What’s The Difference Between Macarons And Macaroons?

 

 

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Do you get confused between macarons and macaroons? You’re not alone! Many people use the two names interchangeably, when in fact, they refer to very different sweet delights. So read on to find out the differences between these two exquisite confections.

Differences in Ingredients

The main difference between macarons and macaroons is their ingredient list. Macarons are meringue-based and consist of almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. Macaroons, on the other hand, are coconut-based and comprise of grated coconut alongside powdered sugar and egg whites.

Looking at the history of macarons, they are single recipe cookies that were brought from Italy and introduced to France by the famous chef, Catherine de Medici. When macarons got to France, they were upgraded and a new sandwich cookie recipe was created. The method that was created is not the recipe most pastry chefs use today. If you’re looking for a recipe for the kind of macarons you’ve probably sampled at high-end patisseries, see here for a guide to how to make macarons for beginners.

There seems to be some confusion about the origin of macaroons because there are numerous stories. The most famous tale told about the history of the macaroon is that it was an American version of the French macaron. With an increased import of coconut into the Americans in the 1800s, Americans quickly re-invented the original macaron recipe which was later referred to as the macaroon. Or so the story goes.

Main Differences in Characteristics

Macarons are characterized by their delicate egg-shell like crust with an inner meringue texture while macaroons are characterized by their dense and lumpy texture that creates that delectable chewy experience in the mouth.
Macarons come with a delicious filling of fruit jam, ganache or buttercream, and the ratio of cookie to filling must be 2:1 respectively. On the other hand, macaroons’ shredded coconut gives them their signature texture and taste.

Another characteristic difference between macarons and macaroons is that macarons are moderately sweet while macaroons are extremely sweet. Macarons come in a wider variety of colors while macaroons are only known for three popular variations which are; chocolate-dipped, lemon-flavored and original coconut.

Preparation Differences Between Macarons and Macaroons

Macarons are the more challenging and fiddly to make of the two, especially for beginners. They require significant practice and patience to get right. The key step is the “macaronage” process, where ground almonds and sugar must be carefully folded into the meringue before being piped onto baking sheets. The macaroon, on the other hand, can be prepared in under 20 minutes, and there is even one variation that requires no baking at all.

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Other Differences

Macarons are best enjoyed within a few hours of baking, and will last a couple of days when kept in the fridge, whilst macaroons can last for more than two months when frozen. The average cost per macaron cookie is almost double the average cost of the macaroon cookie. Whilst the macaron and the macaroon are very different confections, they are both sweet treats worth making the effort for!

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sure, classic cheesecake is delicious. But PUMPKIN cheesecake? Now that’s a dessert worthy of your Thanksgiving table. The gingersnap and graham cracker crust are actually genius, and that shimmering layer of caramel is the literal icing on the [cheese]cake. It’s one of our all time favorite pumpkin desserts—and that’s saying something, considering we have over 80 recipes.

 

INGREDIENTS

3/4 c. graham crackers, crushed

3/4 c. gingersnaps, crushed

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp. granulated sugar kosher salt

3 (8-oz.) bars cream cheese, softened

1 c. packed light brown sugar

1 c. pumpkin puree

1/4 c. sour cream, at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice, plus more for garnish

Warm caramel, for garnish

whipped cream, for garnish

Chopped, toasted pecans, for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325° with a rack in the middle position. Grease an 8” springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Make crust: In a large bowl, add cookie and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. Press crust into bottom of pan.

3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined, then beat in flour, pumpkin spice, and ¼ tsp. salt. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.

4. Double-wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom. Place pan in a large baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven, and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Bake until only slightly jiggly in center, 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.

5. With oven door propped open, turn oven off and let cool 1 hour in the oven. Remove from water bath and discard foil, then refrigerate cheesecake until cooled completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.

6. Garnish with a layer of caramel and a few dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle all over with pecans and more pumpkin pie spice.

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake
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Deep Fried Oreos

Deep Fried Oreos

fried oreosOreos!  I think just about everyone loves Oreos, those chocolate cookies with the creamy filled centers.  Of course everyone has their own preference when it comes to eating those yummy cookies.  Do you bite into the whole sandwich or do you twist one side off and eat the creamy filling first?  Personally I’m the bite the sandwich kind of gal!  Now as much as we love oreos we also love funnel cake, that oily sweet crunchy treat you find at fairs, carnivals, and theme parks.  Well have you ever had Deep Fried Oreos?

The only way I can describe Deep Fried Oreos is to say they’re a marriage of Oreo cookies and funnel cake.  Yes it’s a battered and fried treat that has recently been added to the fried treats found at the state fairs and carnivals across the country.  But it’s so easy to make at home so you don’t have to wait until the fair comes to town!

All you need is pancake batter, eggs, milk, oil, and of course the oreos.  It’s so easy you can make a batch of about 2 dozen in less than an hour.  I fry mine in coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, the coconut oil gives it that little bitty taste of coconut, yummy!  But you can fry it in any oil you normally use.  So with out further delay here’s the recipe.  Hope you love these treats as much as we do!

Deep Fried Oreos

Ingredients:

1 Egg

1 Cup Milk

1 1/2 cups Bisquick mix

1 Tsp. Vanilla

24 Oreos

About 2″ oil for deep frying

Powdered Sugar

Directions:

Beat Eggs and milk together in a small bowl.

Mix in Bisquick until the batter is smooth not lumpy.

Stir in Vanilla

Heat oil over medium high heat.

Dip each oreo in dough and drop into hot oil.

Fry until golden brown.

Drain fried oreos on paper towel

Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Some folks like them hot, they’re crunchier when served hot.  But others like them cooled.  I’m not sure how well they keep as we never have any left over that needs storing!

fried oreos

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies.  It’s the world’s most popular cookie!  Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie.  It is one of my favorites!  But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy.  They are simply delicious!

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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries.  I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms.  But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum!  They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate.  They go great with a cold glass of milk!

I use a chocolate cookie dough, milk chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips, that’s why they’re a triple treat!  I use the best ingredients I can find to make these cookies, skimping is not an option.  I use Guittard Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Vallrhona Cocoa Powder.

Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools.  In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly).  I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often.  I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had.  But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!

But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever.  Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom!  Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!


Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugars together using medium speed of an electric mixer
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla
  3. In a small mixing bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder
  4. Mix into egg mixture - dough will form
  5. Stir in milk and white chocolate chips
  6. Pre-Heat oven to 300 degrees
  7. Using 1 Oz. scoop or a 2 tbs. measure drop a ball of dough onto a silicone mat or parchment covered baking sheet about 3" apart
  8. Gently flatten each ball with the back of a spoon to make a 2" circle
  9. Bake for 25 minutes - do not over bake
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes
  11. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely
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Almost Homemade Chocolate Cake

Almost Homemade Chocolate Cake

We love Chocolate Cake!  It’s one of my favorites!  I mean seriously what’s not to love?

So whenever I get hungry for a quick fix of chocolate cake I grab a box of my favorite mix, add a few extras, and bake an almost homemade chocolate cake. Of course I could make it from scratch, but sometimes I just don’t have the time.  When I’m pressed for time it’s either box mix or make a run to the store and many times it’s just easier to use the cake mix.

But just because I use a cake mix that doesn’t mean my cake has to taste like it came out of a box.  By adding and substituting a few things anyone can make a box mix cake taste like it was made from scratch!

Here’s how I make my almost homemade chocolate cake.  I’m pretty sure you’ll have the ingredients in your kitchen.  I usually have a box or two of cake mix, one yellow and one chocolate, and a couple of cans of frosting in my pantry; I like to stock up on them when they’re on sale.

What you’ll need:

1 Box Devil’s Food Cake Mix – or any type of chocolate – any brand will work

1 Cup Milk

1/3 Cup Butter, melted

5 Large Eggs

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 Tsp. Instant Espresso Powder

2   9″ Round Pans

Raspberry Preserves

1 Can Chocolate Frosting

Cooking Spray

Here’s what to do:

Heat oven to 350º

Grease the 2 pans

Substitute the water the box mix calls for with milk, and use melted butter instead of the oil

Use 5 eggs instead of however many the box mix calls for

Place the mix, milk, butter, and eggs in a bowl and mix on medium speed with electric mixer

Stir in vanilla extract and espresso powder

Pour equal amounts of batter into the 2 pans

Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean

Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes

Flip cakes onto a rack and cool completely

When cakes are completely cooled use a wire or sharp knife to level the tops and make them flat

Dust off any crumbs

Place 1 layer on cake plate, bottom side on the plate

Spread a thin layer of raspberry preserve on top to seal the crumbs

Spread a thin layer of raspberry preserve to the top of the second layer

Spread a layer of chocolate icing on the first layer

Flip the second layer over and place it on top of the first layer – your cake should be top sides together

Spread a thin layer of raspberry preserve on the top and sides of your cake – this seals in any crumbs

Frost the top and side of your cake

Garnish with fresh fruit or whatever you like before serving.

 

This cake is really great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a cold glass of milk!

 

 

The Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Chocolate Chip Cookie

A chocolate chip cookie, the ultimate comfort food.  Who can resist them? But do you know its history?  Most of us don’t and it’s really quite interesting no matter which version you believe!

For starters the chocolate chip cookie is a true American concoction that came to be quite accidentally when its original baker ran out of Baker’s chocolate, or nuts.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ok back in 1930 a dietician named Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth purchased a Cape Cod style house in Whitman a town between Boston and New Bedford,  Massachusetts.   The house was originally built in 1709 and was used by travelers to rest, change horses, have a meal, and pay any tolls needed to use the road.  Ruth and Kenneth soon turned their home into a lodge which, with a nod to its past, they named “The Toll House Inn”.

Now Ruth was a skilled baker and soon drew in visitors from all over the northeast.  Many came to sample her delicious baked goods.  One of her favorite desserts were Butter Drop Do Cookies and her recipe which dated back to colonial days called for Baker’s chocolate.  So one day in 1937 Ruth was making these Butter Drop Do Cookies and found herself lacking the chocolate, so she chopped up a bar of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate into tiny pieces thinking that the chocolate would melt and spread throughout the dough.  When it didn’t the chocolate chip cookie was born!  Well that’s one version; another version is she ran out of nuts and substituted the chopped chocolate; still another version claims she accidentally dropped a bar of chocolate into the dough and it broke into tiny morsels.  Whatever the version it’s all part of chocolate chip cookie history!

The new cookies were a hit and Ruth called them “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies”.  Her recipe was published in news papers all over New England and the sales of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate bars rocketed.

Then in 1939 when “Betty Crocker” (she was a fictional character who had a radio show) featured them on her radio series “Famous Foods from Famous Eating Places” the chocolate chip cookie went big time!  Ruth being a shrewd gal approached Nestle’s and struck a deal, they could print her recipe on all their semi-sweet bars and later bags in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolates.  Lucky lady!

In the 1940’s Ruth sold Nestle’s the name “Toll House” and the cookies were widely known as Toll House Cookies.  Nestle lost the trademarked rights to the name in 1983, Toll House is now legally the generic name for a chocolate chip cookie.

The cookie has become the most popular cookie worldwide and is the official cookie of Massachusetts.  As for Ruth and hubby they sold the Toll House Inn in 1966 and it burned down on New Year’s Eve 1984.

So now you know its history.   I’m sure you also know many versions of the chocolate chip cookie recipe have popped up, you may even have your own, I know I do!  But have you ever tried The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie?  It’s one of our favorites!  You can order it for dessert at their Mariposa Restaurant where you get a boxed set of 3 cookies and a recipe card, very cute!  Or you can buy the giant sized cookie at their Bistro.  And you can also buy tins of them from the Neiman’s gourmet food department at Christmas time.  We do all 3!  A box of 3 from the restaurant costs $6, the giant cookie at the Bistro is $5, and a tin of them will set you back about $20+.

But Neiman’s is nice enough to share their recipe, remember the boxed set at Mariposa comes with a recipe card.  So if you don’t feel like shelling out $5 or more for a cookie or two; or if you’ve never tried the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie then read on because I’m sharing it today!


The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speet until fluffy - approximately 30 seconds
  3. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds
  4. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds
  5. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips
  6. Using a 1 oz. scoop or 2 Tbs. measure, drop cookie dough onto a gr eased cookie sheet about 3" apart.
  7. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2" circle
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a bit longer for crispier cookies.
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