SUGARPRISM WATERCOLOR MACARONS

In case you’ve missed it, I’ve been keeping a second blog dedicated exclusively to cookies (click here to visit For the Love of Cookies). Back in July, I wrote a post about Sugarprism, a new product I fell in love with. Michelle, the inventor of Sugarprism hosts a page in Facebook entitled “Painting with Sugarprism“, and I highly recommend that you visit and join if the subject interests you. She is an amazing artist, and offers FREE – you read that right: FREE – tutorials of specific painting techniques. I took her 90 min lesson on watercolor painting of macarons and could not wait to share my babies here. So there you go. I took the class on Sunday, and the post is ready 36 hours later. That’s because I am over the moon with the whole experience! Can you tell?

VEGAN COFFEE GANACHE MACARONS
(adapted from Pies and Tacos)

for shells:
110 grams almond flour
110 grams powdered sugar
75 grams aquafaba
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
66 grams granulated sugar
tiny amount of Americolor GOLD food gel dye

for vegan coffee ganache:
1/3 cup coconut cream
60g semisweet chocolate chips (vegan)
2 tsp espresso powder

Process the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor for about 20 seconds total using short pulses. Sift the mixture and reserve.

Place the aquafaba in the bowl of a mixer. Start whipping on low speed and add the cream of tartar. Whip for about 30 seconds, until the aquafaba starts getting white and thick like soup. Raise the speed to medium and continue to whip for another couple of minutes, until you are able to see streaks left by the whisk on the aquafaba. Raise the speed to high, and start to add the granulated sugar, slowly, a bit at a time. Continue to whip until the aquafaba achieves stiff peaks, which can take 10 minutes or more, depending on your mixer. Add the food color close to the end of whipping.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the whipped aquafaba. Start folding with a spatula slowly. Fold the batter forming a letter J with the spatula. You will fold until the batter is flowing slowly but effortlessly off the spatula.  Transfer the batter to the piping bag. Pipe circles on a baking sheet lined with silicon mat. Slam the trays against the counter to release air bubbles. Let the trays rest for 30-45 minutes until the shells are dry.

Heat the oven to 285ºF. Bake one tray at a time for a total of 20 minutes, or until the macarons tops do not twist independently of the bottom if you try to rotate them.

Make the filling: Heat up the coconut cream until hot. Pour over chocolate chips. Whisk until all chocolate chips have melted, add the espresso powder and whisk until fully smooth. Chill it in the fridge for a few hours. Remove from the fridge about 40 minutes before you wish to fill the macarons. This will help the ganache have the perfect consistency. Assemble shells, fill with ganache, and decorate as desired. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours for perfect consistency.

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Never in a million years I imagined I could paint in real time as the instructor is showing the technique and be very happy with the outcome. Michelle shows exactly how to do it, it’s all in the angle of the brush, the amount of paint, and how you move the brush to get the different styles of petals. You would think that painting macarons would be super time-consuming but once you get the gist of it, it goes fast and it is oh-so-very-Zen…

The vegan coffee ganache surprised me by how much I liked it. Very easy to make, and contrary to regular cream-based ganache, it reaches piping consistency faster in the fridge. I will be trying different versions, not necessarily to couple with vegan shells.

Michelle, I cannot thank you enough for the great tutorial,
I enjoyed each minute!

ONE YEAR AGO: Dutch Macarons and a cookbook review

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THREE YEAR AGO: Grilled Lamb-Stuffed Pita Bread

FOUR YEARS AGO: Elderflower Macarons

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SIX YEARS AGO: Sobering Peach Sorbet

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EIGHT YEARS AGO: Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak

NINE YEARS AGO:  Secret Recipe Club: Corn Chowda

TEN YEARS AGO: Page-A-Day Calendar (Pits and Chief 5 minutes of fame…)

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Home Sweet Home (our beloved Pits in one of his last photos)

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Marbled Rye

A VEGAN TRILOGY

Please, please, please, don’t run away. I promise you these are all absolutely delicious and worthy serving to any omnivore out there. A creamy dip that will leave you in disbelief that it lacks dairy or cheese. And two cookies, the classic chocolate chip (described by the resident Cookie Critic as one of the best I’ve made), and Vegan Linzers, not very easy to make but if you have a little patience and the inclination to try it, once you taste it, you will be glad you baked a batch.

CASHEW CREAM ROASTED BELL PEPPER DIP
(adapted from several sources)

1½ cups raw cashews
½ cup roasted red peppers (packed in oil, lightly drained)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
water to adjust consistency
1/3 cup minced parsley leaves

Place cashews in bowl and add cold water to cover completely. Let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well. Process soaked cashews, red peppers, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add water if too thick.

Transfer cashew mixture to bowl, stir in parsley, and adjust seasoning. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Using a Vitamix would be even better to get more of a creamy texture but I confess I hate removing things from the Vitamix bowl, unless they pour out easily. It is a little pet peeve of mine. This dip was absolutely delicious, and you can take it in many directions replacing the red bell pepper for some other ingredient, like roasted eggplants, or tahini. Vegan or not, it will definitely be a regular in our kitchen.

SECRETLY VEGAN SALTED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Recipe available online here

I made no modifications, the recipe was recommended by my niece Raquel, who raved about it. It is absolutely true, you cannot tell they are vegan. Approved by all tasters!

VEGAN LINZERS
(adapted from Rainbow Nourishments)

200 g whole-wheat flour
40 g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
30 g powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cardamon (optional, but nice)
pinch of salt

jam of your choice to fill the cookies (I used strawberry)

Add all the cookie ingredients to a food processor. Process until evenly combined. Adjust the consistecy with more flour if needed, so that if you pinch the dough between your fingers it will not crumble.

Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness using a plastic wrap on top to protect it as you roll. Cut round shapes, at this point the dough might be getting too soft, so place it in the freezer.

Remove from the freezer, cut centers out of half of the rounds, place in the freezer again for 20 minutes and bake from frozen in a 350F oven.

Spread jam on the round cookies, top with the open circles, and dust the surface with powdered sugar.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You know I never lie to you. These were a labor of love. The absence of butter in the dough makes it very soft and tricky to work with. If you are not comfortable making regular Linzer cookies, take your time, and keep chilling the dough in the freezer at each step. Roll out, freeze. Cut rounds, freeze. Cut centers, freeze. Move to final baking sheet, freeze.

But they turned out very good, another type of vegan baking that will please those in the Butter-Egg-Dairy Team. You can trust me on that. Hand on heart.

ONE YEAR AGO: The Mystifying Hurricane Roll

TWO YEARS AGO: Pop-Tarts with Strawberry Balsamic Jam

THREE YEARS AGO: Ptichye Moloko, a Russian Dessert

FOUR YEARS AGO: Cheesy Low-Carb Zucchini Tarts

FIVE YEARS AGO: Blogging Hiatus

SIX YEARS AGO: Apricots, Three Ways

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Up Close and Personal with Kale

EIGHT YEARS AGOBlack Berry Cherry Sorbet

NINE YEARS AGO: Asparagus Pesto

TEN YEARS AGO: Chocolate and Chestnut Terrine

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Under the spell of lemongrass

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Greens + Grapefruit + Shrimp = Great Salad!

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED CINNAMON COOKIES: VEGAN & DELICIOUS

Today I share a recipe for delicious cookies that happen to be vegan. No eggs, no dairy, but no sacrifice of flavor and texture. The recipe comes from Modern Vegan Desserts, written by a professional patissiere, Petra Stahlová. I invite you to read my review on her book (as well as musings on vegan baking in general) by visiting the Home Bakers Collective site, with a click here.

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED CINNAMON COOKIES
(published with permission from Petra Stahlová)

62g soft vegan butter (I used Country Crock plant butter)
62g icing sugar
15g almond flour
54g aquafaba
82g plain flour
3g ground cinnamon
200g 70% dark chocolate

In a mixer, beat the softened butter and the icing sugar until light and fluffy, then mix in the almond flour. Gradually mix in the aquafaba, adding a tablespoon of plain flour after each addition of liquid. Once all the liquid has been mixed in, carefully stir in the rest of the flour and the cinnamon with a spatula.

In a bowl, cover the batter with cling film so that it directly touches the surface, and leave to rest for half an hour at room temperature. Put the dough into a pastry bag with a 10mm diameter tip. Place either a silicon mat or some baking paper on the baking tray and pipe out 2.5 inches long lines onto the sheet. Don’t squeeze the bag too hard; the width of the batter should correspond to the diameter of the tip, i.e. 10mm. Leave half-an-inch space between the cookies, as they will spread out during baking.

Heat your oven to 375F (convection on, if available) and bake for about 7 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Afterwards, leave the cookies on the baking tray for half a minute to firm up and then transfer them onto a cooling rack.

Temper the chocolate, then dip the cooled cookies and put them on either a silicon mat or baking paper to let the chocolate crystallize. Decorate with sprinkles, if so desired.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I made these cookies for Mondays with Sweetness, in which I share bakes with our departmental colleagues. Since there is one adorable person who is allergic to eggs, I am always trying to find bakes that she will be able to enjoy. Nobody could tell these are vegan. The cinnamon flavor is perfect, the chocolate complements it well, and with the golden sprinkles they get a festive look. If you don’t feel like tempering chocolate, you can get by with candy melts but there will be a little compromise in flavor. I usually take the opportunity of tempering chocolate to make some extra decorations that might come in handy in future bakes.

I close this post inviting you to read more about Modern Vegan Desserts,
so please stop by the Home Bakers Collective.

ONE YEAR AGO: Lemony Barley with Shrimp and Spinach

TWO YEARS AGO:Black Rice with Roasted Cauliflower

THREE YEARS AGO:
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FOUR YEARS AGO: A Special Birthday Dinner

FIVE YEARS AGO: Duck Confit for a Special Occasion

SIX YEARS AGO: Tuscan Grilled Chicken and Sausage Skewers

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with Pork Tenderloin & Apples

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Salmon Wellington

NINE YEARS AGO: The Green Chip Alternative

TEN YEARS AGO: Weekend Pita Project

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Let it snow, let it snow, eggs in snow