It was a long weekend for me. That means cleaning and cooking on Monday. No, I can’t just sit around while he’s working and do NOTHING. I just can’t. It’s not me.
The alarm went off at the usual time. I got up with him and helped him get out the door for work. Then I did some dishes. I trimmed Missy’s nails. THAT was fun. *snort* And it’s not like I was trimming as much as I SHOULD have trimmed. And I didn’t even make her bleed this time!! Sheesh! You’d think I was trying to cut her toes off or something! Have I mentioned she’s a big scaredy cat?
Anyway, then laundry, rearranged some stuff from the spare room closet to the outdoor storage. I THOUGHT I was doing a good thing. “What’s in those containers?” “Keepsakes and stuff.” “Well, it’s not climate controlled.” “I know.” “If there’s photos they might get warped or something from the moisture.” “I know.” There’s never any, “Wow honey that’s great! Thanks!” It’s, “Well there’s X and then there’s Y. And did you think about Q and Z while you were at it?” It’s frustrating.
Um…fixed the bookshelf that has the TV and cable box on it in the bedroom. Not even a “That’s great!” there either. It’s “We need a bigger TV. I can’t see that one so well. But a bigger TV won’t fit in there so we’ll have to get something else.” No…it’s never ending.
Went through the stack of coupons that’s been collecting and tossed the expired ones this morning. The rest are here to be passed around to the co-workers. Straightened and vacuumed. Mopped the kitchen floor. Then proceeded to spend time in the kitchen. Made some whole wheat banana muffins. They were meant to be cupcakes, but I put too much whole wheat flour in them. I am officially out of the whole wheat pastry flour. Now I wish I had more! LOL
Made a caramel buttercream. For use later since the cupcakes are muffins. Used some of the rest of the caramel for the macarons.
Can I just say that I will NEVAH use caramel to fill macarons EVER AGAIN! HOLY STICKY MESS! I felt like I was covered in it yesterday AND this morning! I tried to take another shot this morning with the nice diffused light from my window. NEVER! EVER! AGAIN!
Place unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of cold water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Allow to cool completely before opening. If you haven’t done this ever…you need do. It is crack in a can.
Preheat oven to 300, making sure to check the temperature with an oven thermometer. Grind the almonds and pistachios together with 220 grams powdered sugar until fine. Sift the mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Add any large bits back to the processor and grind and sift again. Discard any remaining large bits. Sift the almond mixture again removing any large pieces. Set aside.
Add egg whites and 100 grams of granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat eggs at medium power for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat 3 minutes.
Add the rum extract and vanilla paste and beat on high an additional minute. The meringue should be stiff and glossy. Add the nut mixture to the meringue and fold them together. This is the most crucial part of the process. Counting your turns, closely examine the mixture after 25. The mixture needs to be thick enough to hold up on it’s own when dropped from the spatula, but soft enough that it will melt back into the batter after about 20 seconds.
Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip and pipe circles approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat. After filling the tray, quickly and sharply rap the baking sheet on the counter twice, then turn the sheet and rap it three more times. Allow the cookies to set 20 to 30 minutes before baking. Once set, bake at 300 for 18 minutes.
Test the macarons after 18 minutes by attempting to peel them off the paper. If they peel cleanly off, they are done. If not, give them 1 or 2 more minutes and try again. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan
Spoon 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of caramel onto one cookie. Sprinkle with sea salt and then top with a cookie that matches the size and shape. Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving.