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I’m usually more of a savoury snacker when it comes to guilty pleasures, but there’s just something about macarons that I can never resist. After seeing so many pins on pinterest claiming that making them yourself isn’t THAT hard… I decided I’d give it a try.
We found a basic macaron recipe from The food network and altered it a bit.
Ingredients for the cookie
1 3/4 cups icing sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 teaspoon of ground up Shades of Earl Grey tea leaves
Gel food colouring (optional)
Ingredients for the filling
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
1 cup of icing sugar
2 teaspoons of honey
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
Line 2 big baking sheets with parchment paper
Combine icing sugar and almond flour in a bowl and mix together. Than sift the mixture so that any large pieces of almonds don’t end up in your batter. You’ll may end up with as much as 2 tablespoons that is too big to use.
Take a teaspoon of Shades of earl grey tea leaves and chop it up so it’s more fine and add it to the almond icing sugar mix.
Beat the egg whites on medium high speed until frothy. Then add the caster sugar to the egg froth and continue to beat until you get stiff shiny peaks. This will take about 5 more minutes using a stand mixer.
Fold in the almond, icing sugar, tea mix into the egg whites. You can also add in any food colouring now if you would like. Keep folding just until the batter is smooth and slides off the spatula in ribbons. Don’t overmix to the point that it’s runny or else you will have flat cookies. If you undermix it, your cookies are more likely to crack.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a round tip. We used a 1/4 inch round tip but a 1/2 inch tip might work better.
Pipe circles on to your parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Then firmly with both hands pick up the baking sheets and rap them against the counter at least 2 times. Then rotate the pan and do the same thing. This will help prevent cracking of the shells.
Leave the cookies out to dry for about 15-30 mins until they are no longer sticky to the touch. This will help them keep their shape during baking.
Pop it in the oven for about 20 mins. You should be able to peel the cookie off the sheet easily and cleanly. If some of it sticks, than it’s not quite ready. Let them cool completely before removing them from the sheet.
Instructions for filling
Beat the butter so it’s a little fluffy and slowly add in the sugar. Beat until it’s fluffy.
Then add in the honey. Then add your icing to a piping bag and pipe on to one macaron shell and cover with a second one.
Voila! Now sit back with your favourite cup of tea and indulge!
Check out the video to see each step of the process! Good luck and let me know how your macarons turned out.
As a kid, I could never get enough of those rocket ship popsicles! Though I have slightly more grown up tastes now, I still love a good popsicle on a hot summer’s day. Using green matcha tea adds tons of great antioxidants as well as a delicious flavour into these easy to make treats.
I used this great recipe for green tea mango popsicles from the minimalist baker and used honey instead of agave and added a tea spoon of coconut oil into the green tea portion.
Here are a few tips for making your own popsicles.
- I didn’t have enough popsicle molds so I tried using a tovolo ice cube tray. These silicon trays made it super easy to pop the popsicles out. Next time I’d prefer a slightly smaller cube size but it worked out well as a mold.
- The paper straw sticks on the other hand did not work out well. I used it mostly for aesthetic reasons but within minutes of eating the popsicles, the paper would get wet and the sticks would bend so it made it a little more than difficult to eat. Using dixie cups would have also worked out well as an alternative to a popsicle mold.
- When picking a popsicle mold, try to find one with rigid sticks or holes in the sticks so that when you pull out your popsicle, the stick doesn’t come out by itself.
- For the silicone ice cube trays, it was super easy to pop out the popsicle once it was frozen. The actual popsicle mold though was much more difficult. You’ll have to run it under running water to loosen it a bit. My tray had lots ridges and curves around the edge which made it a big of a nightmare when trying to pull the popsicles out. Next time I’ll stick to much simpler shape.
- For layers, mix your first flavor and then stick the trays in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to let it solidify a bit to get a nice clean line. I was a little anxious and poured my second layer on to soon and it just ended up combining. But not in pretty marbling effect. More like a green and orange makes brown effect.
Once they are frozen, grab some friends and sit back and enjoy these delicious treats!
After writing my post about the super hero party I threw a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d share a story about a real life hero.
My uncle (pictured above) did something amazing this year that is definitely worthy of sharing. His dad had been sick and learned that his kidneys were functioning at a very low level and would need to go on dialysis until it was his turn on the transplant list.
My uncle, who married into the family only a few years ago, but whom I’ve known for as long as I can remember (he dated my aunt for 12 years before getting married!) has always been caring, selfless, and generous. He’s the owner of Academia Tutoring Services and has a passion for teaching and inspiring kids to learn and strive for success.
Well when he learned that his dad would have to go on dialysis, he didn’t think twice before asking to get tested to see if he would be a match for a live kidney donation. What happened in the next 3 weeks was a complete whirlwind. Within 1 week of getting tested, they called and told him that he was a match, and that they could schedule him in for the surgery 10 days later. Only letting his wife, and his boss know, he quietly went about taking care of all the loose ends that would need to be taken care of before the surgery. Being the humble and thoughtful person that he is, he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and didn’t want to worry the whole family. The wonderful doctors at Toronto General did a great job and when I popped by to visit him after his surgery, even through the pain, he was in good spirits and was generously offering me a bite of his apparently “delicious” sugarless jello.
His recovery took about 7 weeks where he had to be careful about over exerting himself, and avoid lifting heavy objects. But with some TLC from my aunt, he now he looks and functions as good as new! And his dad has also made a very quick recovery and is doing extremely well!
I can’t begin to say how much I admire what he did and can only hope that there is some serious good karma coming his way soon. If you haven’t thought about registering for Organ donation, I’d highly recommend at least reading into it and considering how your consent could potentially one day save up to 8 lives.
I have a love hate relationship with second hand shops. I always see friends wearing amazing pre-loved items from thrift stores. And yet every time I go to one, I get lost amongst the racks of clothing, never finding that piece that embodies that vintage charm with that unique edge. Ryan Kennedy, owner of Sympathy for the Rebel, has solved this problem. I swear, everywhere I looked in his shop, I saw something that I would gladly include into my closet.
The exposed brick walls and the wooden crates and shelves gives the shop a rawness that I completely love. And then add in eclectic and edgy decor to really give the place a rock and roll, mod, and just downright edgy atmosphere.
Don’t even get me started on their incredible shoe selection. Cow boy boots and for $20-30 a pair!
I’m always a little conflicted when it comes to fur but I’ve decided that wearing second hand is ok. This incredible fur shawl was only 60 dollars.
I picked up an adorable red hand bag for $6, a pair of vintage ski gloves for $12 and a pair of boots for $18.
If you’re a fan of pre-loved items, and you happen to be taking a stroll down town Peterborough, than a stop into this store is a must!