large bowl combine egg whites, vanilla, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Gradually add granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed just until soft peaks form (tips curl). Stir in nut mixture and food colorings.

3.Spoon mixture into a large decorating bag fitted with a large (about 1/2-inch) round tip.* Pipe 1-1/2-inch circles 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Let stand for 30 minutes before baking.

4.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool on cookie sheets on wire racks. Carefully peel cookies off parchment paper.

5.Spread pumpkin butter on bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down.

Note: Layer unfilled cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw cookies, if frozen. Fill as directed in Step 5.

Recipe and image taken from:

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pumpkin-spice-macaroons/

In addition to the macarons, I posted the menu for the tea below: