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Topic: Added more 'cause there aren't already enough :P  (Read 10921 times)
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nevaehyeknom
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2009 11:19:12 AM »

Thanks for mentioning where you got your vanilla beans!  We almost bought two at walmart for $9!!!  That's outrageous. 

Next, to ebay for vanilla beans...

then, to try making those macroons.  Shocked)
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prettyinkpink
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2009 11:58:54 AM »

WOW! Everything is so close to perfection.
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SHES.CRAFTY
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2009 12:08:19 PM »

Mmmm....everything looks so good, I want to eat it all! Also your pictures are awesome!
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teapotdnky
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009 01:46:34 PM »

I love your stuff! Your pics are very good. I wish I had taken pics when I was a baker and in culinary school.  Embarrassed
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Guess who's back?
-steps-
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2009 08:17:58 PM »

Holy crap!  Thanks for all of the AWESOME feedback, everyone!  I am so thrilled that you guys liked the photos so much!! 

Lots of interest on the macarons, I see Smiley  The chocolate ones were my third and fourth attempt at macarons, the third ending badly because I had some embarrassing oven issues and the fourth being the ones you see in the photo.  I don't think I've ever been more excited about something I've baked!  Unfortunately, no one else seemed to get it...  Haha.  They said they were good though.  The best advice I have for you is to check out Tartelette's blog and her AMAZING article starting on page 36 of the second issue of Desserts Magazine.  She is truly an inspiration and I owe her credit for the success of those two recipes Smiley

The butterflies I made by piping royal icing on wax paper.  I made all of the wings separate, then propped them up, two at a time between the ridges of my broiler rack (which was covered with aluminum foil), then piped the "body" in between.  Left them to dry overnight, then popped them off in the morning.  Only had a few casualties!

Thank you SOOOOOOO much, everyone and thank you, DoodleLou, your comment means so much!  I really appreciate it! This has made my day!  I will certainly be hitting some second-hand shops soon. 

Nevaehyeknom: I felt the same way Smiley  I recommend this company for the vanilla beans.  Very reasonable prices and quick shipping!  Good luck!

Thanks again, guys Smiley

<3
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009 08:19:14 PM by -steps- » THIS ROCKS   Logged
wisegirl
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2009 05:01:38 AM »

I'm glad you aren't my friend! I would gain too much weight!! Cheesy
Seriously everything looks delicious and your photos are wonderful! Very professional!
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McJulie-O
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2009 08:26:22 AM »

Oh, my! Your post has educated me immensely. Before now, I thought macaron = charming foreign equivalency of macaroon! Those links are fascinatingly educational, and I suddenly feel gauche and backwoodsy.....

I'm going to have to save up some calories to try these out!...

Yum!
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itsnubs
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2009 08:40:18 AM »

oh man im starving from looking at these pictures.  would you be willing to share your icing recipe? ive never seen icing that looks so good and fluffy.
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Live the life you love. <3
-steps-
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2009 09:17:33 AM »

Wisegirl: I had a friend that said something similar once when I approached him with a box of brownies.  I said, "fine.  Don't take one then," and started walking away.  He changed his mind PDQ though and chased me down.  Haha.  I feel bad for my poor parents.  They're doing Weight Watchers and they've got me, who wakes up pretty much every morning thinking hmmmmmmm...  I wonder what I should bake today..., practically living in the kitchen.  They have MUCH more self-control than I do, but -thankfully- it's never too had to find someone to give this stuff away to Smiley

McJulie-O: Psh!  I wouldn't feel that way at all!  I'm glad I could help introduce you to them. 

itsnubs: Sure thing!  It's my favorite one; not too sweet and a dream to decorate with.  Don't be put off if it seems labor intensive - I promise it's not hard! 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes about 8 cups.  Feel free to halve it, of course, or make the full recipe and freeze some.

2 3/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c egg whites
2 1/2 c butter slightly softened and cut into small cubes (I don't usually put all of it in, to be honest)
2 Tbls Vanilla or other flavoring

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites and sugar.  Place over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves (personally, however, I just cook the mix straight in a pan because I think that double boiling takes too long.  So if you're comfortable doing it that way, it does work, just be sure to keep an extra close eye on it!).  To test, just rub some of the mixture between your fingers; if it's gritty it needs to cook longer and if it's smooth, it's done!

Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer or a bowl to use a hand mixer in, and beat on high for about 10 minutes or until the sides of the bowl are room temperature and the mix has cooled.  If using the stand mixer, switch the whip attachment to the paddle one and begin beating in butter, a few pieces at a time, until they are fully incorporated.  Continue until all of the butter is gone, beating at medium speed (If it seems too soupy at this point, put it in the fridge for a few minutes and then whip it again.  It'll be fine.  This recipe is pretty forgiving!  Also, if it looks curdled, don't be scared because that's pretty common.  Just keep beating it or put it in the fridge for a bit.  It will come together).  Increase to high speed, and beat until very fluffy.  Add in flavoring/food color and beat until well combined. 

You can flavor that with just about anything so long as you are careful not to add too much liquid to it.  Oh, and if you want to make chocolate buttercream, just mix in about 1 1/2 c (more/less - your preference!) melted and cooled chocolate.
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2009 03:20:52 PM »

Everything looks delicious!
Thanks for the recommendation on the macaroon recipe! I was planning on making some in a little gift box to give out to friends on Valentines Day, but hadn't had much luck in finding a good recipe.
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