It’s Family Day here in Ontario today and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to throw a virtual baby shower for my dear friend Jan from Family Bites. I’ve known Jan for a number of years now – I think she’s my oldest “in real life” blog friend – and she’s part of my monthly Cookbook Book Club (along with Jenn from Chocolate Shavings).
A couple of weeks ago, a few friends and I got together to surprise Jan with a baby shower brunch, where we cooked dishes from her new cookbook, Gatherings, (go buy the book on Amazon or Amazon Canada, or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository!) but there were so many other people who wanted to celebrate the imminent arrival of Jan’s third child that we decided to throw a virtual shower!
And since I know Jan (and her boys) are fans of macarons, I couldn’t think of a better dish to bring to a baby boy baby shower than blueberry “cheesecake “macarons! I’ve been experimenting a lot recently with the recipe I learned at a class with Kathryn Gordon, co-author of Les Petits Macarons, at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. Her method is dramatically different from my tried and true macaron recipe – the quantities of ingredients are completely different (she uses equal quantity of almond meal to icing sugar whereas my recipe uses double the icing sugar to almond flour) and instead of “drying” (resting) the macarons at room temperature for 30ish minutes, she does this in a very low oven for 15 minutes. I’ve experimented quite a lot with this recipe (read about some of my trials here) and have come up with some variations that work for me in terms of timing and temperature.
This time around, I experimented with different tray types and silpat versus parchment. Suffice to say, it’s still a work in progress but I managed to bake this beautiful blue batch that I think would take pride of place on any baby shower table!
The shells are flavoured with a little bit of freeze-dried blueberry powder from Nuts.com and coloured with what had come to be known as “Smurf Blue” – warning – some powdered food colourings will stain your teeth and tongue but hey, that makes for an even more fun party, right?! The filling is a generous smoodge of cream cheese frosting making this a one-bite chewy, cheesecake-y treat that are so small you can for sure have more than one!
But hey, one cannot live on macarons alone so here’s what Jan’s friends have brought to the table for the virtual shower for #BabyFamilyBites:
Mardi from eat. live. travel. write made blueberry cheesecake macarons
Julie from Dinner with Julie made Meyer lemon scones
Heather from The Tasty Gardener made Cream Puffs with Caramel Cream and Chocolate Pretzel Top
Isabelle from Crumb: A Food Blog made Blackberry Meringue Bars
Jennifer from Seasons and Suppers made Baby Blueberry Beignets
Christina from Strawberries For Supper made Chocolate Madeleines
Aimée from Simple Bites made Roasted Turnip Hummus
Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction made mini-cupcakes
Carole from The Yum Yum Factor made Beet and Blue Cheese Canapes
Charmian from The Messy Baker made Piglet Muffins
Amy from Family Feedbag made Marmalade Poke Cake
Brittany from My Daily Randomness made Caramel + Pumpkin Parfait
Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging made Apple Carrot Loaf
Louisa from Living Lou made Maple Walnut Cookies
Libby from Libby Roach Photography made Butter Baked Good’s Peanut Butter Sandwich cookie
Robyn from Planet Byn made Milk & Cookies Shooters
Congrats Jan – we cannot WAIT to meet the newest addition to the Family Bites family soon!
Canadians – win a copy of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars! Closes Wednesday February 18th 6pm EST. Details here.
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