Page 76: Macaroons and Page 115: Vanilla Crumb Base (and various other birthday treats)

I’m back with the promised Macaroons! See… that didn’t take long did it?

Today’s productivity is largely due to the fact that my friend Brooke’s birthday is tomorrow. Brooke has gluten and dairy sensitivities, and therefore is the only other person I know that gets as excited as I do about dairy free wonders. Brooke has also been out of town visiting family for several weeks so I decided to whip up some BabyCakes staples – and one totally new recipe (because I do need to work on my stats here) –  for a Happy Birthday/Welcome Home package! Timely enough, our Labor Day was cloudy and overcast so it was a great day to do some baking.

First up, I knew I wanted to make Macaroons. However, I actually got to knock down three individual recipes (two of which I’ve never made before) in the making of said Macaroons. I’ll explain…

On the surface, the Macaroons appeared to be quite simple… like four ingredients simple. Except one of the ingredients is “Vanilla Crumb Base”.  So I flip to page 115 for the Vanilla Crumb Base. And again… four ingredients. Nice! Except, one of those ingredients is “6 unfrosted vanilla cupcakes (Page 86)”. There it is. So much for simplicity! Not to mention I felt like I was back in the fourth grade reading a “choose your own adventure book”. While I’m sure this is an incredibly efficient use of resources in a commercial bakery kitchen, it’s slightly less than ideal for me at home.

But regardless, in order to make the desired Macaroons I first had to make cupcakes. And you know how I feel about cupcakes. Or, more accurately, how low my success rate has been with cupcakes to date. But I went for it anyway. Today, I did something slightly different and instead of using hot water as the recipe called for, I used almond milk right out of the fridge. Not sure how big of a difference it made but the cupcakes seemed to be more moist than my last venture into BabyCakes cupcakeland. They were so moist in fact, that once they cooled and I went to crumble them for the crumb base, they didn’t want to crumble like the less moist chocolate version did last week. This is progress!

So, here is how you make BabyCakes Macaroons:

Step One: Make fluffy cupcakes
Step Two: Crumble six such fluffy cupcakes into bowl

Step Three: Add sweet and salty to make Vanilla Crumb Base recipe

Step Four: Add more sweetness, salt, and coconut to make Macaroon batter

Step Five: Spoon onto baking dish and bake until golden

I only made a half batch of the cupcakes and used half for the crumb base and frosted the other half for eating just as cupcakes. I was making the legendary favorite chocolate chip cookie sandwiches so I needed frosting anyway!

The sandwich making went pretty well this time. I’m still trying to master the perfect cookie, but fortunately when you put frosting between them and freeze the bundle, they are much more forgiving than when enjoyed solo.

I also made a half batch of frosting. As much as I love the stuff, I do think that a smaller batch is easier to manage. I’m still learning interesting things about the chemistry of this concoction – I think it has to do mostly with the coconut oil – and it’s proving quite helpful. Today I discovered that even though it was chilled it wasn’t setting up like frosting. That is until I whipped it up with a rubber spatula. This seemed to activate some previously untapped coconut oil super powers and it was suddenly the consistency of icing. It was amazing. And I was relieved that I had frosting instead of frosting flavored sauce.
The final product: a BabyCakes Birthday/Welcome Home goodie package for my dairy free/gluten free friend! And, plenty of leftovers for the officemates.
The end.
Oh wait… I decided to start a recipe countdown, both to keep me motivated and give you some perspective, and when I sat down to tally my progress I was surprised to discover I am over a third of the way done! There are 51 recipes, including five recipes in the drinks chapter. And, as of tonight, I have 18 down and 33 to go!
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2 thoughts on “Page 76: Macaroons and Page 115: Vanilla Crumb Base (and various other birthday treats)

  1. mmm…that reminds me of making cake balls! Did the recipe specify cupcakes? Is there a difference between making cupcakes as opposed to a cake and crumbling it? The finished box DOES look gorge, so jeals of your friend. I am totes going to try a cookie sandwich when I go to NY to see if it's really as good as you claim it is 😉

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