Pantry Must Haves

Chocolate Macarons
195g: almond meal 
240g: icing sugar
120g: castor sugar
150g: egg whites
2 tablespoons of COCOA powder

Chocolate Ganache
  1. In a saucepan put cream (2/3 cup or 150ml) and add light brown sugar (1 tablespoon). 
  2. Heat until sugar dissolves and cream has come to a boil. 
  3. Add a little salt 
  4. Pour mixture over 150g/5oz of finely chopped chocolate (dark bittersweet). 
  5. Stir until smooth (add a little melted butter or sweeten with some honey).
  6. Set in fridge until it thickens.
  7. Then spread onto macarons.

Preparation: 
Line 3 trays with parchment paper and using a circle cutter trace circles onto the paper about 2 cm apart. Then turn the paper upside down as you don't want the outline of circle imprinting onto your macarons (yes, that happened in attempt Number 1)!

  1.  Using room temp egg whites ( that have been left out overnight), beat at a medium speed until white and stiff.  Slowly add sugar and continue to mixture until a peak forms.
  2.  Then fold in the sifted icing sugar, and almond meal (sift together, to ensure that it is super fine). Stir in cocoa...
  3.  Using a piping bag with a large round nozzle, scoop in the mixture. Place the noszzle in the centre of the circle and squeeze until the circle is filled with mixture. Then repeat...
  4. Tap the tray 3 times on the kitchen counter to release the air bubbles.
  5. Then leave your macarons to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. (Test: they should not be sticky to touch).
  6.  While they are standing, make filling and preheat oven to 325F.
  7. Drop to 300 when your ready to bake your macarons
  8.  Bake them one tray at a time- place the macaron tray onto another tray (this is Referred to as double tray baking)...
  9.  Bake for 5 minutes. Then using a wooden spoon, slightly wedge your oven open and bake for another 7- 10 minutes. Repeat for each batch. Remember before placing the next tray into the oven return the heat to 325F and then drop the oven to 300F 
  10. Let your macarons cool completely before removing from the tray.
  11. Sandwich your macarons together using the above filling (chocolate ganache) and let them sit for a moment or two xo
 
 
One of my favorite things about Pinterest is looking at desserts. The benefit of looking is that it's calorie free. :-) I saw this recipe for Oatmeal Creme Pies and I was brought back to my childhood. I loved the overly processed sugary version we had as kids so I knew that a homemade version would be out of this world. I was right! I did make 2 slight changes to the recipe. I left out the vanilla in the frosting, because I actually forgot to put it in. They turned out perfectly, so why change it now? I also used a LOT less confectioner's sugar. Anytime I make a filling or frosting that requires a lot of confectioner's sugar - I always add it in little by little and continue to taste. If I added it all at once, I probably wouldn't have been able to eat these delicious cookies. 


Oatmeal Cookies:
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon
Marshmallow Filling:
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 7-ounce container marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (original calls for 3 cups!!) 
Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly add the to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.Use an ice cream scoop to drop dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. If you do not have an ice cream scoop, make them into 1 tablespoon sized balls.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Make the filling by creaming together the butter and marshmallow creme. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
Add a generous scoop of filling to half of the cookies. Top with another cookie, and voila! 

NOT that these cookies will last - but they are best eaten within a day. 


Love,
Marlo 
x x x
 
 

The French Macaron 
Rose with Buttercream

The French Macaron 
Rose with Buttercream

195g: almond meal 
240g: icing sugar
120g: castor sugar
150g: egg whites
A few drops of rose water
Pink food colouring
The Filling
A buttercream icing

125g butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups of icing sugar
2 tablespoons of milk or cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix together until smooth.
Preparation: Line 3 trays with parchment paper and using a circle cutter trace circles onto the paper about 2 cm apart. Then turn the paper upside down as you don't want the outline of circle imprinting onto your macarons (yes, that happened in attempt Number 1)!

  1.  Using room temp egg whites ( that have been left out overnight), beat at a medium speed until white and stiff.  Slowly add sugar and continue to mixture until a peak forms.
  2.  Then fold in the sifted icing sugar, and almond meal (sift together, to ensure that it is super fine). Stir in Rose water and a few drops of food colouring (be careful)
  3.  Using a piping bag with a large round nozzle, scoop in the mixture. Place the noszzle in the centre of the circle and squeeze until the circle is filled with mixture. Then repeat...
  4. Tap the tray 3 times on the kitchen counter to release the air bubbles.
  5. Then leave your macarons to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. (Test: they should not be sticky to touch).
  6.  While they are standing, make filling and preheat oven to 325F.
  7. Drop to 300 when your ready to bake your macarons
  8.  Bake them one tray at a time- place the macaron tray onto another tray (this is Referred to as double tray baking)...
  9.  Bake for 5 minutes. Then using a wooden spoon, slightly wedge your oven open and bake for another 7- 10 minutes. Repeat for each batch. Remember before placing the next tray into the oven return the heat to 325F and then drop the oven to 300F 
  10. Let your macarons cool completely before removing from the tray.
  11. Sandwich your macarons together using the above filling and let them sit for a moment or two xo
 
 
Bake up a little love for your Valentines
 This recipe is very easy and the dough is actually better if you make it ahead and let it chill at least a day or freeze it for much later.  Check out the other ways I make these cookies....here.  XO  Martha

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or lemon or almond extract (I prefer almond)
Sift together the four, baking powder and salt.  Cream together the shortening and sugar, then mix in the egg.  Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk ad extract and blend well.  Chill dough overnight for best results.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Rool dough thin, press out desired shapes with cookie cutters. (Make sure your work surface is well floured.  THese cookies should be thin and you may want to use a spatial to transfer them to the cookie sheet.) Bake 7-10 minutes (check frequently especially if you have shapes with thin ends...the angle wings and reindeer legs tend to cook and brown quickly!) Cool on a wire rack.

Icing:
2 cups (I'm guessing?)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
a little milk or water
food coloring if desired

Start with one cup of powdered sugar and add the almond extract and a tiny bit of milk.  Stir and add more liquid or more sugar until you reach the right consistency, not runn and not clumpy.  Add coloring and ice away!

 
 
Woo-hoo it's chocolate month!  I'm kicking things off with a cookie that's not too sweet, very pretty and has a great dough you can keep in your fridge or freezer and bake up in a snap.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! XOXO Martha
This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker "Best Recipes for Cookies" book.

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix granulated sugar, oil, chocolate and vanilla.  MIx in eggs, 1 at a time.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Heat oven to 350.  Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar, roll around to coat.  Shape into balls and place about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.  Bake until almost no indentation remains when touched.  10-12 minutes.  

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
 
 

Childhood Memories for our 
Australia Day Celebrations

The Biscuit
21/2 cups of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 oz of superfine sugar
4 oz of butter
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons of malt or golden syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla extracts
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add vanilla and egg
  • Add malt or golden syrup
  • Add sifted flour 
  • Wrap in a zip lock bag and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  • Roll dough onto a floured surface. Using a rectangle cutter- stamp out rectangles (5mm, thick).
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly coloured and firm NOT CRISP...Leave on a tray to cool before icing..
The icing and the Jam
Make a Royal Icing 
2 egg whites
2 cup of sifted icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
A few drops of red food colouring
Beat egg white in a bowl until foamy
Gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar until egg white is glossy and forms a soft peak.
Use icing immediately...

Construction


Pantry Must Haves
  • Royal Icing
  • Piping bag and tip
  • Shredded coconut
  • Jam
Place jam into a piping bag.
Spread icing over biscuit.
Then pipe a strip of jam down the middle of the biscuit (on top of icing).
Icing side down, dip into a plate of shredded coconut
 
 
Picture



1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup (two sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit (cranberries or raisins)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup coarsely shopped walnuts or pecans
1 cups all purpose flour
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila (silver or gold as desired)

First, sample the Cuervo to check quality.  Take a large bowl.  Check the Cuervo to be sure it is of the highest quality.  Pour another 4 ounces in a measuring cup and drink.  Turn on the electric mixer.  Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.  Add one teaspoon sugar.  Beat again.

At this point, it is best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK.  Try another 4 ounces, just in car.  Turn off the mixer thingy.  Break two legs and add to the bowl and chuk in the cup of dried fruit, picking the frigging fruit off the floor.  Mix on the turner.  If the fried fruit gets stuck in the beaters, just pry lose with a screwdriver.

Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.  Next, sift 2 cups of salt or something.  Check the Jse Cuervo.  NOw shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.  Add one table.  Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.  Whatever you can find.  Greash the oven.  Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.  Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas!
P.S. My friend LuAnne includes this fabulous recipe in her cookie exchange recipe booklet every year and it cracks me up every time!  Too heck with the cookies and cheers to tequila!  XO  Martha
 
 
I know, the title of this cookie is enough to make you want to read more, right?  We all know that sometimes our best recipes aren't tried and true culinary wonders that are passed down generation to generation. Sometimes, they come from the back of a box, a friend's neighbor, or an ex-boyfriend's mother! This one came to my cookie exchange friend, Laura by way of Julie!  XO Martha
Picture



1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oatmeal
2 bottle of chocolate sprinkles (for edges) OR 6 ounces of chocolate chips (to melt and dip)

(Martha says:"Personally sprinkles don't do it for me, I prefer to go without them and dip half a baked cookie in melted chocolate.  I think they look and taste better this way!")

Prepare dough the night before:
Beat sugar and butter well, then add vanilla.  Add in dry ingredients until well combined.  Form dough into 2 rolls, roughly 1" thick, then roll dough rolls in sprinkles (if you are going the sprinkle route).  Wrap in wax paper and ziploc bags and refrigerate overnight (or freeze if you need to speed things up).

Baking Day:
Preheat oven to 375 F.  Take out dough roll one at a time and warm slightly before slicing into 1/8 " thick slices.  Bake approximately 10 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  When completely cool, melt chocolate and dip cookies.  Let the chocolate set completely before storing or packaging.

Makes 4-6 dozen
 
 
This recipe comes from Linda O'Leary a former neighbor of mine who always bakes for our cookie exchange.  Our exchange hostess is a Gluten Free gal, so I know she appreciates having more than just her own cookie to choose from on party night!  Plus these cookies are chewy and delicious!  XO  Martha
Chocolate Walnut Cookies

2 1/2 cups walnut halves
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup plus three tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Position 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.  Heat oven to 350.  LIne two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place walnuts on a work surface and finely chop.  Transfer to a separate large baking sheet and toast until fragrant., about 9 minutes.  Let cool.

MIx sugar, cocoa, and salt in a bowl.  Stir in walnuts.  Add in egg whites and vanilla; beat with a fork or an electric mixer on medium until batter is just moistened. (Do not overbeat batter or it will stiffen.)

Drop batter by the teaspoonful onto baking sheets in evenly spaced mounds.  Bake cookies until tops are lightly cracked and glossy, about 15 minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes 60 cookies.
 
 
OMG these cookies are not only, pretty and gluten free, they are also delicious!  They are Mara Schmittinger's labor of love for the cookie exchange.  She lives in Delaware and drives up for the Maplewood, NJ cookie exchange.  Now that's dedication! 

Ambrosia Macaroons
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
3 large eggs
24 ounces flaked coconut (about 6 cups firmly packed)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Position rack in center of oven; pre-heat to 325.  Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Using and electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until smooth.  Add sugar and salt; beat until blended.  Beat in orange peel, then eggs, one at a time.  MIx in coconut.  Drop batter onto sheets by tablespoonfuls, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake macaroons, 1 sheet at a time, until golden on bottom and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool completely on sheets.  (If you try and bake more than 1 sheet at a time they will not brown up right...not sure why, they just don't.)

Using a fork, drizzle chocolate over macaroons.  Chil on sheets until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.

Make about 45