While the boys were marathoning through the new revamped Tomb Raider video game, I got the craving for some thing sweet and yet …..something spicy. Good thing I always keep some chocolate bars stashed away that piqued my interest on hand. These chocolate bars were the perfect ingredient to give a plain old chocolate chip cookie a face lift. And just like Lara Croft, these cookies have a nice balance of sweet and yet kick ass. I think I’ll dub these cookies “C3” for Cherries, Chilies, and Chocolate.
Spring truly is the season for babies. It seems like so many of my friends are pregnant and ready to pop their little ones out soon. I went to Katrina’s, my old coworker, baby shower in mid April. The theme was airplanes using traditional red, white, and blue for the colors. I wished I could have stayed longer at the baby shower but I had a friend’s baptism to attend right afterwards. Much thanks to Tinea and all the others who helped in setting up a lovely baby shower. The decorations were super pretty. I loved the minimalistic and sophisticed feel of the party. The food was catered by Wood Ranch BBQ with their savory biscuits and delicious chicken and slow cooked beef. There was also some sweet refreshers of strawberry and cucumber water for the warm day. Each of the tables had red and white colored table cloth with fresh baby’s breath in a mason jar. Simple yet cute.
I had the pleasure of baking some macarons for the event. I was inspired by these adorable teddy bear shaped macarons I saw on Pinterest. Immediately, I had to show one of the girls hosting the event and she fell in love with them just as I did.
Originally I wanted to do a trio of Earl Grey, coconut, and blueberry to match their invitation (grey, white, and baby blue). Due to time constraints I had to reorganize and only do the Earl Grey and coconut. This was my first time making the coconut flavor and I was wondering how to incorporate coconut into the shell other than adding coconut shavings on top. Since I had coconut flour on hand, thanks to my new Paleo diet, I thought I could just add a tablespoon full of it into the macaron shells. This was a HUGE FAIL. It smelled and tasted ok, but they came out super hard and cracked on top. I should have known that the coconut flour would totally dehydrate all the moisture from the shells. During the macaronage step of prepping, the mixture was odd and seemed thicker than usual; this led me to believe that the shells would come out odd too. I should have stuck with my instincts and only added shredded coconut or extract into the batter. I had to start over from scratch but at least I know for future reference not to use any sort of flour to the shells.
The second time I remade the batch of the coconut macarons, I decided to use coconut extract and toast some coconut shavings to throw on top. I made these the same time I made the teddy bear macarons, so I split the batter in half and added some brown coloring for the bear shaped ones. For more detailed instructions on creating these I used this website. When I was done making these I had to add in some cute faces and put them on a stick and BAM! Teddy Bear macaron pop. For the filling I used some white chocolate ganache, toasted coconut shavings and coconut milk. I loved the result of the filling. I could have used it to spread on a toasted piece of bread and called it day. I think next time I make these I am going to add even more coconut flavor into them so how.
For the Earl greys, one of my favorite flavors, I used earl grey tea bags for the shells and a honey creamy SM buttercream for the filling. The pairing of the two flavors reminds me of a perfect snack for tea time. The only difference from my usual way of making these was the way I decorated it. I kept the shell plain and used some black gel coloring with a paint brush to keep it simple and modern.
All in all, it was good too see some of my old coworkers again on such a lovely occasion. Best of luck to all of them and Katrina & Sean!