S’mores Macarons

Y’all. I heard it was S’mores Week. If it were up to me, I’d have it be S’mores Day, errday, all day. I love s’mores. You know what else I heard? That Macaron Day is coming up. I don’t know who made these holidays up, or if I am even correct on the dates, but I like them. And, I’ve got a really fun recipe that incorporates both of these super awesome holidays.

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S’MORES MACARONS, PEOPLE

S’mores Macarons. Yup. If you haven’t yet (I say “yet” in assumption that you’ll one day try them…because you should) tried then, they are a French meringue made with ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites. They are filled and are characterized by their bottom ruffle (how cute!), called a “foot”.

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Glorious Feet

They are crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. And they are wonderful. Extraordinary. Beautiful. And wonderful.

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The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination. I thought it would be fun to make a s’mores version of these. For me, s’mores are quintessential to Summer (I also think they are quintessential to Winter). There is something so familiar, so lovely about s’mores.

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I also made a few without the graham cracker component, to be deemed appropriate for those who do without gluten.

These were delightfully crispy, but chewy, deliciously chocolately, filled with a fluffy, marshmallowy, vanilla filling, and for those with it, dusted with crunchy, buttery graham cracker crumbs. Please don’t feel scared to try these. They have a lot of steps, but it will be worth it.

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S’mores Macarons

For the macarons:

2 C powdered sugar

1 C almond flour or almond meal

3 T unsweetened cocoa powder (dark cocoa would be delicious, too!)

1/4 t fine salt

3 large egg whites, room temperature

Pinch cream of tartar

3 T granulated sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. You can also prepare a pastry bag with a tip, but I simply cut the end off.

Place the powdered sugar, almond flour/meal, cocoa powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse several times. Then process until fine and combined, about 30 seconds. Sift through a flour sifter into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Set aside.

For the meringue component, place the egg whites in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a handheld mixer). Beat on medium speed until opaque and foamy, about 30 seconds. Add the cream of tartar, put mixer on medium high, and beat until the egg whites are white, about 1 minute. While continuing to beat, slowly add the granulated sugar, until it is combined, the peaks are stiff, and the whites are shiny, about 1 minute more. Make sure you don’t over whip. Put the meringue to a large bowl.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry mixture into the egg whites in four batches until the dry ingredients are just combined. The meringue will lost some of its airy-ness. With the final addition, stop folding when there are no traces of egg whites and the mixture looks like cake batter. Make sure you do not over mix.

Transfer the batter to the pastry bag. Pipe out 1-1/4-inch rounds about 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets, about 25 per sheet. Bang your baking sheet on your counter tops. This will remove cracking from the macaron tops, and instead add the crack (or foot) to the base. Let the rounds sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to dry the tops and ensure even cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350F and move a rack to the middle. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time for 7 minutes. Rotate the sheet and cook for 7 minutes more. Cool completely.

For the marshmallow frosting:

** I halved this recipe and still had plenty leftover**

1 1/2 C granulated sugar

1/4 t cream of tartar or 1 T white corn syrup (I used cream of tartar)

1/8 t salt

1/3 C water

2 egg whites

1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract

Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water. Make sure that the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. This will cause your frosting to be grainy. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat in vanilla. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag.

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To assemble:

Pair macarons of similar size. Snip off the end of your pastry bag. Squeeze about a teaspoon of frosting onto one macaron shell (the flat side), and top with another half. Press gently. The filling should just come to the edges of the macaron. Pour graham cracker crumbs (about 1/2 C) into a bowl. Roll the macarons into the crumbs. They will stick to the frosting. Cover and refrigerate. These taste better once they’ve been refrigerated. It will help the frosting settle and make the inside portion chewier. These freeze quite well (up to a month). You can even fill them before freezing.

Enjoy!

These would be wonderful to make this Memorial Day weekend, also rounding out S’mores Week. Don’t forget what this weekend is about – we are remembering those who have died in our great Military. THANK YOU to those who have served…past, present, and future. I am forever grateful for your bravery.

Kristin

Sweet Week

I was a Baking Fool this past weekend (it’s an official title, of sorts). I needed some new lunchbox treats. That’s always a fun time for me, finding something new to bake. I chose two recipes that I’d had tucked away for some time – Fairy Bites (tiny, little, sprinkle-y shortbread squares) and Campfire Cookies (all the yummy components of s’mores).

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I’ve had these on my radar for a while and I was happy to finally be able to make them. They were so simple and easy to make and came out so cute.

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Lightly almond and super buttery, these cookies are sure to please almost everyone (as long as “everyone” likes lightly almond and super buttery and cookies, and if you don’t, I’m not sure I want to know you)!

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They are so adorably tiny, which makes them perfect for little hands. Or big hands, like mine. Either one.

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I probably definitely should have added more sprinkles.

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But, I am still very happy with the way they came out.  These are great lunchbox treats and would be so precious at a little tea party (which my boys would straight up annihilate, so I’ll be sticking with serving these in lunchboxes for them and eating directly from the cookie jar for me).

http://pinkpiccadillypastries.blogspot.com/2014/02/fairy-bites.html

Needing something with chocolate??

Me too. Always.

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I had also been wanting to make these Campfire Cookies for a long time. I LOVE s’mores. We have a life-long love affair, me and s’mores. And when the opportunity arises to eat them deconstructed or reconstructed, I’m in.

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These hearty cookies are made with both flour and graham cracker crumbs.

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They are chock full of Hershey’s milk chocolate and mini marshmallows.

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They were so ooey and gooey and melty, fresh out of the oven.

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I highly recommend these.

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/gooey-smores-cookies.html#_a5y_p=1384098

And continuing with the “sweet” theme, for Tuesday’s lunch…

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I packed a heart-shaped ham, cheese, and mayo sandwich, colby jack cheese, assorted raisins (LOVE Trader Joe’s raisins), strawberries, blueberries, and one Campfire Cookie.

Enjoy!

Gimme S’More

smore

Ohhh, life has been so challenging lately, let’s discuss something light. And sweet. And toasty. And chocolatey. I need to take my mind off my troubles.

toasted marshy

Gimme s’more. So not original. But what other puns (of which, I am a HUGE fan) can be said of s’mores? Not much (although Husband just shouted out, “The Legend of Sleepy Mallow!!”, but how can I use that?). But does it matter? What matters is making and eating the s’mores. It’s an experience! I have been known to make them in my toaster oven when having a craving. And don’t think for one second that Hubby doesn’t come up behind me (staring into the toaster oven – I LOVE seeing the marshmallows brown and puff up) and ask for some! But nothing tastes like a s’more made over a fire, because MY favorite part about it is the toasted marshmallow flavor all smooshed into the melted chocolate. Oh, just YUM.

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This burger is something to behold. A few friends and I decided to put a s’mores IN a burger. The result was delicious, as you’d maybe not expect. It was REALLY good – salty, gooey, sweet, smoky. If you’re feeling particularly daring at your next cookout, and have calories left in your day, give it a try.

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This is my husband and Bigs roasting marshmallows on our back porch last winter. It was so fun. Even little baby Smalls go in on the action. We can’t wait to do this again, when it gets more consistently cold out!

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Isn’t that little outfit a hoot? It was a hand-me-down and kept him so toasty (get it?)!

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We love our s’mores in this family! I like to do variations on it, as well. There are so many options – S’mores Brownies, S’mores Dip, S’mores Cake, S’mores Pie (Do I sound like Forrest Gump talking about shrimp, but instead s’mores?? I do.). The choices are only as endless as your imagination! Well, not your imagination. I’m sure you’re very imaginative. Right? Hopefully more than me. I seriously lack in imagination. My skills are quite limited, I must painfully admit. Tangent!

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Here are some S’mores Cake Pops I made a while back. I am not even sure of the recipe on this one. You can easily do brownies or chocolate cake and mix with maybe a vanilla or marshmallow frosting and then dip in chocolate and then crushed grahams.

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I made this glorious S’mores Trifle for this last 4th of July. Isn’t it a beauty? It’s taken me only almost five months to see that I spelled “s’mores” wrong on my own graphic. Cool. But it was so good, no one should complain! Here is the recipe!

http://www.momendeavors.com/2013/06/brownie-smores-trifle-dessert.html

Smores Brownies

These S’mores Brownies are outta this world! A baked graham cracker crust, a homemade brownie and an ooey gooey toasted marshmallow topping. What could go wrong (besides burning the whole lot, which I’ve done!?)??

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/smore-brownies-recipe/index.html

There is something so very magical that happens when you make your own brownie batter. The second you add those eggs, that chocolate turns so glossy and shiny. The stuff dreams are made of! Well, MY dreams. Do you dream about chocolate? Is it weird that I do?

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Don’t even ask me how I got that picture of my own self stirring brownie batter. I musta looked weird, but the end is magical, still, right? I’m not even sure I’d be able to master that again!

It’s SO easy to make brownies from scratch. I urge you to do it. It beats a boxed mix any day and is SO SO easy. I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true!

Smore for you

For moi?? Why, thank you! Don’t mind if I do!

This is so me. I really am the official taste tester (of all things) in my house. “Oh, let Mommy take a quick little bite to make sure it isn’t too hot!” See how that works? Totally works. Get extra bites every time. Bigs is on to me though. Now he’ll say, “Mommy, don’t eat the hole thing!”…clever boy.

Smores Tester

I know in other parts of our country and world, it is FREEZING outside right now. Perfect s’mores weather. We, on the other hand, are still waiting for it to cool down just a teensy bit more before breaking out the fire pit. But when we do, it’s ON!! S’mores in my face (mouth) all the time!

I want Smore

Always.

I think, therefore I s’more.

Have an ooey, gooey, crunchy, smoky, chocolately day!

Kristin

PS – if you want to make your own marshmallows, here is a great recipe:

http://willowbirdbaking.com/2010/10/26/homemade-hot-chocolate-marshmallows-voting-now-open-in-project-food-blog-round-6/

If you want to make your own graham crackers, try this one:

http://willowbirdbaking.com/2010/01/27/nanaimo-bars/