Guys, guys … I made french macarons for the first time! You should have seen the sheer excitement as I stared into my oven watching to see if my cookies would bake with “feet”. I squealed like a little girl while clapping and bouncing up and down. Sometimes, it’s the little things in life.
James and I typically don’t make too big a fuss around Valentine’s Day, well, minus when we were dating. Now, it’s either grabbing a bite to eat, sharing a dessert, writing and giving a card or a combination of those. However, this commercial holiday now has a different meaning because it was this week exactly one year ago that we packed up our uhaul in Atlanta with Sasha and started the trek to snowy Massachusetts. It was a drive I’ll never forget – it involved lots of sun then snow, fog, covered bridges and police officers (yeah, we got a ticket). We eventually made it to our new home with a group of willing hands to welcome us and move us into our apartment that cold night.
Our subsequent days were filled with unpacking and building our new home sprinkled with some visitors. But the reason why I remember it was this week a year ago is because it was the week of Valentine’s day. On that day last year, we took a break, drove into Boston, walked around the Back Bay and shared a cupcake and some coffee. It’s crazy to think that was a year ago. All in all, it’s been a year marked with lots of growth, some heartaches and growing pains, lots of healing, great friendships and awesome ministry time. At times I miss home and my family (hi jules, jj and ems! *waves*), but I’m so thankful for where He has us right now. His greater purpose, His plans, His story – constant reminders that it’s all about and for Him.
Anywho, I didn’t really intend to share all that, but there it is. And now for the recipe!
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup almond flour (I made this by blending almonds in a blender until fine and powdery)
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
food coloring (the gel kind)
Raspberry Butter Cream Filling
1/4 cup butter
3/4 confectioners sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries (pushed through a sieve for 3 tbsp of the juice)
Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Beat egg whites for a few minutes until it is foamy then add salt, cream of tartar and sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in food coloring of your choice. Sift together the almond flour and confectioners sugar and slowly add and fold into your wet mixture. Don’t over fold. Transfer mix to a bag and pipe small round disks. Hit the pan on the counter a few times to release the air bubbles prior to baking. Leave out for 30 minutes to an hour and then bake for 20 minutes.
While baking, beat butter (for the filling) thoroughly and begin to add the sugar. Then press and mash the raspberries against the sieve with a spatula pushing the juice below (I made a mistake here and extracted too much juice, so that’s why my filling looks a bit strange). Beat further until well incorporated, transfer to a bag, pipe a cookie and top it off!