Before I baked healthy things, I just…baked! I love to bake. I honestly think that as much good comes from baking and eating pretty cupcakes or cookies, as from therapy. A pretty cake just makes me happy. I have made pretty much every recipe out of Martha Stewarts Cookies cookbook. Now I spend a fair bit of time reworking recipes to be healthy, or making my own, but of course there is the odd occasion where plain old white sugar is required to make something really really pretty.
I was doing a consultation for a wedding last night and thought that if ever there is a time for shamelessly pretty desserts, it’s when you’re talking wedding. Same goes for sparkly pink wine. So I made a few things, including the elusive french macaron. I’m sure you’ve seen these adorable cookies at high end bakeries and of course if you ever read blogs by the masters of all things pretty such as this girl, this girl, or this girl. Macarons have quickly become a trendy replacer for cupcakes. (don’t tell anyone but to be honest, I enjoy looking at cupcakes more than eating them.) Macarons are kind of a distant cousin to macaroons, you know, the shredded coconut type cookies. They have a reputation for being a bit finicky and I can tell you….they are. I don’t understand it but I have tried the same recipe, in the exact same way, about 6 times. Usually I get fallen, cracked macarons that are simply not pretty enough to serve to people. Well in a state of wedding-planning enthusiasm, I gave it one more go and miraculously, perhaps due to planetary alignment, they worked!!! So I thought I would put up a picture. I filled them with a red wine, honey, fig confit and they were as yummy as they were pretty.