Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas Eve and I hope everyone is home or safely traveling home to be with family.  Dave and I will be home together for the week.  I am working all through the holiday but we will get to be together in the mornings before I leave in the afternoon.  We will go home to Iowa for my family Christmas in mid January.  I can't wait!  This is a wonderful vintage tray I picked up at the Angels Attic Sale this year that was so fitting for the day!
I wanted to post a picture of my secret Christmas gift for my sister.  She bought me a candle pyramid carousel and I knit her these.  I am so thrilled with how they turned out.  This is a pattern I purchased off Etsy and knit from Cascade 220.  I have another pattern from the same designer that is a blue colorway.  You can never have too many mittens!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

 Here is a lovely footed macaron shell that I baked yesterday.  Macarons are a classic flourless French cookie and I have wanted to master them ever since I first tasted them.  They consist of eggs whites stiffly beaten with sugar and then combined with powdered sugar and ground almonds.  They are then piped, baked and the shells sandwiched together with fillings.  I colored these with lavender powdered food coloring and filled them with black cherry jam.  I was so pleased because they released from the parchment and developed the lacy "foot" as they baked. 
Bob's Red Mill makes a very good almond meal for almost $15/pound.  It is always worth the price of good ingredients and I was quite pleased with these.  I am getting very comfortable with the technique for these so next I want to start exploring different fillings instead of just jam.  Chocolate ganache, buttercream and salted caramel are the 3 I am interested in right now.  I used Martha's recipe but I baked them for 8-10 minutes at 310 degrees.  This tutorial was very helpful too.