two things have helped me make it through this last week…
one. a whirlwind but somewhat relaxing trip to the beach
two. baking things
my little family of five (because DADDY is home!!) and my wonderful folks just took a super fast trip to the texas shore. the weather was wonderful. the beach was sufficient. the kids had a blast. and it was kind of a great escape from what the next few weeks have in store (ie. a move across the country).
i truly believe there are beach people and there are mountain people. we are firm beach folks.
something about the sound of the waves, the sea air, the warm sunshine, and the permission to sit on the sand for a whole day… it feeds my soul. i’ve realized that i kind of need it. something about cleaning up after a day of sand and sunscreen, eating dinner, and snuggling in to watch a movie. that’s how i unwind. we only had about 3 days of that instead of the preferred 7 (or 30), but i think it may be just enough to help me through.
then there’s the baking. between escaping every week via a food network baking competition and making lots of baked stuff myself, apparently baking ranks right up there with the beach. and is a lot easier to pull off.
i made my first ever batch of macarons the last few weeks that i shared here. these coffee macarons with dark chocolate ganache. they were a very pleasant success, so i decided to make another round.
and so, these champagne macarons appeared.
these pretty cookies are light and beautiful and filled with a dash of bubbly. they’re perfect to serve on their own or save a few to go with the baked thing i made next…. stay tuned till next week… and reserve some of the champagne!
125 grams almond flour
225 grams powdered sugar
4 egg whites
11o grams sugar
(to decorate: Gold Wilton Sugar Pearls, if desired)
For Champagne Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Champagne
To make Macarons:
Pulse almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor or blender to combine well.
Beat egg whites in a clean bowl of a stand mixer until foamy. While mixer is running, slowly add 110 grams regular sugar to eggs. Beat until stiff peaks.
Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in almond flour mixture in three batches. Continue to stir mixture with spatula, pressing mixture against the sides of the bowl to deflate egg whites a bit. Batter is ready when if you make a figure 8 in batter, it slumps slowly back together and flows a bit like lava.
Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe round circles of batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Try to make them the same size. (there are templates you can place under your parchment to make sure they're the right size and spaced out far enough from each other... as i too often do with too many things, i just eyeballed it.)
Once the tray is full, take out any aggression by banging the tray on the counter a few times to knock out bubbles and flatten batter circles. Top with a few Gold Sugar Pearls, if desired. Allow trays to sit for 30 minutes or until batter is dry to the touch. This forms a skin on the surface of the macarons. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 330°.
Bake macarons at 330° for 11-13 minutes. Allow them to cool completely.
To Make Champagne Buttercream:
Beat softened butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add Champagne to mixture and beat until smooth.
Transfer to a piping bag and pipe Champagne Buttercream onto a macaron half; top with another macaron half to make a sandwich. Store in fridge for a few days or in the freezer for even longer.
go check out the brilliant zoe bakes post for step-by-step video and pictures. she's the reason these were such a success!