**Pictures to follow later. 

I didn’t have time to make macarons last night as intended, so I was determined to stay up and bake them tonight.  This time, I made three different kinds of cookies (vanilla, chocolate, and coffee) and TONS of fillings: caramel icing, Nutella, strawberry spread, coconut frosting, candied bacon, Bailey’s mint icing, peanut butter frosting, tiramisu cream… the permutations are endless.  Thanks to our mini fridge/freezer in the basement, I was able to make these fillings in advance and store them… otherwise I’d have boring PBJ macarons to blog about again. 

Originally, I wanted to make Snickers-flavored macarons: chocolate cookies with peanut butter and caramel filling.  But then I thought of more combinations… like chocolate or vanilla cookie with candied bacon and caramel… or coffee cookie with Bailey’s frosting… or coffee cookie with tiramisu filling and cocoa… or… chocolate cookie with peanut butter frosting… or coconut cookie and pineapple filling… or I could go on, but let’s be reasonable here.  It’s 330 am.  It’s a time consuming process as it is with one cookie flavor and 2 fillings, so baking 100+ cookies in small batches and 234892 icing combos pushed my limit.  I wasn’t able to frost all the cookies and use all the fillings I wanted because I decided I needed to get to bed @ some point.  Watch, I’ll wake up bright and early @ 5 am and not have puffy eyes and be fine in the morning but crash @ 2 in the afternoon @ my desk.  hahaha

This time, the macaron-making posed a bit of a challenge since I had an off-amount of egg white (about 7 and 1/3 or 1/2 eggs… don’t ask) so I had to do some calculations to figure out how many grams of sugar and ground-up almonds I needed to maintain proper proportions for the recipe.  I have a feeling I was a little off in my math or I mixed the eggs two seconds too long because the first batches were trial and error.  Again.  Which shouldn’t have happened since this is my third time making macarons.  I should be able to make these in my sleep (I guess baking @ 2 am is pretty close to sleeptime).  After some tweaking with the temperature and timing, I THINK I was able to fix it and not butcher all the cookies.  Since it’s way too late to get Vin’s opinion, I tried a bite of each flavor and conceded that they came out all right, some batches better than others, but let’s put it this way: all of them will be eaten and enjoyed  =)

I packed a container for Vin’s lunch with one of each macaron: one coffee and Bailey’s mint cookie, one chocolate cookie with peanut butter and caramel frosting with Nutella, and one vanilla cookie with salted caramel icing and candied bacon.  Let’s see what my taste tester says about the cookies tomorrow!  Hopefully the reaction will be positive so he can take better photos with his camera…

*”Happy birthday” in Japanese

I had a fantastic birthday weekend… more like birthday WEEK.  Vin took me on a long-awaited, much needed vacation to Riviera Maya and we ate/drank/got crazy tan lines while everyone else was dealing with a snowstorm in the Northeast.  Then we come back to NY and had a whole smoked pig dinner with all the fixin’s.  Then we had a fancy steak dinner on my actual birthday with Vin’s family.  Then I had ice cream cake with my family the day after my birthday.  And I walked away with booze (thanks, Uncle Rob!) and gift cards to Bed Bath & Beyond, Michael’s and Williams Sonoma since everyone ganged up on me and felt like catering to my weakness for high-end liquor, baking supplies and kitchen gadgets.  hahaha  Seriously, I love the gifts… thanks so much, and thanks to Vin for putting up with all the birthday madness!  <3

I spent the last evening of my extended birthday festivities making my own cake. Last year Vin got me a little Domo monster stuffed toy.  I don’t know why, but I really really wanted one.  And I don’t know why I had the urge to make a double chocolate Domo-kun cake for myself for my birthday, but here it is.  It looked way cooler in my head and I felt like this was a little sloppy.  Then again, I DID start decorating around midnight and this wasn’t for a real order, so I admit I was a little lazy about this one.  And I didn’t mean for the cake to look this angry, but it did.  Oh well.  It tastes awesome.

 

I’m bringing this into work tomorrow to celebrate with co-workers since I didn’t have time to bake last Thursday night.  Plus, it just so happens that one of my co-workers has the same birthday as me and his desk just so happens to be right behind mine so maybe it wouldn’t be so weird bringing in a cake I made by myself for myself.  It’s not like we’re in 3rd grade and you have to bring in cupcakes to share with your entire class; I’m pushing 30 now.  haha

Turning 28 isn’t so bad…  especially since I had an awesome birthday and I still look like I’m 18  =P

**Sorry about the not-so-great photos.  Vin is asleep (as most people are apt to be @ 2:30 in the morning) so I didn’t ask him to take pics and I just couldn’t get a nice image =/