I know what you're thinking... that this post is going to pick up where the "30 for 30" left off right? Wrong. I did lose 7 pounds in 30 days, but it's not exactly what you would think... In a matter of 30 days, I have gone through 7 pounds of confectioners sugar. I know. I couldn't believe it either, until I looked into the big, clear bell jar that was once full and noticed that I was scraping the bottom. Confectioners sugar, also known as powdered, is light, fluffy and very sweet. It's most often used when sprinkled on top of pancakes or when making icing, but the fact of the matter is, that I have done so much baking of late I've used all of it. And lucky for me and my thighs, I have people in my life which whom I can share the baked goodness!
The things I most enjoy are cooking/baking and working out/yoga. They are also the activities that keep me sane. Last year, I was doing hard-core workouts while training for the Ironman triathlon, so I cooked more than I baked. This summer, I've spent more time focusing on yoga and have spent the time in the kitchen baking. For me, working out and yoga are gifts I give myself daily out of love. Baking and cooking are my expression of love for others, for whom I'm creating a culinary experience, made out of and with immense amounts of love.
Now, I have to admit, some of the goodies made in the kitchen were not enjoyed by others, but quickly found their way into the trash, marked as an unsuccessful endeavor. Once I get a recipe or baked good stuck in my head, I won't quit until I've mastered the technique. What can I say, I'm a doer and very goal-oriented! And so it goes with Macarons. I'm willing to say at least one-half, if not more, of the powdered sugar went into several failed macaron attempts.
French Macarons are temperamental, and there are many a chef who have written them off as something they will never attempt to make. To me, that sounds even more appealing and caused me to make batch after batch of Mac shells. Until I got it just right...
To be clear, these are NOT the mound of coconut (spelled macaroon), rather they're the light, airy French meringue pastry, which has buttercream, jam or other deliciousness layered between two shells.
And they are phenomenal!
Take a look at the list of items of made of late:
- Star shaped shortbread crackers
- Tie dyed cupcakes (for my niece and nephew)
- Coconut cream cake
- Peanut butter buckeyes
- Macarons (at least six times!)
- Buttercream (for macarons and for cupcakes)
- Keylime pie (with homemade lime whipped cream)
- Ganache filled cupcakes
- Donut muffins
- Chocolate chip cookies (which my mom said were THE BEST she's ever had!)