Orange Buttercream Macarons

Hi from my couch! Again! Forever, maybe!

Okay – week 100 of quarantine. What can I update you on…

I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series and also enjoying a couple of new titles. I was watching too much TV (sometimes when I do this I feel like I turn into a poorly functioning human) so I took a break from movie reviews. I made the most incredible quarantine-themed playlist. I gave up on Hot Balcony Guy after my huge sign went ignored. I signed up for Skillshare so I can learn some new skills (I’m very type A…what can I say). 

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I miss my family, friends, community, etc. But all in all, things are standard and pretty good over here. Thank goodness.

And by “things are standard”, I mean I’ve made another batch of macarons.

This time they’re ORANGE BUTTERCREAM MACARONS. You guys, these sweet, citrus-y cookies? C’est Magnifique.

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Ok. These macarons. How beautiful are they?! I couldn’t stop taking their picture. These babies knew how to werk the camera!!!

If you’ve never had a macaron…what are you even doing?! I am so sorry for you. Please remedy the situation immediately. Make these. It’s so fun and a perfect quarantine baking project because they take some patience and I’m betting you have free time available.

These guys use a basic French macaron recipe with orange buttercream frosting piped in between the two cookies (with real orange juice! hello, vitamin C boost anyone?!) The result is a sweet, citrus-y, delightful, wonderful, splendid, etc. cookie that will. not. disappoint.

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Orange Buttercream Macarons

for the macaron shells

1 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup almond flour

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

orange food coloring

for the orange buttercream frosting

4 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp orange zest

1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

orange food coloring

directions

sift 1 cup of powdered sugar and 3/4ths cup almond flour into a large bowl. whisk to combine, then set aside.

add the egg whites to a metal mixing bowl and start whisking on one of the lower settings (I start with a 4 on my Kitchenaid) until the egg whites start to look frothy. add half of the granulated sugar to the egg whites, then increase the speed to a medium (7 for me) until the mixture is entirely foamy and mostly white. add the remaining granulated sugar, then increase the speed to high (9 works well) and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. add the food coloring to the meringue at this point and mix until the desired color is uniformly distributed.

remove the bowl containing the meringue from the stand mixer. add half of the dry ingredients directly into the bowl containing the meringue, then use a spatula to gently fold meringue around and over until the dry ingredients are well incorporated. add the remaining dry ingredients, and continue to fold the batter. avoid over-mixing by going slowly. the batter is ready when it falls off the spatula in ribbons, but isn’t runny.

transfer the batter to a piping bag with a large round tip. pipe small, uniform circles onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper by holding the piping bag at a 45 degree angle to sheet. make sure not to overcrowd the sheets.

once finished with piping the batter, take each cookie sheet and carefully but forcefully bang the bottom of each corner on the countertop, to help release air bubbles in the batter! let the cookies sit for 35 minutes. preheat the oven to 305 F while you wait.

bake the cookies on the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. remove from the oven but let the cookies cool completely before touching them.

while the cookies cool, make your orange buttercream by creaming the butter in a clean mixing bowl. add the powdered sugar and mix on high for a minute, then add the orange zest and orange juice. finally add the food coloring and continue to mix until the desired color is reached.

transfer the buttercream to a new piping bag and pipe frosting on the underside of one cookie. sandwich with another cookie of roughly the same size. repeat over and over again.

optional: paint macarons into lil baby oranges with orange food coloring mixed with a little bit of water.

enjoy!

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And don’t forget to check out the other macaron recipes I’ve shared, because you can seriously never have too many and with these bad boys practice really makes perfect: here, here, here. 

 

 

Coffee Milkshakes with Lucky Charms

Alright you guys, St. Patrick’s Day was two days ago but amidst all of this COVID-19 stuff, things have been…off.

I’m fine. I’m working remotely as much as possible and feeling pretty lucky to be able to do so. We have a couple of photoshoots that we can’t reschedule, but otherwise I’ve been staying home. Living alone is kind of the best/kind of the worst right now. One one hand, nobody is around to drive me crazy and I can do whatever and be as weird as I want. On the other hand, things are getting really weird.

Ultimately, I’m trying to keep things as normal as possible (read: not doing work from my bed and showering daily) and use the time at home to my advantage. I’m trying to make time to draw, read, learn how to adequately paint my own nails, do live-streaming workouts, FaceTime my people, cook, watch all the movies on my must-see list, and avoid feeling too down about not being able to exercise my extroversion. Pretty shitty that I went on a great date with someone right before we all went into quarantine, right?!

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Annnyway, as you can imagine St. Patrick’s Day looked a little different around here. Instead of the grand plans I had to go out with friends and drink green beers at a block party in Raleigh and then a hockey game, I was left to my own devices. I still wore green, I listened to my entire St. Patrick’s Day playlist, I watched Brave & P.S I Love You, and I drank one of these instead. I developed this recipe for one of the products I’m doing content creation & marketing for (BOSS Coffee, it’s good y’all!) — it’s a coffee-flavored milkshake topped off with fresh whipped cream and Lucky Charms marshmallows. I know, right?!

So here’s what you do:

Coffee Milkshakes with Lucky Charms

ingredients:

½ cup cold black coffee
½ cup whole milk
3 cups vanilla ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
green food coloring
whipped cream
Lucky Charms marshmallows

directions:

add the coffee, milk, ice cream, vanilla extract, and food coloring to a blender and combine until you get a thick, smooth consistency.

Divide into two glasses, top with whipped cream (you can use canned or make your own), and sprinkle the Lucky Charms marshmallows on top. Enjoy IMMEDIATELY!💚

Couldn’t be easier, right? And look, I’m sorry I didn’t get this out to you sooner… but look on the bright side: use a different color of food dye and swap out the Lucky Charms marshmallows for crushed mini cadbury eggs and you’ve got yourself an Easter treat!

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Cadbury Egg Magic Squares

Sometimes you just need a quick, easy recipe that tastes good and looks festive. I get it. If you’re hosting an Easter get together and you go the whole nine yards on the appetizers and entree, you might just need something simple for the final course. The carrot cake recipe I just shared is a tad involved (as most cakes are). However these magic squares, decorated with mini cadbury eggs, are not!

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I sometimes forget that magic squares are so good because they’re so easy. As if their unimpressive assembly means unimpressive taste. Not the case, people! These end up being pretty adorable and absolutely delicious. And they take about 45 minutes, total. Yaaas!

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Cadbury Egg Magic Squares

ingredients:

1/2th cup butter

crumbs from 12-13 graham crackers

14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

6 oz of semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes

mini cadbury eggs

directions:

preheat oven to 350 F.

place the full stick of butter in a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven for a few minutes, allowing the butter to melt fully. once the butter has melted, pull the sheet from the oven and evenly distribute the graham cracker crumbs so as to make a dense crust.

evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk all over the graham crackers, so that the entire surface is coated. sprinkle on the chocolate chips, then the pecans. finally distribute the coconut flakes evenly across the sheet. press down on the surface of the coconut, so that all layers are densely packed.

bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the coconut starts to lightly brown. remove the sheet from the oven. while the coconut is still hot and gooey, add the mini cadbury eggs. doing so while the coconut is still warm will help them adhere to the squares better.

place the sheet in the oven and allow the bars to chill completely. cut into uniform squares, and serve.

enjoy!

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I hope you’re all having the very best Easter! Wishing so badly I was a kid searching for eggs and my basket again. 😉

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