Sitting here, in my happy place, puttering away, with the sunshine streaming through my kitchen windows, it almost seems like a perfect spring day...
Truth is, sunny as it may be, it's still only February, and the wind chills today are in the teens. Brrr!
Here at the YinMom YangMom Allie household, we are counting down the days until Spring. And, to put a finer point on it, 'til March! Besides being the birth month of my littlest, I've always thought that March really is kind of a magical month. When it starts out, it's just so bitterly cold and raw, you almost can't imagine that there's any light at the end of that icy tunnel. But, lo and behold, March always does seem to go out like a lamb! I just love that you can always count on seeing the ground thaw, and those little shoots and buds beginning to peek their little heads out after a long, wintry slumber...
Not to mention that one of my most favoritest of holidays happens to fall in March...
There's so much fun to be had with food and drink around St. Patrick's Day! I have lots of yummy St. Patty's Day treats planned for you guys over the next few weeks. Today I wanted to share my Nutty Irishman Macarons.
Have you ever had a Nutty Irishman? Omg, it's only one of the most delicious cocktails EVER! Picture creamy, sweet Irish cream combined with toasty, nutty, hazelnut liqueur.... it's truly a match made in heaven! I love it over ice, or neat, or swirled into a hot cup of coffee or cocoa... are you drooling yet?!
Macarons have really been having their moment lately, and they are a perfect vehicle for that delectable Nutty Irishman magic. I've just replaced half the almond meal in the shells with finely processed hazelnut, and swirled a little Bailey's and Frangelico into a white chocolate ganache filling.
You can put little shamrocks on the shells by dotting on a few drops of gel paste food coloring, and dragging a clean toothpick through. I've also embellished the sides with a few festive sprinkles.
If you've never made macarons before, you should definitely check out this post. It gives all the basics, including a ratio formula that has brought me nothing but success. I know they can be really tricky, but this formula has really worked well for me, and I always get feet! I also wanted to share this photo:
...which I first saw on Sprinkle Bakes. I think it's an excellent gauge to help know what your macaron batter should look like and if you've folded it to the proper consistency. As illustrated above, it should drop from the spatula in a thick ribbon.
- 35 grams almond meal
- 35 grams hazelnuts
- 110 grams powdered sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 40 grams granulated sugar
- 4 ounces white chocolate
- 2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur
- 1 teaspoon Irish cream liqueur
- Measure almond meal, hazelnuts, and powdered sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Process finely, and sift out any large bits.
- Whip the egg whites until foamy. Add in the granulated sugar gradually, and continue to whip to stiff peaks.
- Dump in the nut meal mixture all at once. Fold by hand, until combined. The mixture should drop from the spatula in a thick ribbon. If it drops in clumps, it should be folded a few more strokes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and fill a pastry bag with the macaron batter. Pipe 1 inch rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to dry for 20 minutes or until a thin, dry membrane has formed.
- Drop the oven temp down to 325 and bake for 14 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.
- Chop the chocolate and heat the cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until incorporated. Stir in the liqueurs and allow to cool.
- Pipe about a tablespoon onto half the macaron shells and sandwich.
Anybody have anything fun or special planned for St. Patrick's Day this year? As a freckly, reddish-haired mom of two small children, I'm planning on spending the day at home with my little ones, sharing some meaningful dishes and teaching them about their Irish ancestry and the history behind the holiday. How about you? A pub crawl? Green Beer? Or another cozy indoor day listening to the last of the winter wind howling against your windows?
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