{Cookbook Review}: 2011 Holiday Baking Cookbooks

December 8th, 2011 · 7 Comments · Cookbooks, Reviews

It’s that time again for one of my favorite posts of the year – the baking cookbook roundup!

I’m guessing that everyone is in holiday shopping mode, so if you’re still looking for a gift for your favorite baker, or maybe for your own bookshelf, there’s a great selection of baking cookbooks looking for an eager home. Some of my favorites from this year are listed in the sidebars to the right of this post, but let’s take a look at some of the latest releases – there’s truly something for every taste. May you all never run out of bookshelf space!

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Pierre Hermé, Macarons, and Me

October 12th, 2011 · 17 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

mint pea macaron tray

Hello! I’m back from a week in sunny Florida, where it didn’t feel like fall at all. But I have a surprise side story: while I was there, I made a quick side trip to New York, and the 6th Star Chefs International Culinary Congress.  I didn’t intend to mix business with pleasure, but there was one reason why I couldn’t pass up this opportunity: Pierre Hermé. Any of you who have read my blog know that he has been one of my biggest pastry heroes and inspired me to go to pastry school. The master himself was at the congress to judge a pastry competition, and to give a pastry demonstration. It is extremely rare for him to make an appearance in the US, so when Bravo North America kindly offered me the chance to sit in on Hermé’s class, there was only one answer: YES!

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Cupboard Inspiration: Hazelnut Macarons with Homemade Nutella (plus bonus giveaway!)

April 26th, 2011 · 79 Comments · Chocolate, Cookies, Giveaways, Recipes

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for visiting!

Hazelnut Macarons with Nutella

While I was giving my blog a makeover, I was also doing a spring cleaning of our kitchen. We’ve been in our new home for almost a year and a half now – not really a new home anymore, is it? Certainly not judging by how overflowing all the cabinets and closets appear; one glance and you’d think we’d been hoarding here for years.

No matter how assiduously one tries to keep order in the pantry, there are always a few rogue items that manage to find their way astray – forgotten spices, half-used bags of specialty flours, bottles of food coloring in all the least-wanted hues. I try to go through the back of my cupboards every couple of months just to root out orphaned items, and perhaps find some inspiration – or at least impetus to not let ingredients go to waste.

So it was this time I opened a cabinet door and found three jars of Nutella staring me in the face. I have no idea how we ended up with three jars of this hazelnut spread: Costco delirium, perhaps. But I knew we really didn’t need that much Nutella around. What to make? A thought came to mind, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while – macarons made with hazelnuts instead of almonds. (Aside: if you’re just looking for the giveaway, it’s at the bottom of the post!)

 

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The Making of Macarons (Sucre Cuit Style)

October 21st, 2010 · 81 Comments · Cookies, Recipes

Italian Meringue Macarons on dessertfirstgirl.com

I’m so excited this post has come to fruition. A couple months ago Stephanie of Wasabimon sent out a call asking if anyone would like to do a step by step tutorial on making macarons. I’m not one to turn down a chance to make these dainties, so I responded with a yes. A short while later, Stephanie came by my place with her fancy new camera to document me making macarons using the Italian meringue (or sucre cuit) method.

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