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Happy Valentine’s Day! (A little late…)

February 15, 2010

So I’ve been crazy busy the last few days, what with the end of Snowpocalypse and the beginning of work again, so here’s my Valentine’s update.

Happy Valentine's Day!

For Valentine’s Day this year, I was a little unsure of what to make. I knew I wanted to do something red, and my initial plan was to make mini-red-velvet-cupcakes. But then, Snowpocalypse happened, and I wasn’t totally sure if I’d be going to work on Friday, so I wanted to hold off on the minicupcakes (since that would have been way too many for me to eat alone)….And then I hung out with my friend Matt and his girlfriend Erin, and the first thing Erin said to me was “When are you making macarons again??” and so…the choice was made. This Valentine’s Day is heart-shaped macarons day.

Heart-shaped macaron.

These little cuties (which did NOT turn out as pretty as I wanted them to) were fun to make, though they used a lot of red food coloring paste.

I was going for a red velvet flavor, so I started with the standard chocolate batter I’ve used a thousand times and added red food coloring to the egg whites after they’d been beaten.

Red chocolate macarons

The filling is cream cheese frosting, piped on (not expertly because I had to refrigerate the frosting for a bit and didn’t let it come back to room temperature for long enough).

Side view

To get the cute heart shape, I used my heart-shaped locket necklace (a birthday gift from my grad school friend Jessica) to draw a stencil.

Heart stencil

(The smiley face stickers are from my 2 year old niece Hannah – we decided there needed to be a picture inside, so she helped me decorate)

I took the stencil, slipped it under a piece of parchment, and drew about a thousand hearts on the reverse side of the parchment.

Page of hearts

Hearts, hearts, everywhere.

Parchment paper is cool, cuz you can write on it.

Then, I flipped the parchment over (no pencil dust in my macarons, thanks), piped the batter on, and popped them in the oven.


Would you like a piece of my heart?

The hearts came out a little bizarre, for a number of reasons. First of all, they’re too big. I should have copied the stencil and downsized it to 3/4 the size. Then, as you can see in the picture, they didn’t really hold their shape well. This is because of the large size, but also because I didn’t have a proper piping tip – I used just the ziploc baggie with the tip cut off, and it didn’t lend itself to precise measurements.

Next time, I’ll use a proper circle tip, pipe them smaller, and make the details around the edge more dramatic. Also, I’ll put them farther apart – the macarons in the middle became one super-mega-macaron that stuck to the parchment.

So, review? I like the taste of the frosting with the cocoa, but the fact that they came out looking more like broken hearts than hearts was disappointing (though possibly strangely appropriate). Not too bad for a first try at creativity, though, we’ll see what happens next time!

Hope your Valentine's Day was Swell!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Meghan Hokom permalink
    February 15, 2010 5:45 pm

    I heard that macarons were like the new thing to eat/make. There is a really nice restaurant in DC that is teaching the ‘proper’ technique to making them – I am sure you don’t need to take the class ๐Ÿ™‚ According to NPR, Gossip Girl is doing to macarons what SITC did for Cosmos. Way to be ahead of the game. I just wish I could try some of your yummy treats!

  2. Rob permalink
    February 16, 2010 7:39 am

    It’s not the heart-shaped result that counts, it’s the thought of putting them into heart shapes in the first place. Plus the mind looks past all the jagged edges and slight imperfections (just like real love) and sees the intent rather than the actual. A gold star… make that a red heart… for creativity, effort and results.

  3. March 1, 2010 11:11 pm

    i see that you made about 50. how come i didn’t get one?

  4. March 2, 2010 9:48 am

    Well, mostly because you don’t work at my office. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also I believe you were in no condition to eat anything on February 15th…

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