• Funfetti Macarons

    I’m gonna cut right to the chase here and tell you that I’m a basic bitch who loooooves funfetti baked goods. There’s something so cutie about the rainbow sprinkles that I keep coming back to it even though it tastes literally no different than classic vanilla. And because it’s a proven fact that french macarons are the world’s cutest dessert, why not take the next step and funfetti-ify them!! Now that I type funfetti-ify I realize that it has become my favorite word and I WILL be using it as much as possible, thank you very much.

    I was home alone for a handful of days this week, and because I have too much time on my hands, I made an extra large batch of these babies. If left to my own devices I would have eaten all 40 myself, but because I’m an adult and I need some self-control, I brought the rest into work, where they were GONE by the end of the day, so I think I passed the co-worker test with flying colors. But now it’s time for the reader test, so quick! First person to make these themselves wins all my love and affection.

    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today- do yourself a favor and envision each one slowly for maximum happiness:
    ONE. Smelling a familiar smell and having memories associated with it come flooding in instantly.
    TWO. Seeing a full rainbow.
    THREE. Eating cereal at 11pm.
    FOUR. Winter citrus being the pick-me-up you need after a gloomy day.
    FIVE. Boats with clear bottoms so that you can see the fish swimming under you.

    Let’s bake!!

    MAKES: About 40 macarons
    PREP TIME: 1 hour
    BAKE TIME: 15 minutes per batch

    MACARON SHELL INGREDIENTS

    2¾ cups + 1 Tbsp ground almonds
    2 cups + 1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
    6 egg whites + 1 extra (just in case)
    1 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
    Rainbow Nonpareils

    MACARON SHELL STEPS

    ONE. In a large bowl, sift together the ground almonds and confectioner’s sugar to remove any lumps. Set aside.

    TWO. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the 6 egg whites until foamy. Add a third of the granulated sugar, and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add another third and beat for another minute. Add the final third and beat until the egg whites are thick, glossy, and can stand in soft peaks.

    THREE. Gently fold the ground almond mixture into the whipped eggs until everything is fully incorporated. You’ll know the batter is ready to pipe when you lift the spatula up out of the batter and it flows back into the bowl in a smooth V shape. If the mixture is too thick, beat the extra egg white until foamy and stir into the batter to thin it out. Batter should be thick enough that a piped circle maintains its shape, but thin enough that the top can be smoothed out. Transfer the batter to a piping bag or ziplock fitted with a large round tip.

     

    FOUR. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and pipe 2-3 inch circles of batter about an inch apart. While the cookies are still wet, sprinkle the tops of each one with some of the rainbow nonpareils. Tap the sheet pans on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles, then allow the cookies to sit for at least 30 minutes, or until you touch the top of the cookie and it’s dry instead of sticky.

    FIVE. Preheat your oven to 300ºF. Bake the trays for 15 minutes, then allow to cool completely before removing from the parchment paper. Before filling, pair each cookie with one of a similar size to make the sandwich.

     

    FUNFETTI BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS

    3¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
    ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    3-4 Tbsp whole milk
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Splash of almond extract
    Red Food coloring
    Cylindrical Rainbow Sprinkles

    FUNFETTI BUTTERCREAM STEPS

    ONE. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

    TWO. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, as well as the red food coloring (or any coloring that you feel like). Fold in rainbow sprinkles with a rubber spatula so that the mixer doesn’t break them, then fill a piping bag or ziplock bag fitted with a star tip.

    THREE. For each pair of macaron cookies, pipe a generous swirl of buttercream on one half, then place the second cookie on top to create the classic sandwich. These cookies can be eaten immediately, but are best served after chilling in the refrigerator overnight.

    YUM! xoxoxoxoxo

  • Buttery Double Vanilla Cake

    Hello and happy Tuesday my friends, today we’re slowing things down with a simple tea cake. But when I say simple, I am referring only to the level of skill required to make this cake, and not at all to the depth of its flavor. I love recipes with a catch, and this recipe’s catch is that it’s got not one, but TWO types of vanilla in it. Classic vanilla extract is necessary, but the secret is an additional teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, which adds an extra punch of vanilla as well as flecks of vanilla bean so you KNOW what you’re getting before you even eat it. I used the very last of both my fancy vanilla extract AND my fancy vanilla bean paste, but I can’t imagine a better way for them to go. Taken from this recipe here by Posie Harwood, this cake is the perfect complement to a cup of tea- it’s buttery and dense and rich, and because the cake pan is lined with sugar instead of flour, it’s got a delicate, caramelized crunch on the outside.

    To match the simplicity of this recipe, I will keep it short and sweet here as well, because we all know why you’re here and it’s to BAKE not to read! Thank you love you for reading, here we go!

    But of course, before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!
    ONE. Hot drinks in clear glass mugs.
    TWO. Teaching yourself calligraphy by practicing the alphabet over and over.
    THREE. Mini succulents in individual pots.
    FOUR. The idea that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes not planning is the best way to be.
    FIVE. Mint green kitchen appliances.

    Let’s bake!!

    MAKES: 1 8-inch round cake
    PREP TIME: 15 minutes
    BAKE TIME: 35-40 minutes

    INGREDIENTS

    1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the pan
    3 eggs, warmed
    1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp salt
    1 cup flour
    14 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly

    STEPS

    ONE. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch cake pan with a parchment circle, then grease the sides and bottom of the pan with butter. Coat the buttered pan with white sugar and shake around until it’s evenly coated.

    TWO. If your eggs are at anything other than room temperature, warm them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes, this will help when you’re whipping air into them later. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the warmed eggs and cup of granulated sugar for 4 to 5 minutes, until they are doubled in size, pale yellow, and fall in thick ribbons when the mixer is turned off.

    THREE. Add the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract, and salt. If you don’t have any vanilla bean paste, just add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract to make it three total. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula. It’s important to fold gently in order to maintain the air beaten into the eggs and not deflate them!

    FOUR. Drizzle the melted butter into the batter and mix, again gently, but until it’s totally incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake will puff in the oven and then sink a little when it’s removed, but that’s normal!

    FIVE. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edges, then allow it to cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Turn the cake onto a wire rack and continue to cool completely.

    This cake is best enjoyed slightly warm with a cup of tea!! xoxoxoxoxoD

  • Valentine’s Day Cookies Year II

    Hello and welcome to my second ever Valentine’s Day post!! Inspired as I always am by Molly Yeh, I have been making variations on these cookies ever since I came across the original recipe. They are versatile and greatly exceed any other sugar cookie you will ever make with the addition of lemon zest and almond extract, and that’s not even the HALF of it. These babies aren’t complete without a mirror-shiny glaze and a bit of buttercream on top, and the best part is you can do as little or as much as you want!

    So because I have too much time on my hands and I’ve been trying to improve my piping skills, I set out to cover these cookies in some good old fashioned buttercream roses. I wore my comfiest clothes, put on my headphones and got to work. And, 2 hours later, I couldn’t flex my right hand out of piping position, but I ended up with some GOOD rose cookies and I was very satisfied. They were almost too pretty to eat….almost.

    I’ll be honest, Valentine’s Day is not really my ~thing~, and although I can always count on a mini box of chocolates from my mom (LOVE YOU MOM!!), it’s easy to feel sad or simply indifferent on a day focused so much on love and relationships. My solution? Bake it out! Whether or not you have a Valentine to share the day with (@Harry Styles, call me), why not make the day that much cuter! (P.S. you can see last year’s version here, slightly different, just as cute!)

    Before we bake, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. A rainbow of ribbons.
    TWO. Chocolate covered cherries.
    THREE. White on the evergreens.
    FOUR.
    Breaking out of an old routine.
    FIVE. Bacon frying in cast iron skillets.

     

    Let’s bake!

    MAKES: About 3 dozen cookies
    PREP TIME: 1 hour + decorating to your heart’s desire
    BAKE TIME: 10 minutes

    SUGAR COOKIE INGREDIENTS

    4 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    ¾ tsp salt
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
    zest from ½ a lemon
    2 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp almond extract

    SUGAR COOKIE STEPS

    ONE. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the sugars until the butter is pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and mix to combine, then the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix between each. Finally, add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

    TWO. Turn the mixture out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and form a disc of dough. Tightly wrap the disc and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before proceeding. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    THREE. Cut the disc of dough in half (it’s easier to work with a smaller batch at a time), and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about a quarter to a half inch thick. Cut out your desired shapes and lay them on your prepared cookie sheets about 1 inch apart.

    FOUR. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until they’re just turning brown, and cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Processed with VSCO with al1 preset


    GLAZE INGREDIENTS

    4 cups confectioners sugar
    ¼ cup corn syrup
    5 Tbsp whole milk
    ½ tsp vanilla extract
    ¼ tsp almond extract
    pinch of salt
    1 tsp maraschino cherry liquid or food coloring (optional)

    GLAZE STEPS

    ONE. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined and smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk at a time, if it’s too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.

    TWO, Once the cookies are cooled, carefully dip each cookie face down in the glaze, making sure the whole surface is coated, and then allow the excess to drip back into the bowl before placing the cookie back on a wire rack over a sheet of parchment paper (this will catch the drips and make cleanup soooo much easier). If you’re continuing with buttercream on top, let the cookies dry slightly, but if you’re just adding sprinkles, add them now before the glaze dries and you’re all set!

     

    BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS

    3¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
    ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    3-4 Tbsp whole milk
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Food coloring

    BUTTERCREAM STEPS

    ONE. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter and confectioners sugar together until incorporated- you may want to drape a dish towel over the bowl at the beginning, the mixer tends to throw a lot of loose sugar.

    TWO. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until the desired spreadable consistency is reached, keeping in mind that a slightly softer frosting will be easier to pipe with. Add the vanilla and food coloring (if using) and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

    THREE. Fill a piping bag fitted with a coupler and decorating tip (the coupler allows you to switch tips without using multiple piping bags) and decorate away!! (Read here for some buttercream rose tips!)

    Happy Valentine’s Day!! xoxoxoxoD