Friday, August 30, 2013

Bana-nutella Macarons

My buddy Joyce is a trained pastry chef. I know! I'm so lucky!

She bakes recreationally as opposed to professionally these days, and her specialty is macarons, the delightfully delicate almond meringue sandwich cookies. Making macarons is a different and fun way to experiment with flavor combinations in non-lollipop form, and I recently got hold of a few flavored baking emulsions...

Luckily, Joyce keeps a packed kit on standby for bringing her talents to wherever she's needed. She just grabs a hunk of buttercream from her freezer stash (yes, you read that correctly), and armed with a pair of pastry bags and tips, almond flour, silpat mats, and other goodies, she's ready.

The plan: Banana flavored cookies filled with Nutella buttercream...

Joyce models the Banana baking emulsion... it's more viscous and cloudy than a flavor extract.
Supposedly, emulsions don't "bake out" as readily as extracts. 
I love vibrant colors, so obviously I wanted Electric Yellow
to color the meringue for the cookies!
Joyce pipes like a pro. Because she IS a pro.
I pipe like a doofus. Because I AM a doofus. Well, I'm just inexperienced.
This awkwardness is *after* I switched to using my dominant hand to squeeze the bag. 
We forgot to take pictures of making and piping the
Nutella buttercream, but here's a finished cookie. Yum!
Overall we judged it a mixed success. The cookies tasted good on their own, and the Nutella buttercream tasted good too. In sandwich form, the banana flavor got a little lost next to the Nutella. Letting them hang out overnight in the fridge helped though - I think they tasted more balanced the next day.

Do you have a favorite macaron combination?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vote in the American Made Awards!

I've entered This Charming Candy for consideration in Martha Stewart's American Made awards this year. If you could toss a vote our way, that would be awesome! Voting continues through September 13th - you can cast six votes a day, so spread the love to other businesses you admire too.

Clicking this green badge will take you to This Charming Candy's profile page:

Martha Stewart - American Made 2013 - Nominee Badge

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to (Charm) School!

Summer's almost over and the kids are heading back to school... so we figured our Charm School Dropouts could use some love. 

"ugly" Charm School Dropout lollipops by This Charming Candy

From now until Labor Day, Sept 2, buy a dozen lollipops in of any of our flavors and you'll receive a complimentary set of 8 Charm School Dropouts. These are over-poured, under-poured, lumpy or otherwise ugly suckers that still taste awesome. It's a great way to try a random mix of flavors - and perhaps discover a new favorite... I'm sure that under your charming influence, these Dropouts will flourish!