Friday, October 11, 2013

{Sweet Reads} Gourmet Macarons by Mindy Cone GIVEAWAY

I recently had the lovely pleasure of meeting up with one of my bloggy pals, Mindy Cone, of Creative Juice. Mindy was in the area for a book signing for her new book Gourmet French Macarons.  (Have you ever had a macaron, btw, if need to....they're the most delicious of deliciousness you will ever want to have eaten!)

So, as I was saying....I, along with my other bloggy pal, Sunny Duran of Sunny by Design, got together and went to meet up with Mindy at her book signing.  BTW, Sunny drew the most adorable macaron illustration and gifted it to Mindy.

(You can download the illustration for personal use only here - this is NOT FOR RESALE.)

Mindy and Sunny! (Photo courtesy of Sunny Duran)

Mindy was very sweet (of course she is!  she makes macarooooons) and she had a wonderful turn out of fans, family and friends at the book signing.  We were so, so happy for her and enjoyed getting a chance to meet each other, finally, face to face.  Here are a few more photos from her book signing.

As it stands, I have this 'thing' about meringue and making anything using it.  So, I'm not so sure how I will fair when the time comes for me to buck up and make these dainty cookies, but man, does Mindy's book make it look so easy!  She's has taken a simple French cookie and put her own unique and creative spin on it.

How cute are these Frankenstiein cookies?  My kids would go bananas over these and with Halloween right around the corner, these are perfect treats for our sweets table.

Frankenstein Macarons

The book  includes recipes, techniques, styling ideas, templates, and decorating tips that give the popular classic French macaron sandwich cookie a modern and whimsical makeover.  It also has over 75 unique and creative designs to make your French macarons delicious AND adorable ideas for any holiday, season, or life celebration. What I also love is that she has included over 75 flavorful filling recipes to make these delicious treats even tastier.

Chocolate with bite

You can be sure that making the treats is totally doable with the CD that is included with the book that has printable templates to make piping circles or unique shapes so much easier. You can make apples, pumpkins, ghosts, trees, flowers, animals, cupcakes, and many other shapes to fit each season, holiday, or life celebration.  I absolutely love all the wonderful photos in the book that Mindy photographed herself!

Apple Macarons

Football Macarons

Hamburger Macarons

Here's a recipe from the book for you to try at home for Chocolate French Macarons with chocolate ganache filling  (Recipe is modified from the book- (some tips, tricks, and terminology excluded)
Free 1.5 in circle template download for this recipe

Chocolate French Macarons
Chocolate with Chocolate filling

100g of egg whites aged at room temperature

Pinch of Cream of tartar

35g of superfine sugar

110g of Almond flour

200g of Powdered Sugar

10g cocoa powder

1. Measure out all ingredients using a gram scale

2. Prepare the baking sheets by lining them with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Slide a printed 1 ½ inch template sheet underneath and set aside. Prepare piping bag to

be filled and set aside.

3. Sift powdered sugar, almond mixture, and cocoa powder together two or three times

through a sieve and set aside.

4. Place the egg whites in a large bowl or in stand mixer with wire whisk attachment.

Whisk on low until egg whites become foamy. Add the pinch of cream of tartar.

Continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the superfine sugar. Once all of

the sugar is incorporated, scrape down the sides with a spatula.

5. Turn your mixer on medium-high and continue to whisk until you reach a stiff

meringue. If adding liquid or gel food dye, do so toward the end of whisking.

6. Sift 1/3 of the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder mixture through

the sieve and into the meringue. Fold the dry mixture into the meringue. Repeat with

the remaining mixture. Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, the batter will

be thick and have a dull shine. Continue to fold. As you do so, the batter will loosen.

Stop folding when the batter has a glossy sheen, a “lava-like” consistency, and falls in a

ribbon like manner off the spatula.

7. Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe 1½ inch

rounds on the parchment paper following the template.

8. When all of the rounds are piped on the parchment, rap the sheet pans evenly

on work surface a few times. Remove templates from below your parchment paper

carefully. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 20-40 minutes.

9. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake one

sheet at a time for 12 minutes rotating the pan half way through.

10. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

11. Match up similar size shells into pairs and sandwich with filling.


About 4 dozen 1.5 in shells (two dozen sandwiched macaron cookies)

Chocolate Ganache Filling

100 g (3.5 oz) chocolate*

1½ Tbsp. heavy cream

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.

Boil cream and pour over chocolate.

Stir until all the chocolate has melted and texture is smooth**

When warm, pipe onto macaron shells.

*I prefer to use the mini chocolate chips when possible to speed up the process.

** If the cream is not able to melt all the chocolate, place bowl in microwave. Heat for

20 seconds on low power. Remove and stir. Repeat until chocolate is fully melted.

Soooo, while I was at the book signing I picked up an extra book that Mindy signed for a lucky reader !  WHO WANTS ONE?!!!!  I also have an ePub version of the book for download for another lucky reader.  To win a copy enter using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mindy Cone, is an entertaining, food, and party stylist on the blog Creative Juice. She writes about how to entertain your guests and kids with style and creativity! She shares diy tutorials, recipes, tips, tricks, and ideas to make your next event detailed, personalized, and of course creative!  You can get more of Mindy and her Creative Juice over at her blog: Creative Juice

Gourmet French Macarons from TK Productions on Vimeo.

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