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Mactweets: Take me out to the ballgame

I was a little stumped when this month’s Mactweets theme was announced – Ballpark snacks.  I mean, firstly, I have only ever attended one baseball game in my life (in my first year in Canada, Neil took me to the hockey, basketball and baseball, to Canadian-ize me) and it was the most boring thing I have ever witnessed. I can only remember having a beer at that game, no snacks and a beer macaron, whilst interesting, is a little beyond my skill set right now!

Also, I have already made a version of a ballpark snack-themed macaron for the International Incident Hotdog party – macdogs:

So my thinking cap was on.  My mind immediately wandered to popcorn, specifically, Crackerjack or Crunch n’ Munch as we call it here in Canada – basically caramel coated popcorn and peanuts – and I wondered how I could “macaronize” this.  Unfortunately, so did many other people and there are already a fair number of popcorn-themed macarons in the Mactweets entries. SO I decided to stretch my macaron talents and try my hand at macs made with ground peanuts and Crunch n’ Munch in the place of the almonds.

Malheureusement, my first attempt didn’t work so well because, well, the caramel melts in the oven, even when pulverized into a fine powder, and it resulted in pancake-flat macs with a chewey, toffee-like consistency and texture. Well, duh, yeah!

Next I tried 1/2 ground peanuts and 1/2 ground almonds and the first batch I piped were undermixed and turned out like little meringues. Delicious meringues but not macarons.

I re-beat the second half of the mixture and at the time of baking, I was convinced they didn’t work out. However, a week later, looking at them, I see they have feet. Not sure what I was thinking – I know that I piped them larger than I normally do so perhaps that’s why they appeared to be flatter and less successful.

I was fed up with failure (that was on my birthday too and I was feeling quite disheartened) so I decided that whilst I could not make beer-flavoured macarons, I would make mojito flavoured ones.  Stella and Josie and I had all been talking about a Mojito Macaron party on Twitter and I felt I needed to make sure that I hadn’t lost my macaron touch, especially after I entitled my last macaron post “How to make macarons – what’s working for me now.” Ahem.  I went back to my trusty recipe (actually it’s Stella’s trusty recipe) and lo and behold, I had macs with feet in no time. Lime shells, rum and mint buttercream:

The sort of thing you would have at a ballgame, no? ;-)

The next day, I tried 1/3 peanuts and 2/3 almonds and finally this worked out for me.  Even though it seems there are not many peanuts in there, they still taste VERY peanuty.

I filled half with a buttercream into which I mixed pulverized Crunch n’ Munch and the other half with some caramel ganache that I added some chunky sea salt to. Perfection.

Peanut macarons
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An intensely peanuty flavoured macaron shell.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 40 macarons
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces (85g) blanched almonds
  • 1 ounce (28g) roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 8 ounces (230g) powdered/ icing sugar
  • 5 ounces egg whites (144g), at room temperature
  • 2½ ounce (72g) caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered yellow food colouring
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 320°F.
  2. Place a large (14") pastry bag fitted with a plain tip upside down in a glass so that you can easily pour the batter in when it's ready to pipe.
  3. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and place each tray on top of another tray. I find the double trays help prevent the macarons from cooking too fast on the bottom.
  4. Grind the almonds and peanuts finely in a spice/ coffee grinder.
  5. Place the nuts and powdered sugar in a food processor and grind until well combined.
  6. Sift this mixture twice over a large bowl and set aside.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and caster sugar and beat at a low speed (Kitchen Aid speed 2) for 2 minutes.
  8. Increase the speed to 4 and beat for another 2 minutes.
  9. Increase the speed again to 7 and beat for another 2 minutes.
  10. Add the food colouring and increase the speed to maximum and beat for one more minute.
  11. The egg whites should be very stiff at this point. When you remove the whisk attachment, there should be a big clump of meringue in the centre, just knock the whisk against the bowl to knock it free.
  12. Add the dry ingredients to the meringue, all at once and fold them in. To successfully incorporate the dry ingredients in the meringue, you need to use both a folding motion and a pressing motion. You are aiming to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl.
  13. After about 25 strokes your mixture will still be quite lumpy. From here on in, take it stroke by stroke so as to not over beat the mixture. Evaluate your batter one stroke at a time.
  14. Basically, the macaron batter needs to be thick enough that it will mound up on itself, but fluid enough that after about 20 seconds, it will melt back down.Think lava.
  15. Pour about half the batter to a piping bag and pipe the batter in small circles on the tray. When I pipe macarons, I hold the bag at an angle, with the tip always touching the tray. When I have piped enough for one macaron, I make a comma-like movement to remove the tip from the tray. That little comma-shaped bit of batter will settle down when it bakes, don't worry .
  16. The batter will spread a tiny bit, but don't panic - it's ok!
  17. Bake for 6 minutes, one tray at a time, then turn the tray from front to back for another 6 minutes. You'll be able to tell at the 6 minute mark if your macs will succeed - the feet will have formed by then.
  18. Cool thoroughly, then remove the cooled macarons from the parchment paper.
  19. Fill a pastry bag fitted with the filling of your choice and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with the other half.
  20. Even though you will want to taste them right away, macarons actually get better with age. The shells soften and become more chewy, mingling with the flavor of the filling too. You can store them in cool place for up to a week. If you store them in the fridge, bring them to room temperature before you eat them.

 

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67 Responses to Mactweets: Take me out to the ballgame

  1. Belinda @zomppa May 24, 2011 at 05:37 #

    Oh, these are so gosh darn adorable!! Love the dogs!

  2. Jamie May 24, 2011 at 06:01 #

    Oh I love the Caramel Crunch macs and I would definitely eat these at any ball game! And paired with a mojito is great! I also love your directions. I love watching you go through the process of failed macs to perfect macs. So glad you MacBake with us!!

    (btw the hot dog macs are the best!)

  3. Carrie @ poet in the pantry May 24, 2011 at 06:29 #

    Yay, you found a way to make it work! I really like the sound of the salted caramel ganache middles on some of them. I bet they’re delicious!

  4. Jill@MadAboutMacarons May 24, 2011 at 07:38 #

    Wow! They sure are perfection. Your Crunch n’ Munch look absolutely gorgeous with the caramel and the c&m fillings. The peanut shells sound deliciously peanuty, too. Interesting how you experimented with the peanuts, then arrived at the perfect ones.
    Also adore your macdogs: they’re so much fun. The lime, rum and mint ones are fabulous, too, btw. If we had our way at ballgames, I’d also love to pick this one! ;-)

  5. Lora May 24, 2011 at 08:28 #

    Wow those peanut macs are terrific and the mojito one to 2die4. LOVE! You sure are tenacious Mac Maker Mardi. I loved the hotdog ones when you posted them, btw.

  6. Nelly Rodriguez May 24, 2011 at 09:13 #

    Cracker Jacks in Macs? Sounds like a poem ready to happen. These look (after all your testing!) amazing Mardi!

  7. jen s. May 24, 2011 at 09:33 #

    As a red-blooded, baseball game-attending American, I can declare these lovely and clever.

  8. Adriana May 24, 2011 at 09:49 #

    I was so excited when I first read you were trying to make caramel corn macs. The pictures are fantastic – to be able to take a peek into your prop box!

  9. Paula May 24, 2011 at 09:56 #

    Just like a pro ball player…even though you kept *striking out* you kept on hitting and you got your home run with these macs!

  10. Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 24, 2011 at 10:16 #

    Looks like this recipe was worth all of the other attempts! These are fabulous!

  11. Joy May 24, 2011 at 12:43 #

    Great recipe. the hot dog ones are adorable.

  12. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes May 24, 2011 at 14:11 #

    I’m so impressed with tenacity. Such creative, fun flavors.

  13. K A B L O O E Y May 24, 2011 at 14:24 #

    I have to say, even your so-called failures look and sound absolutely delicious. And I grew up watching baseball and love it, but I totally understand hating it, so you’ll get no grief from me. I also think the hot dog macs are the cutest things ever.

  14. Barbara | Creative Culinary May 24, 2011 at 14:26 #

    Fun and creative but I have to warn you. Baseball is a thoroughly American sport and considered our national pastime…calling it boring? Oops!

    Love the caramel popcorn version…now wondering if you’re soon going to be opening a macaron store…I think they are YOUR natural pastime!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 26, 2011 at 21:34 #

      Yes yes yes, I know. Fortunately I am not American ;-) I would love to open a macaron store, if only they were consistently good!

  15. Kate@Diethood May 24, 2011 at 14:29 #

    Wow, these are awesome! Failures?? Mardi, you are too hard on yourself! These macs look fantabulous! I love the hot dog ones!

  16. Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan May 24, 2011 at 14:36 #

    Cutest food EVER!

  17. Mr. Neil May 24, 2011 at 15:43 #

    Cracker Jacks, Crunch ‘n Munch…and wine?

    Not a chance. Well, actually, some of those California blush wines would probably be a perfect match! :-)

    Okay, if you really want an honest wine suggestion – and I’m stretching here – I’d suggest a nice, fuirty, light Moscato d’Asti from Italy. (NOT to be confused with Asti Spumante!)

  18. Spicie Foodie May 24, 2011 at 17:08 #

    Mardi it all worked out in the end. My mouth started watering at the thought of peanut Macarons and Cracker Jack centers, yummy! You always have the best Macaron recipes.

  19. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods May 24, 2011 at 17:23 #

    Adorable! Simply precious!

  20. Elyse @The Cultural Dish May 24, 2011 at 18:27 #

    These are so adorable! What a great idea!! I’m glad they finally worked out for you because they look amazing!

  21. Tami May 24, 2011 at 18:56 #

    Oh Mardi, your perserverence reminds me so much of Ben and Jerry (of ice cream fame). When they first started out they took their product to markets, fairs and expos, etc. Nine times out of ten, they got placed next to the beer tent and who wants to eat ice-cream with their beer.

    Soooooooo………they developed a beer sorbet!!!!!!

  22. Emily @ Life on Food May 24, 2011 at 20:39 #

    Haha, I love the hot dogs. So cute!

  23. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts May 24, 2011 at 21:14 #

    Wow – cute! I love the “hot dogs”!

  24. Renee @kudoskitchen May 25, 2011 at 08:16 #

    Very cleaver Mardi. These are so fun!

  25. Vicki @ WITK May 25, 2011 at 12:05 #

    I’m always impressed with your mac posts, they look so pretty! I’m also impressed with your determination and creativity, way to go and make a crunch’n’munch mac! I love it!

  26. Sarah, Maison Cupcake May 25, 2011 at 17:11 #

    I remember the hot dog macs! I loved them! But I’m crazy about peanuts too so I like the new ones aswell. I have popcorn boxes like that in my prop store, picked them up at FBC last year!

  27. Melissa@EyesBigger May 25, 2011 at 18:09 #

    I LOVE baseball!! we will have to agree to disagree on this one Mardi! ;-)
    The macarons look and sound so good. I really hope I get to try some of yours one day (hint… summer… hint. lol).
    ps. i like your popcorn tub

  28. DessertForTwo May 26, 2011 at 09:16 #

    How freakin’ adorable!! Hot dogs as macarons, ah, LOVE it :)

  29. kimberlycun May 26, 2011 at 10:46 #

    these macarons are SO CUTE!!

  30. Andrea@HighLowFoodDrink.com May 26, 2011 at 11:21 #

    After attending a few ballgames this week (Jeff’s family are all fanatics) and having the stadium food, I can definitely say I would welcome your macs over any of it! So cute and creative Mardi!!

  31. Jessica May 26, 2011 at 15:37 #

    These look amazing!! I love them. They are too cute and creative.

  32. penny aka jeroxie May 31, 2011 at 08:23 #

    have yet to bake any macarons since i got back…….

  33. HI Cookery June 1, 2011 at 15:03 #

    Love the vibrant colors of your macs (yellow and green). Ha ha–I could still eat your “pregnant” and “flat” mac shells. Ah well, we all have Food Flops with macarons. You still ended up with some beautiful pictures as always. :-)

  34. foodwanderings June 9, 2011 at 00:08 #

    Hi there Mardi, how did I miss this post?! It’s funny I just launched the first of peanut macaron series. BTW love that hotdog macaron and all your other pretty creations!! :) If you feel up to it would love for you to experiment with tree nut free as a guest on my site. Haven’t asked you before as I know you are down to the crunch grading papers.

  35. Rollerscrapper June 9, 2011 at 13:00 #

    Mojito macs? Yum! I find when I do peanut shells I have to use 75% almond and 25% trader joe’s peanut flour.

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