3/31/18

If you are considering purchasing a Cuisinart, Viking, Bosch, Ankarsrum, NutriMill or more.....


These link to products available to order and purchase through my Amazon affiliate links. If you already plan to purchase anything by these brands, I would ask you to please do through one of my links. And if you are considering any purchase for yourself or someone else, you just want to research, price compare or look at the reviews, I also ask you to please considering using one of my affiliate links. Thank you so very much!












 





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3/28/18

Vintage Recipes From my Grandmother's Recipe Box - Granny's Fudge



This vintage recipe is interesting to me because it makes me wonder who 'Granny' was.  In our our family no one uses that term of endearment and never has as far as I know.  But then again, perhaps my Grandmother's Grandmother was called 'Granny' waaaay back when?

Granny's Fudge

2 c sugar
4 T cocoa
1 c milk
butter
salt

Boil to soft ball stage.  When cool add 1 tsp vanilla, beat until thick and looses its gloss.









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3/23/18

Homemade Almond Macrons - Great for Spring and for Easter Dessert Buffets






Originally posted in March of 2015, I always start to crave these in the Spring. 

A little crisp, light meringue bite with a bit of filling in the center.  They freeze beautifully - and thaw quickly, not losing any of their taste or texture.


Almond Macarons  

1 c confectioner's (powdered) sugar
3/4 c fine, good quality almond flour
2 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 c superfine granulated sugar
optional: 1/4 - 1/2 t extract flavor of your choice (or leave plain and flavor the filling)
optional: 1-2 drops food color

Mix the confectioner's sugar and almond flour very well either by pulsing in a food processor until combined or using an electric stick blender or electric whisk, etc. This time around (see photo) I just poured them through a wire strainer and pressed on the little lumps to quickly and easily make sure it was very fine.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add a drop or two of food color if you are using it, a drop or two of flavor extracts if you are using them, and the superfine white sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip if you have one, or if not, leave the round 1/2 inch opening of the bag or the white plastic piece you would normally put a tip on, and pipe rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Drag the pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks.

Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Option one: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.

Option two: If you bake a constant 300 or 325 without adjusting the temperatures, it takes about 17 minutes to bake crisp. I tested both ways and found both to work for me.

Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling of your choice. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.


****NOTES****

I used to use Honeyville Blanched Almond Meal Flour - which is incredibly expensive and has gone up $10 per 5 lb. bag in the last 1 1/2 years alone as they get to be more popular in gluten free baking.  About 6 months ago I started to use Bob's Red Mill brand and I have found it to be just as good quality as Honeyville.  Still expensive, but not quite as expensive as Honeyville - and it's easier to find locally.


I never use 'fresh' eggs for anything as I've found eggs that are 1-2 weeks old work best in almost all recipes and are the 'secret' to perfect hard boiled eggs every time.


I just pressed the almond flour and confectioner's sugar through the wire strainer to make it 'fine' with no lumps.

Added a bit of green food color to this batch!

An action shot - the mixer was running

I didn't do them in perfect circles and didn't worry about the point as it's just for our little family this time






You might also be interested in these related products and ingredients available through Amazon links;
Non Stick Parchment Paper
Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 lbs.
KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Blender
Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender with Whisk and Chopper Attachments


 







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