Macaron madness has been sweeping America for some time now. Frankly, it’s been going on for so long now that I’ve sort of forgotten where is began. But, despite the nearly constant presence of macaron recipes on food sites across the web, I have not yet tried to make them myself . . . until now. Well, the truth is, I sort of made macarons. I cheated, just a bit, by using this macaron kit from pastry chef Francois Payard. Usually, when baking, I annoyingly insist on making everything from scratch, but this kit may have actually converted me to the semi-homemade method! The cookies were that good! Slightly chewy, moist, and not too sweet, just as a macaron should be! And they are so quick and easy to make because each MakeCaron kit provides you with the base cookies. All you need to do it make the filling, which takes five minutes, at the most! Sample ganache recipes come with the kit, but the idea is to experiment with your own fillings in order to make your own personal macaron flavors. I had a lot of fun making these and everyone loved them! Several people called them “addictive” and they were!

The MakeCaron kit comes in three flavors, chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla. They are being sold on Francois Payard’s site, right here ($22 each). ~Erin


Boomf: Instagram Marshmallows

As much as I love fancy, elaborate desserts, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for simple, classic sweets. It should come as no surprise then that I’ve fallen in love with these fun marshmallows from Boomf! Taking the squishy campfire treat and putting a unique spin on it, British company Boomf will turn your favorite Instagram photos into delightful gourmet marshmallows! That’s right, just select nine images from your Instagram account and Boomf will send you nine printed marshmallows in return. The marshmallows, which are vanilla flavored, measure about an inch and a half in size and cost roughly $20 per set. The service is currently only available to UK residents, but they plan to start shipping worldwide early next year. While it may be a little creepy watching your favorite snapshots melt away in a S’more or in a cup of hot chocolate, I still really like this idea. It would make a really fun gift or party favor! Click here for more info. ~Erin


Semi Sweet Designs

I recently discovered Semi Sweet Designs while researching a post on Breaking Bad desserts and, man, was I impressed by what I saw. Not only did I find some amazing Walter White cookies, but also a ton of other rad (yes, I just wrote "rad") cookies as well. I was even more impressed when I found out that Mike, the man behind Semi Sweet Designs is not a professional baker, but is, instead, a full-time aerospace engineer who bakes in his spare time! As he puts it, "By day, I’m a hard-working, cubicle-dwelling, number cruncher. By night, I’m a dough-mixing, cookie-icing machine." I love hearing stories about self-taught bakers. It gives hope to the rest of us! If you're looking for a little pick me up today, definitely head over to Semi Sweet Designs to check out more of Mike's cute pop culture creations! They are so rad! ~Erin


Sweet Testing: Lime Tarragon Cookies

I would like to start this post by stating that I hate licorice. I don't just hate it. I loathe it. If I were forced to eat  licorice by some evil, licorice loving bad guys, I'd probably make a multitude of face distortions while chewing and then, overcome with nausea, end up spitting it out, which would surely get me in trouble with the evil, licorice loving bad guys! That said, I do, for some strange reason, LOVE tarragon. That's right, I enjoy eating an herb that is often described as having a licoricelike flavor. Don't ask me to explain. I can't. All I know is that I love tarragon and I loved these cookies! They have a nice buttery flavor, which is very reminiscent of shortbread. The tarragon is subtle and the lime is refreshingly different. You know that I'm all about atypical recipes and experimenting with a savory spin on a dessert is always super fun!

One small note: These cookies are supposed to be much smaller and thicker. Mine spread out. This may have been because I used gluten-free flour or maybe because I didn't chill the dough for long enough. (Sometimes, I get impatient during the chilling and just charge ahead!) They were still delicious, but don't be alarmed if they look different than mine! ~Erin

You can find the complete recipe after the jump.


Provisions at Food 52

I’m so excited about the new kitchen shop over at Food 52! It’s been one of my favorite food sites for a while, but now, with the addition of an e-commerce platform called Provisions, I have yet one more reason to go there! Founded by former New York Times food editor Amanda Hesser and Le Cordon Bleu graduate Merrill Stubbs, Food 52 has always been filled with interesting recipes and gorgeous, clean photographs. They continue this approach with their products, offering items that are simple, minimalist, and rustic. Perfect accessories for fall entertaining! I was immediately taken with the cake box and the trivet, but, really, there are so many pieces that I love. I’ve posted more of my favorites below, but you can check out the full collection right here.

You can find more images after the jump.


Edible Art: Sarah Anne Ward

I can’t get enough of the whole fine art/food trend. Send me a photo of an art-inspired dessert and I am all over it! So, it should come as no surprise that I am smitten with these images created by New York-based photographer Sarah Anne Ward. Inspired by famous modernist works of art, Sarah, along with food stylists Heather Meldrom and Michelle Gatton, created this seven-piece series, which includes a Koons Twinkies and a Rothko ice-cream cake, not to mention the Jackson Pollock Rice Krispie Treats (my personal favorite). So fun! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! For more info on Sarah, check out her website, right here. ~Erin

Pollock Rice Krispie Treats

Damien Hirst Dot Candy Skull

Richard Serra's Chocolate Curls

Rothko Ice Cream Cake

Cubist Movement Picasso/Braque Pinwheel Cookies

Mondrian Jello Jiggler Mold

Seurat Pointillism Sprinkle Sheet Cake 


Inspiration Board: Breaking Bad

(This post does not contain any spoilers!) This Sunday, Breaking Bad, arguably of the best shows on television ever, ends it's six-year run. In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought it would be a good time to post some of my favorite BB desserts. I'm sure there will be a lot of parties this Sunday, so I thought I would provide a little inspiration to get you started. The most obvious, and probably simplest way to work the BB theme into your desserts is to by using blue rock candy (aka blue meth). I've only selected a few blue meth desserts below, but the ways in which you could use it are pretty much limitless. Personally, I think my favorite piece is the pink bear cake, which was shown floating in a pool, quite mysteriously, in several episodes. It's such a creative and original idea! I hope you're inspired by the rest of the desserts as well. Enjoy the the finale on Sunday and have an A-1 day! (Cookies above by Semi Sweet) ~ Erin

Blue Meth Cake by 17 and Baking

Bear Cake by hollyicing

Cookies by Sugar Rush Treats
Cookies by Semi Sweet

Heisenberg Hat Cake by Sweet and Splendid Bakeshop

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