I love to bake, however, I don’t do it nearly often enough. Somehow days get away from me, or I don’t have any butter at room temp, or am missing an ingredient, or simply because I can’t always seem to fit it in. However, the first few days of this week I did quite a bit of baking. Probably because I was about to start what would be 11 straight days of work and when I’m gone, I like my kids to have a little something warm, and cozy, and homemade to remind them of me. So this week, I baked. First, I’ve been in a Fall mood for days now so I made a pumpkin bread. I make a lot of banana bread (as talked about in this post), but when Fall comes I like to switch it up and do pumpkin bread as well. I use a recipe from an old issue of Bon Appetit magazine and it’s divine. But then, then, I baked something chocolate! I was actually going to make Ina Garten’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (a family favorite) but my new Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook was lying open on the table to a recipe titled “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Globs” (yes, Globs) and my daughter saw that, and man oh man, that was it. She begged and pleaded (not very much, mind you, because I too had spied the recipe and was already thinking of changing the aforementioned plan), and I acquiesced. They were, in my husband’s words, ridiculous. They really were. Gooey, chocolate-y, with just a touch of peanut butter in the background and a little bit of flour to hold them together. They are perfect with an afternoon iced coffee, or as I prefer, with an ice cold glass of milk.
French macarons… is there a more beautiful cookie in the entire world? The first time I tasted one, I have to say, I was surprised. I expected it to be crispy, and it certainly was crisp on the outside. But the chewiness of the inside, now that was a surprise. A great one is crispy on the outside but has that distinctive chew on the inside. And that little ruffled edge that sticks out around the bottom? It has a name! (Of course, it does! The French have a name for everything, especially when it comes to food and/or cooking!) That is called the “foot” and they are not considered correct unless they have “feet”. In Paris, the Laduree chain of pastry shops is surely the most famous maker of macarons in the world (many, many pins have been devoted to the photographs of it’s beautiful displays). And because it’s Paris, even McDonald’s sells macarons in their McCafes!! So, because it’s Friday, and for no particular reason other than they are beautiful, here’s to the wonderful, the French, the delicious….macaron…. Enjoy!