Lemon almond sandwich cookies.

I have a confession to make. This was supposed to be an attempt to make lemon macarons :P

However, instead of macarons, these turned out instead. I decided to call them lemon almond sandwich cookies because no macaron feet appeared. I didn’t want to file this under “Cooking Failures” either, because they are DELICIOUS!

# – Lemon almond sandwich cookies.

Crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle with a decadent lemon flavoured cream cheese filling.

For the cookies:

  • 300 grams of finely ground almond, sifted
  • 220 grams of icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 egg whites
  • 100 grams of caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 whole lemon
  • Zest of 1 whole lemon

For the filling:

  • 150 grams of cream cheese
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Some yellow colouring

# – First, sift icing sugar into the sifted finely ground almond (sifting store bought ground almond is time consuming…please armed yourself with some patience)

# – Then, mix them up till combined, like this. Set aside.

# – In another bowl, beat the egg whites till stiff. Add in the lemon zest.

# – Followed by 1/2 of the lemon juice.

# – Lastly, add in the caster sugar and beat everything till mixture looks shiny and glossy. You now have a meringue mixture.

# – Next, gradually add the almond/icing sugar mixture into the meringue.

# – Gently fold to combine, then stir in the remaining 1/2 of lemon juice.

# – Spoon mixture into a piping bag.

# – Pipe out evenly sized disc on your non-stick baking mat/paper.

# – Leave this out for a minimum of 30 minutes to form shells.

# – Stick it in oven that has been preheated at 160 degree celcius. Once the cookies are in, turn the temperature down to 150 degrees celcius. Bake for 25 minutes.

# – Leave the cookies are to cool completely (I cheated by sticking them into the fridge :P)

# – In the meantime, allow the cream cheese and butter to soften in a bowl.

# – When they have softened, beat till smooth then add the icing sugar, lemon juice and yellow colouring. Beat again to combine. The lemony cream cheese filling is now done.

# – Scoop filling into a piping bag.

# – Pipe it onto one cookie and the rest is self explanatory…

# – Lemon almond sandwich cookies, DONE.

# – Refreshingly lemony and creamy.

# – Couldn’t resist having a bite while taking pictures.

Macarons, what macarons? Hehe.

Macaron Attempt Episode 2 – A semi success.

# – Hello, we are macarons. Butt-ugly macarons that ironically, look like nipples.

I got rather serious following my first macaron attempt that failed.

I aged the egg whites, which essentially means I left them in room temperature for a total of 48 hours as I read somewhere that aged egg whites can have more air beaten into them. No, I didn’t get food poisoning and yes, I did read somewhere that egg whites have antiseptic properties (please don’t go and slap it on open wounds now).

# – 2 egg whites, aged for 48 hours.

I also switched on two aircons on full blast (thanks to my gorgeous bb lainey for the advice) to reduce the room’s humidity.

Of course, I used my silicon baking mat this time instead of the damned paper. I was adamant that no macarons would get stuck this time. I did however, have to use the paper later when I had extra macaron mix but I made sure I greased the mofo properly.

/serious face

By the way, I must credit the website that eased me into attempting the scary realms of making macarons, thanks Amanda from Here Comes the Sun.

The ingredients:

  • 110 grams of icing sugar
  • 150 grams of finely ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 grams of caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint essence
  • 1 teaspoon of green colouring

For the chocolate filling:

  • 100 grams of dark chocolates, melted at Medium Low for 2 minutes and cooled down
  • 100 ml of whipping cream, whipped till fluffy

# – First, mix the ground almond and icing sugar together. You should then pulse the mixture till powder fine, and then sieve them. Twice. Set aside.

Additional note: However, I did not pulse the mixture because I haven’t gotten a food processor. Sieving them without the prior blitzing was also next to impossible due to the rough texture of store-bought ground almonds. I believe the lack of this step was the main cause of my macaron’s ugliness. So yeah, if you’ve got the privilege of a food processor…use it, gawdamit!

# – Now in a mixing bowl, beat the aged egg whites till fluffy.

# – Then add in the caster sugar slowly while still beating.

# – When the egg whites have turned glossy, put a 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint essence. I reduced the amount of peppermint essence from 1 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon which yielded a nice mild minty taste instead of “Is this super strong breath mints that I’m chewing?”.

# – Followed by a teaspoon of green colouring.

# – Beat the mixture again until colour is even.

# – Now pour in the almond + icing sugar mixture into the green gloop.

# – Fold gently until combined like this.

# – Pipe disc shaped onto the baking mat. Leave to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes for the exterior to harden. To be safe, I left it for one hour.

# – After that, stick it in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees celcius for 20 minutes.

# – Peppermint macarons, DONE!

You see, the lack of attractiveness of the macarons was not my only problem. 80% of the macarons stuck to the baking mats. However, unlike the first attempt, it was far more manageable. I didn’t have to throw them away or turn them into something else. In fact, in my head I was secretly pleased because I could pipe more filling in :P

# – Slightly hollowed macarons as bottom bits stuck to the mat. Let the macarons cool down completely.

# – Mix the whipped cream and cooled melted chocolate together till combined. Then pipe it into one macaron and sandwich the filling with another.

# – After Eight inspired macarons, DONE!

Thankfully, this second attempt was actually decent. The macarons were ugly as [insert expletive] but taste-wise…it was spot-on. The exterior was crispy, the middle was nice and chewy and it so totally reminded me of After Eights :)

# – YUMS!

Next attempt will see me try to make these babies without the bottom sticking and achieving a smooth egg-shell like exterior. Which means…I have to start shopping for a good food processor. Any suggestion please???

Macaron Attempt Episode 1

I had gotten a bag of ground almonds at a steal last weekend. All I could think about was macarons. I made them, I was very clear about the flavours…I wanted After Eight inspired macarons.

I whipped some melted dark chocolates and cream for the most decadent chocolate ganache filling.

My macarons actually didn’t look half bad out of the oven. They were puffy and more than half had feet! I was thrilled. The peppermint scent emitted was simply gorgeous.

# – Peppermint macarons.

I let them cool down. Then I began the process of assembling the macaron sandwiches. A big smile across my face. I gently eased my thumb and index finger around a macaron. Lifted my fingers and….

CRAP. Bugger was stuck. I tried another one….stuck. All of them were stuck. I started sobbing. Yeap, I broke down. I cried like a dumbass.

Dramatic? You wouldn’t understand until you got a decent batch of macarons and they got stuck to your waxed paper.

# – I pried and pried. But to no avail :(

Lessons learnt:

1. Grease the damn paper.
2. Go easy on the peppermint essence, it’s a macaron, not breath mints!
3. Never ever, ever have too high an expectation at your first try at making macarons.

Thanks for reading.