Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Lotta Chocolate Part 2: Snickers Macarons

Not sure how many of you follow me on Twitter, but I've been yappin' about macarons a lot lately and posted this teaser image for a future post last week. Little did I know at the time, but successful macarons would elude me for over a week. So those of you who saw that image had plenty o' time to figure it out! If you put 2 and 2 together and guessed my next post would be Snickers macarons, you get brownie points from me today! =D

5th Time's The Charm!
Similar to my first successful souffles, which took me 5 attempts to attain, the 5th time was the charm for my triumph over macarons (Here's some evidence of my failed attempts...I really hope this doesn't become a pattern!). And I must divide credit among my Twitter friends Stella of Bravetart, Kaitlin of Whisk Kid, Josie of Daydreamer Desserts, Steph of Desserts for Breakfast, Mardi of eat.live.travel.write., and of course the Macaron Queen herself, Helene of Tartelette for their invaluable advice helping me to troubleshoot each failed batch until I got it right this morning. Thank you so much, ladies!

While you probably expect I got frustrated with all these failures (and I did at times), I actually got very invigorated by the learning process. The aggravating yet oddly fun thing about macarons is that there are so many ways to go wrong 8). When each batch came out with a new set of problems, (after the initial wailing) it was fun to play detective, teasing out causes to each symptom. I learned a lot, the most important being that 3 factors really make or break French macarons: properly whipping up the egg whites to stiff peaks, knowing when to stop mixing the batter, and knowing your oven (especially any major hot/cold spots). Each of my failed attempts resulted directly from a failure to do one of the above, and once I figured them out I got the results I wanted. On the flip side, humidity and heat are NOT the great saboteurs of macaron success you've heard them to be. It was warm and humid (rainy with no AC!) all 5 times I baked them but hottest and wettest on the day I succeeded 8).

Snickers Macaron Closeup
If you'll remember, this is the second in a series of chocolate posts that began with my chocolate chunk challah french toast. Plus I'm submitting these to this month's MacTweets challenge: "Decadently Chocolate." Macarons may not be such an unusual way to feature chocolate, but Tartelette's idea to transform a common candy bar into a fancy macaron drew my curiosity enough to warrant a try (or 5 in this case =p). And in the end, I was very impressed. These adorable treats combine the best of both worlds: the classic taste of Snickers bars with the delicate texture and portion-control (ha!) of macarons. Do you love chocolate, Snickers, and/or macarons? If the answer is yes, I really recommend you try these soon!

Now I've probably scared you with all this talk of failed macarons and the recipe below will look impossibly long at first glance, but please rest assured that it's really not so hard. Macaron-making is simply a process that requires hands-on familiarity to perfect, and if you focus on the 3 key things I listed above, you'll have it down in no time. To give you a head's start, I've included some helpful videos below (not my own!) and lots of useful tips in the body of the recipe (which is why it's so long!). Once you've run through the process once or twice, you won't even look at directions anymore 'cause it'll be second nature. And if you learn anything from my experience, I hope it's to try try and try again! While I'm a beginner myself, I'd be happy to answer any macaron questions you may have via Twitter or email.

P.S. - If anyone's interested in this banner, you can print it on PDF HERE, preferably in color on card stock paper.
Simply cut it out and glue/tape it to some wood skewers. Enjoy!


Snickers Chocolate Peanut Caramel Macarons [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Tartelette, Daydreamer Desserts, and Not So Humble Pie (a great macaron troubleshooting post)
Makes about 25 to 35 macarons

XIAOLU'S NOTES: Please do not try to convert this recipe to volume measurements if you don't have a scale (I use and love this one). This recipe is very sensitive and will not work if the measurements are not exact. Please also note that every oven is different and you'll figure out what works best for yours over time. Since mine has major hot spots, I bake on 2 stacked pans for insulation. If you're uncertain of your ability to pipe uniformly-sized macarons, like me, simply trace 1 1/4-inch circles on your parchment paper, flip the paper over, and pipe on the other side, using the outlines as your guide OR print (choose "fit to page") and slide this template under your parchment as a guide but don't forget to remove before baking! Macarons are best after having been refrigerated for 24 to 48 hours, according to French pastry master, Pierre Herme, "An osmosis takes place between the garnish and the biscuit. When freshly baked this is hard and crisp, but it absorbs some humidity from the filling and its inside becomes more tender while the crust on the surface stays intact" (quote via Not So Humble Pie). So even if you accidentally overbake the shells by a few minutes, maturing the macarons in the fridge for at least 48 hours should undo most of the damage =).

65 g almonds [not roasted or salted]
60 g peanuts [not salted]
15 g cocoa powder
160 g powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
55 g granulated sugar
2 g egg white powder [optional, to stabilize batter in humid weather]
100 g egg whites [about 3 large egg whites]
1/8 tsp cream of tartar or 1/4 tsp lemon juice [optional, to stabilize meringue]

Milk Chocolate Ganache (Recipe below)
Marshmallow Peanut "Nougat" (Recipe below)
About 1/3 cup caramel sauce OR dulce de leche (Recipe below)
About 25 to 35 peanut halves

Separate your eggs 2 to 5 days before, and store the whites in a covered container in the fridge. Bring the egg whites to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe. OR just microwave fresh egg whites 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave on medium heat.

Combine the almonds, peanuts, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor, and pulse on and off until the nuts are finely ground (about 1 to 2 minutes). Sift the powder to remove any large chunks that remain. Put those chunks back into the food processor and pulse again for another 30 to 60 seconds. Sift again. You will probably have some slightly chunkier almond bits. Hopefully they're no more than a tablespoon or so, in which case you can throw them out.

Weigh out and mix your granulated sugar and egg white powder in a small bowl until uniform; set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-low speed with cream of tartar until foamy, then turn the speed up to medium to medium-high and gradually add the sugar mixture until you obtain a glossy meringue (it'll look like shaving cream, hold stiff peaks, and stay in place if you turn the bowl upside-down; don't overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry).

Add all of the nut mixture to the meringue, and fold in. Use both a folding motion that scrapes the bottom of the bowl (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a gentle pressing motion, to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. Slow down after about 25 strokes, and fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test the batter by spooning a small amount of the batter up, then dropping it back down on itself. If it melts back into the rest of the batter within 30 seconds, it's ready for piping (this page has great photos of this test). If not, fold 2 more strokes and test again.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/3 to 1/2-inch wide plain tip (I like Ateco #804 or 806) with half of the batter. (When your bag is too full, the pressure causes the batter to rush out in a way that’s difficult to control, making for sloppy macarons.) Pipe tiny blobs of batter onto the 4 corners and center of 2 baking sheets, then line baking sheets with parchment paper OR line with silicone mats. Pipe small rounds (slightly larger than 1 inch wide) straight down and about 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets. Pick up each sheet with both hands and slam it firmly straight downward on the counter 2 to 3 times. This will to force out any large air bubbles. Immediately pop any bubbles that rise up but don't break with a toothpick. Do NOT do this once a few minutes have passed because you'll mess up the shell that's forming.

Preheat the oven to 275 to 300 degrees F. Let the macarons sit out for 25 to 60 minutes to harden their shells a bit (to prevent tops from cracking during baking). Test if they're ready by touching the top and side of one shell lightly. It should feel dry and not stick to your finger at all. Bake one pan at a time for 15 to 20 minutes in the middle shelf of your oven, depending on the size of the macarons. Let cool for 15 to 30 minutes before trying to move the shells.

Once cool, flip the shells over. If you have trouble removing them from parchment paper, pour a couple of drops of water under the paper while the sheet is still a bit warm, and the macarons will lift up more easily due to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy.

Fill the shells with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ganache, then 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of caramel sauce, top with a peanut, a 3/4-inch circle of flattened marshmallow nougat, and a similarly-sized top shell. For the best flavor and texture, store in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours before eating (see notes above for detailed explanation) but they are best if eaten within 5 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.

Milk Chocolate Ganache
3 oz. milk chocolate, roughly chopped
4 Tbsp heavy cream

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat, drop in the milk chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. Stir the chocolate into the cream until smooth. Set aside until it cools down and thickens a bit (chilling in the fridge or freezer is fine).

Marshmallow Peanut "Nougat"
3/4 cup marshmallows
2 Tbsp smooth peanut butter

In a heavy saucepan over medium low heat, melt marshmallows and peanut butter until smooth. Let cool. Once cooled you will be able to pull the "nougat" and from the saucepan and cut pieces to flatten in the palm of your hands and sandwich within the macarons.

Dulce de Leche
Adapted from Cooking for Engineers
Makes about 1 3/4 cups

14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
Heavy cream, as needed

MICROWAVE METHOD:
Pour into large (preferably 2 1/2-qt. capacity) microwave-safe bowl. Heat on medium for 2 minutes. Whisk and repeat until appears curdled (around 7 to 10 minutes total, depending on your microwave oven). To use as a caramel sauce, simply stop heating at this point and stir the dulce de leche until smooth. For a thicker candy-like caramel, continue heating for another 2 minutes or so and stir until smooth again while still hot.

PRESSURE COOKER METHOD:
Peel the label off the can of sweetened condensed milk. Put it in a pressure cooker with enough water to come 2/3 up the can. Do NOT open the cans at all. The can won't explode because the pressure cooker equalizes the pressure, but please still proceed with caution and follow the manufacturer's directions for operating the pressure cooker safely! Close the pressure cooker, and bring it up to full pressure. Turn the heat down to maintain the pressure for 20 (lighter) to 30 (darker and thicker) minutes. Turn off the heat and and let the pressure cooker cool slowly. Once the cooker is completely cool, open the lid and remove the can with tongs. Do not open the can while it is still warm. If there’s any pressure left in the can, it could spray and burn you with hot caramel. Wait until the can has completely cooled before opening it. Remove cooled caramel from can. If too thick for your liking, stir in 2 tablespoons of warm heavy cream at a time until desired consistency.

PREVIOUSLY: Chocolate Chunk Challah Bread French Toast

114 comments:

  1. They look GREAT. Very, very professional.

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  2. PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT is all I can say!! You did it and did it so well. Congrats:)

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  3. They're SO BEAUTIFUL! Nice work!

    I love that cute little stand (candle holder?) and adore the composition of the last photo. Perfect placement of the milk bottle :)

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  4. I would be quite happy to eat those, even the ones that have fallen off. Come to think of it I would be happy to eat those from the first 4 batches:) You nailed it.

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  5. Hooray! I did a little happy dance this morning when I saw the pics! I love the flavours of this one!

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  6. Holy cow! Those are probably the awesomest macarons I've ever seen - or at least the ones I see myself devouring with Cookie Monster levels of delight.

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  7. They look amazing - but with your talents how could they not? I'm still scared to try macarons - but I think one day I will have to do it (or maybe multiple days if it is going to take a few attempts).

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  8. They look so beautiful! I am on a macaroon kick too. I've tried them twice. Second time was worlds better than the first. They fell apart in the fridge though. I'm going to give them another go!

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  9. Way to go, Xiaolu! :) These are uh-mazing looking and probably even more amazing melting in my mouth. Wish I could reach thru the screen and try one.

    --
    xo, Margaret :)

    The Bite Size Baker

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  10. They are just perfect! You are a macaron queen.

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  11. Wow! These look amazing! And I admire your perseverence! Gosh knows I would get wayyyyyy too frustrated!

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  12. Those look fabulous! I can make vanilla macarons but if I try and add anything they don't turn out. I'm bookmarking this post for help with my next attemp!

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  13. Beautiful macarons, Xiaolu. That said, macarons are the most difficult bakery things to master.

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  14. Perfection. Beautiful job and delicious flavor choice.

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  15. They look just out of the world Xiaolu.. I am in love with all ur shot.. Fabulous job.

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  16. These are so beautiful, your whole blog is gorgeous! I'm so glad to be your newest follower! :)
    http://www.cookskinny.blogspot.com/

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  17. Xiaolu, these are absolutely gorgeous! You totally out did yourself and I love the idea of adding peanut meal! My kids are drooling. Can you come over and whip up a batch?

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  18. yay! i see more macaron coming your way!

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  19. I have to tell you, I have been avoiding attempting macarons now for AGES because they seem so damn intimidating! But yours do look so...cute. GAH! Alright, I'm in. Fifth times the charm, huh? Better go buy at least 5 dozen eggs.

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  20. It was worth all the effort I guess :) They look SO SO SO PERFECT !!

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  21. oooo congrats! i recall u saying tt ure forever not daring to attempt macarons, but the final results are well worth it rights? here's to a whole new world (of macarons) i'm love your snickers version, u sure went all out with them! i'm sure you'll be churning out diff flavours...s'mores, blackforest and etc, possibilities are endless! ^^

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  22. Oh, YUM. Snickers Macarons! What an awesome idea - I've never had too much trouble with plain macarons, but I've never yet made a batch of chocolate ones that I'm happy with. Maybe I'll have to try yours!

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  23. Oh no..I can't seem to find your other macaron posts.... Macaron's... I'm not sure if I should thank my family or cruse them for introducing them to me. One aspect I've learned over the years with making macaron's... I would have perfect batches then suddenly, an epic fail, it's quite a fault of my own for not using my oven temp each time... which I thought would have cured once I bought a very expensive oven.. NOT THE CASE. When I use fresh eggs I freeze them, rather than age them, something I learned from my pastry chef, then there are times I like using egg white powder... what I've found most difficult for me was adding flavors / powders or liquid and not allowing it to alter the recipe to where the macaron's fail.

    Snickers... OMG GOSH, okay, you are bringing back some childhood memories now, I have not had one of those sine I was 10... sounds like such a great pair!!!

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  24. Kudos to you for not giving up, the macarons look perfect. You're inspiring me to try again after failing my first attempt!

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  25. A happy FEET Mac dance for you, X :) They look perfect and gorgeous!

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  26. Thanks for the fast responses and support everyone! It was definitely worth it and Michelle, I am soooo excited to be able to start exploring flavor ideas soon. May have to try out your chestnut filling mmmm. Pickyin, please do give it another go. You'll get it soon!

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  27. You know, I really want to give macarons a go myself. I think I need to do a bit more taste testing research though ;) Yours look divine, bravo! I was following your progress on twitter. Well done! The learning process in cooking is a fabulous thing :)
    Heidi xo

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  28. Congrats on a super successful batch!

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  29. Your macarons look super delicious, I love snickers too so I bet I would love these! Glad that your attempts succeeded :)

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  30. I can't resist but to leave a comment. Your macarons are gorgeous!! I love tall feet and yours have them!

    Makes me feeling like whipping up a bunch now. U go babe! ;)

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  31. Eu gosto muito da musica no seu vídeo. Parabens!

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  32. Breathtakingly beautiful macaroons and photos! A definite home-run!

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  33. These sound heavenly! I've never even tried these in bakeries or restaurants. I need to get on that. Beautiful photos in this post too Xiaolu!

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  34. These are gorgeous and look so so yummy! Hopefully I'll get these right and have my second successful attempt at macarons!

    This flavor combo sounds insane, I'm definitely excited for this.

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  35. Great site! Thanks for all the tips on macarons. I'll have to try them soon.

    http://kareninthekitchen.wordpress.com/

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  36. Gorgeous macarons Xialou and I love the snickers spin on them! They look SO delicious!

    I've still not attempted macarons. I've wanted to for a long time, but I've been put off by all the horror stories. Thanks for sharing all your tips, I have filed these away for the day I feel brave enough to attempt making them.

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  37. Congratulations on your macaron success! And what an awesome flavor. I've certainly had my share of hits and misses with macarons, temperamental little things!

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  38. Thanks again,everybody! For those who haven't tried macs yet, I promise they're not as intimidating as they sound. If you fold slowly and evaluate every few folds when the batter is close to ready, you really shouldn't need to go through as many trials as I did 8)

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  39. Xiaolu, I follow you on Twitter - and I saw your tweets about these Snickers macs! Hehehe ...

    Yea ... Your persistence did pay off! Totally deserved it. I made these macs, too, but for the shells, I've been using and tweaking Hisako Ogita's recipe. Fillings-wise, yes, I used Helene's for these. Here are mine:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ocbcb/5244276812/in/photostream

    Of course, mine aren't as good as yours. =)

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  40. Oh my god, this is exceptional. Firstly, amazing amazing photos, second of all, Snickers, macarons, together? Hurrah! (I wish the individual macaron bit meant 'portion control' too but we all know that nobody stops at having one :p) I was also just wondering, do you reckon you would ever do a post on food photography/some tips? :)

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  41. Your macarons look wonderful! Congratulations to you for persevering. There's nothing like mastering a recipe that you've really struggled with!

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  42. Oh my word!!! Snickers macarons?! Now this is my kind of macaron. They look absolutely stunning. :)

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  43. What perfect macs! Big congrats, it's such a fabulous feeling when you get that first good batch :)

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  44. Just when I wondered if I would ever have a reason to purchase a pressure cooker, you've presented me with the perfect excuse! A Snickers themed dessert isn't a strange concept to us here in Oz thanks to the very talented Phillipa Sibley http://www.philippasibley.com/news
    but I'm saving a very special day to try out these tempting macarons!

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  45. I was JUST talking to a coworker about how macarons are hard to make and here is this post agreeing. Well, I am glad you stuck with it. These look great!

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  46. These look great! I REALLY want to make them, but I dont' have a scale to measure out the ingredients :(. I know you said not to convert anything, but is there any chance you know the equivalents in other measurements? Any help would be much appreciated!

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  47. If you really want to try them without a scale, you can try this recipe from Martha Stewart which *I HAVE NEVER TRIED* http://www.marthastewart.com/319525/parisian-macaroons and ADD 2 Tbsp cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and use 2 Tbsp LESS powdered sugar. BUT I honestly think it's more worth it to spend the money and buy a cheap scale than to waste the money for ingredients (nuts aren't cheap!), effort, and time to make them without a scale and therefore make success much less likely. That being said, even if they don't look perfect, they would probably still taste good. Please let me know how it goes for you! =)

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  48. Lovely food presentation as always and the macaroons look gorgeous!

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  49. Love them!! Absolutely gorgeous, congratulations!

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  50. OH MY GOD . snickers macaroons? they look fabulaous Im bookmarking these to make one day soon. I ve always wanted to try making macaroons but have nevr been inspired enuf to make them. I think I hv foub my inspiration. Beautiful photos Xiaolu!

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  51. Snickers are my all time favorite candy bar and this sounds absolutely divine! I am bookmarking these, and one day when I work up the nerve to try making macarons, these will be the first ones I make! Yummy!

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  52. Sips and SpoonfulsApril 30, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    My my...you really don't give up eh! Well done, they look pretty perfect to me. And thanks for all the great tips!

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  53. Wonderful photos and tutorial. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again."
    www.theculinarylens.com

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  54. Just wanted to say again how beautiful your macarons, and that picture is. Love that banner. :)
    I had so many failures with macarons that my couple of successes stand out in my mind. Apart from the fact we find them too sweet there hasn't been enough motivation to make them again.
    Maybe I just should give it another go.

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  55. WOW WOW WOW! These look fabulous and the flavour sounds outstanding! What I would give to have one of these babies. Looking forward to more macarons to come :)

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  56. Oh my, I'm drooling over here! I think I may need to make up the peanut nougat at the very least, that sounds absolutely killer.

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  57. Very chocolatey and with perfect feet!

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  58. Perfection! Thank you so much for sharing Xialu.

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  59. Hi Xiaolu! beautiful macarons! just wish my mac shells are as consistent as yours!

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  60. Wow these are really fantastic. I love the Snickers idea.

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  61. Thanks again!

    Hannah - If I recall correctly, you made successful vegan macarons once. Were you able to adapt a chocolate version? I bet the nougat would be great with vegan marshmallows & you can make homemade coconut dulce de leche too.

    Travellingfoodies - Thanks! Half my batches kept being total disasters until I realized my oven was heating unevenly and added a second pan to help insulate the top baking sheet. Keep trying and you'll figure out what works best =D

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  62. Ok yours look way better than Martha Stewarts. I'm going to borrow a scale from a friend :). Thanks though! Also, for the marshmallows, is it a cup of regular sized ones or mini?

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  63. Aw thanks! I used regular-sized ones smushed well into the measuring cup, but feel free to use minis and maybe use slightly less than called for =). Good luck! I highly recommend watching the videos and reading the other sites I linked to get a feel for the process.

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  64. Alright I'm going to give them a go. I'll let you know how they turn out!

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  65. You did so well Xiaolu! They look perfect!

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  66. These macaroons look to die for or as my kid often say - to live for :) Thanks for you comment on my blog,Xiaolu - Love visiting you! please follow my blog if you are not already - Thanks dear :)

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  67. Brilliant!! I've never built up the couraage to try making macarons myself, to be honest. Oooh, could you do a Crunchie-inspired macaron next? :D

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  68. Dear Xiaolu,
    Congratulations for being on top 9. A very well made post with beautiful pictures. The macaroons are looking PERFECT in flavor. I wanted to swipe few cookies right away frm the screen. I have seen couple of recipes around of macaroons, but urs is looking awesome and cant wait to try some. Its always fun to see your recipes. Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day !!!

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  69. always love macarons since they are gluten-free, although can be too sweet for me.

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  70. Great pics! When it comes to trying anything for the 1st time, you try try and try until you get it right...trial and error :)

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  71. I was just admiring some chocolate macarons at a trendy cafe in Mexico City yesterday before attending a chocolate tasting and viola here is a recipe. I'll wait until my kids are grown though before I try making these. I don't need any extra frustrations these days. I've got my hands full with my 2 year old. You never fail to impress me Xiaolu! Congrats on making the Top 9 AGAIN!

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  72. I've been wanting to make macarons for quite some time now but have been intimidated to do so. I love that you shared your unsuccessful attempts and these wonderful pointers and tips on how to have them turn out as beautiful as yours (I sooooo wish I could eat a handful of them right now!).

    Wonderful job.

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  73. GREAT macaron idea, xiaolu! it's a winning combination of flavors, that's for sure, and your work looks perfect!

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  74. Wow. They look so perfect! I know how difficult it is to make perfect macarons. Great job!

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  75. Absolutely sensational my dear girl, absolutely so!! You do make it sound ever so easy, but it isn't really so, and I give you a big bow!! *BOW*!! These are perfect, pretty and beautifully photographed too. Thank you for getting them over to Mactweets. {Oh and I love the new look and your picture here too}. Yay for macs, yay for Twitter...and yay for you!

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  76. Those macarons look SO professional and SO gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  77. oh my gosh! those look PERFECT!!!

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  78. Beautiful! They all look perfect! Macarons are really tricky, took me a few attempts to get it right too!

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  79. This is such a creative idea and sooo chocolaty! Simply brilliant! :)

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  80. You have scared me, I think I am going to wait to make macaroons some more time an just enjoy looking at yours! :)

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  81. Thanks everybody!

    Iike - Oh no! That wasn't the intention at all. I promise it's not that bad. I was probably also paying less attention because I was pretty ill while baking these too. Please give them a try!

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  82. I am at this very moment in the process of ruining my second ever batch of macarons :-), they're overcooking in the oven as I am typing this :-). I will try following your recipe next time - your macarons look fantastic :-).

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  83. Those look super awesome! I will have to practise once I get back to melb

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  84. Well, I gave your recipe a first attempt and did not succeed. They still tasted good, but the macarons were more like a chewy cookie and didn't have that light airy texture. They also didn't puff up :(. Looks like I need a lot more practice! I'll be so excited the day my macarons look like yours :)

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  85. Sorry it didn't work but please keep trying :). Do you happen to have a photo? That would help me help you figure out what went wrong. Did the tops look oily? Did they crack? How long did you rest the macarons for before baking, how long did you bake for and at what temperature?

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  86. You rocked these Snickers macarons! Wish I had them right about now. The banner is fabulous!

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  87. These are just so clever and to think you did them 5 times just shows your dedication! I love that banner too, so adorable :D

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  88. Wow! They look absolutely sensational. I would have thought you were churning these babies out for years. And what a great flavour too, yum!

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  89. What a fantastic flavor idea! Your picture is absolutely beautiful and I love the idea with the banner. The colors make it look very warm. Perfect!

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  90. Thanks for sharing the Snicker banner! Hehe really cute! I'm truly intimidated by macarons! First, I need to get a digital scale, ha! I'm really motivated to make these as I love Snickers :) To taste it, I guess I need to make 'em soon!

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  91. I was going to say I love the banner and you have that handy tip right there. Thanks.

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  92. I do have a picture..I'll send it :) I let them sit for about 30 min and checked that they had a shell over them and then baked them at about 285 for 20 min. It was hard to tell when they were done. The first batch came out ok, with minimal cracking but they just didn't turn out like a macaron should be. Also, the caramel turned out to be more tacky than saucy and my macarons looked like a thick sandwich haha. I probably just over cooked the milk though. I'll send you a pic!

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  93. Love the banner and LOVE how your macarons turned out! I love snickers, but have yet to venture out of the traditional almond macarons since I'm deeply afraid I'll screw up. Kudos to you for trying 5 times!! It took me at least a month to get over my first macaron failure before I tried again! ;p

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  94. Ah, these look PERFECT! And absolutely to DIE FOR! I think the 5 tries was worth it for these babies!!

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  95. That first photo is ...right on the money. Gorgeous!

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  96. Perfect photography, Xiaolu! Wow!

    Laksmi (W)

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  97. Aw thanks, Laksmi! Didn't expect to see you here. Glad of it =D

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  98. Thanks for the videos! I've been so intimidated by macarons. Someday I'll give them a try!

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  99. What else can I say... Sensational yet again. I believe with all my heart that I could subsist on these alone. Forever!

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  100. Nice presentation of the snickers macarons! It took us several times until we got our macarons right, too. But we still have food flops (your "evidence" of failed attempts still looks delicious). Hope to see more of your macarons in the MacTweets roundup. :-)

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  101. Not only beautiful macarons, but beautiful photography, as expected. I just love your images. So professional. Glad you kept trying with the macarons. 5 attempts is not a lot for these tricky little things! Well done.

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  102. SERIOUSLY?! You are awesome. These look perfect! I love the flavor combination!

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  103. Thanks all! I am overwhelmed by your support <3.

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  104. He publicado este post en Mis Favoritas de la semana, si quieres verlo está en:
    http://blocderecetas.blogspot.com/2011/05/mis-favoritas-semana-18-2011.html
    Espero que te guste!

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  105. I agree that macarons are a learning curve - I tossed several batches before achieving a good one!
    Yours are flawless, sweetie, not to mention the flavor - amazing!
    xoxo

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  106. Hurray for finally triumphing over macarons! They look gorgeous. :) Thanks for all the great tips. I have yet to try making them but they've always been on my list of things to bake!

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  107. I have to thank you! I followed your recipe and they turned out perfect! This was my first time ever doing Macarons and it was totally worth the time. Thank you for doing all the research.

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  108. YAY! I'm so excited to hear that =D. Congrats on your macaron success and here's to many more in the future! I'd love to see a pic if you took any, but either way thanks for the feedback and happy holidays!

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  109. Great macaron ideas - thank you for sharing! btw, here's a guide that shows how to start a macaron business www.TheMacaronMaster.com Enjoy! :)

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I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu