Maybe that title was a bit dramatic but hey, it’s true… these attempts at becoming the next “bakerella” or “tartelette“were such failures… ugh, why is everything so much easier in my head?
Anyway, so, I attempted to make macarons and a blondie/brownie thing, both from Bakerella. Both laughed at me and mocked my sorry attempt at getting a handle on my UK gas built before Christ was born and at my poor understanding of these Scottish ingredients.
So, these are what macarons are *supposed* to look like:
And these are what mine looked like:
It’s so pitiful…
On the upside, there was only one to photograph because they were still delicious and we ate them! On the downside my right arm is sore from beating the egg whites by hand. Yeah, I’m not attempting macarons again until I get myself a mixer.
Now for my chocolate chip blondies. This is what Bakerella’s looked like:
Delicious, right?! Well, these are mine:
Oh, wait, I was so angry I didn’t get an actual picture of what they looked like… this is them *just* out of the oven… before I realized they weren’t cooked and so when I flipped the pan over it just gooped all over my counter…yes, “gooped” is the correct term for this instance.
But, again, Will and I ended up eating it anyway… AFTER I scooped it back up into the pan and cooked it for another 30 minutes. Yes, a n o t h e r 30 minutes. My old gas oven is slooooooow too. Another added frustration is the fact that the ingredients here are different. The brown sugar smells different and since this recipe calls for TONS of brown sugar they made the whole thing kinds “off”. But, we topped it off with ice cream and ate it.
So, there you have it… my baking debaucheries.
More to come, I’m sure.
Congo Bars (via Bakerella)
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 lb. light brown sugar (Oh my and thank you!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
11.5 ounce package milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugar using a mixer until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition.
Add vanilla and mix.
Add flour and mix until combined.
Stir in chips and then pecans.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
Stir brown sugar into softened (not melted) butter in another large bowl until butter disappears. You can use the back of your spoon to help incorporate the two together.
Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture and stir well after each egg.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
Add dry flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Coat a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.
** I read the whole post after my Blondie mistake and apparently Bakerella admitted to them needing more time to bake… I need to learn how to read ALL of the instructions. **
For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
55 gr almonds
pink cherry powdered food coloring (the end color will depend on how much you use)
For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Combine the almonds, pistachios and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like lava or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Divide the batter in half and mix some color to one half to the desired effect. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with one of the batters and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Use another bag for the second half of the batter.
Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon in the center of one shell and top with another one.