pumpkin spiced jack-o-lantern macarons

2014-10-12 20.27.13

Going out trick-or-treating for Halloween candy was something I looked forward to every year as a kid. I always hoped to get lots of fun size Snickers bars, and always scoffed at the ever-present rolls of Smarties candies that would accumulate in my pumpkin shaped pail. Come on, those things were barely even candy!

These days, living the life of a gal who’s pushing 31, my trick-or-treating days are long behind me. That doesn’t stop me from still carving jack-o-lanterns to set out in my front yard, watching John Carpenter’s Halloween every year (and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — it’s a classic!), and occasionally buying a mixed bag of Halloween candy to snack on hand out to potential trick-or-treaters.

The older I get, the more I embrace those nostalgic Halloween traditions. Living life as an adult, I get the added perk of making my own classier, grown up-friendly Halloween treats, like these adorable pumpkin spiced macarons! Yes, pumpkin spice is everywhere, but I promise you, these actually taste like real pumpkin and spices!

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a lesson learned: nut-free coconut + pineapple macarons

I have what you’d call a little obsession with the little French cookie known as the macaron. There’s just something so alluring about these cookies to perfectionist bakers because it’s so technical a cookie to produce. Anyone can make a macaron, but to make a good one, the technique has to be perfected and you have to be present in the moment with these guys. This is no time to go into the kitchen and do a half-assed job. Use your whole ass!

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firecracker macarons!

Happy birthday, America! I made you some macarons. I hope you like them!

IMG_1121Is there any dessert more trying to a baker’s patience than the elusive French macaron? I’ve made them about 8 times in the past 3 years to varying degrees of success. This recipe comes from the always lovely Tartelette, a recipe that I’ve used a few times and decided to come back to for this 4th of July treat. I’ve tried other recipes, and while some of them have worked beautifully, others have been a sad disappointment. I find myself glued to the glass door of my oven while these little beauties are baking, holding my breath until I see the first signs of feet forming (“pieds“, if you want to be fancy, the little ruffly/bubbly edges at the bottom). The first time I made these and got feet to form, I literally jumped up and down in my kitchen,  no joke.

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