This is the season for baking and breaking that summer diet you were on (or were supposed to be on) two months ago.
Well, muffin and I have been busy in the kitchen experimenting with an easy macaron recipe. We got the inspiration from the cool autumn weather. Weather that makes you want to stay inside and pop something yummy in the oven. The recipe comes from one of our favorite sites, 101 Cookbooks. Our lovely friend Heidi Swanson, (who in real life has no clue who we are here at The Honey Piet Tree), has a simple, non-frightening recipe for the most delicious, delectable limoncello macarons/macaroons. I must say, these are delicious, and I'm not even a big lemon fan.
Pair these with a steaming cup of whatever hot drink you like to sip on when the air gets crisp and get ready for a blissful getaway to macaron heaven. Now of course we can't give real limoncello to the kids, so if you're thinking of sharing these with your little ones Muffin and I have created a kid friendly version with a twist. Still yummy and perfect for kids.
Here's the recipe form Heidi's website for Limoncello Macaroons in case you'd like to make them for yourself or friends. Delicious!
Now here is our kid-friendly version:
Mommy and Muffin's English Lemon Curd Macaroons
1 large egg white
14 oz / 400g almond paste (not marzipan) -You can find this at Whole Foods
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 55g confectioners' sugar, (sift if you want and have extra on hand for surface and coating
1/4 cup of organic coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (Heidi's recipe uses almond extract)
scant 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoon Lemon Curd (Whole Foods and Trader Joe's has a nice brand imported from England)
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Optional Add-ins: 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded organic coconut.
Note: If your dough seem a bit gooey, ad a little more flour. The dough should be firm and hold it's shape pretty well. To prevent it from sticking to the surface, be sure to coat your hands and work surface with enough powdered sugar.
Directions (Courtesy of Heidi of 101 Cookbooks)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Beat the egg white, the almond paste, confectioners' sugar, and almond extract together either by hand or with an electric mixer, until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the zest, limoncello, and salt and beat until combined, another 30 seconds.
Coat a clean/dry surface with a generous handful of sifted confectioners' sugar then turn the dough out onto it. Shape and roll out the dough into two 3/4-inch thick logs, roughly 18 inches long. Cut each log into 24 equal pieces (see photo). Make sure each piece is entirely coated in sugar, tapping to remove excess.
Transfer to prepared baking sheets. They don't spread much so you can crowd them a bit more than you might with other cookies. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C degrees. Use three fingers to gently pinch each piece of dough to form an irregular pyramid shape of you like, or you can leave them pillow shaped. Bake until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, I also like them deeply golden, it's a matter of personal preference really, but baking for a few extra minutes will achieve this. Transfer the cookies from baking sheets to wire racks, and let cool completely. These cookies keep well in an air-tight container for a few days.
Makes 4 dozen bite-sized cookies.
These cookies are a riff on the Pinched Orange Macaroons by Patrick Lemble (executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons restaurant, New York City) highlighted in the December 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living.
Prep time: 45 min - Cook time: 15 min
I gotta give it to Heidi for inspiring these cookies. I actually haven't had her version with Limoncello, maybe I'll make my own some day when Muffin is away at a playdate, but for now, I must say our lemon curd version is pretty good. If you decide to try our version we'd be happy to hear your thoughts on how it turned out.