Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Macaroon Monday

The thunder accompanied the rhythm of the rain. My feet were propped up on a window sill, as I sat comfortably on a wooden chair, leaning against a fluffy pillow. The blanket was warm from the heat vent underneath me and nothing could have felt more satisfying then the tea. It was a perfect blend of cream, earl gray, mint and caramel. Rich in taste but light in texture, kind of like the macaroons I was munching on.

The moment seemed as intense as my day had been, but also, just as much had it felt planned. There had been something more then just a downpour of things to do, and I couldn't help but feel my body being held by the gentle grace of God. It could have only been him who gave me the energy to clean my house that mundane, Monday morning as I ran around with a fresh burst of urgency, seeing to it that everything was just so.

It could have only been him who filled my day with peace as my sewing project acted up for the next several hours, knowing that the determination I would need exceeded all of my human tendencies. I did not give up, or slow down, instead it felt like I had gained potential. So, taking him along on my adventure seemed like a good idea. Might as well, do this laundry we never get to....I told the Lord. And then, when we finished that up too, we sat by the T.V and ironed all the wrinkles out from another heap of procrastination.

By the end of the day I had a clean house that was washed, organized, and cleaned all the way through. I had clothes in the closets, on the shelves, and on the hangers. I had a fridge full of groceries and a pantry that was stocked all the way to the top.

Looking back on everything, I was grateful that he knows about, not only my plans for the day but also the unplanned things of my day. That the urgency, delegation, time-management, and organization of a day that could have only been gained through him. And as the next few days pulled in some unexpected surprises I saw how his hands had gently pushed me so that the rest of my week would not be consumed by my obligations to my schedule but by the opportunities in being available.

So there I was. Sitting by the window, enjoying my macaroons.

Simple Almond Macaroon

12.5 oz almonds (blanched or natural)
5.25 granulated sugar
8.8 Room temperature egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract
20 oz. powdered sugar
pinch salt

In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, grind the almonds and powdered sugar until fine and powdery (at least 5 mins) Meanwhile, in a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until just foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar in a stream. Turn the mixer up to high and whip until a stiff meringue has formed. Having a peak is important, but do not over beat. Instead, when you see that you are reaching a peaking point, beat in short increments until a sturdy peak is reached.

With the mixer running add in the almond extract. Remove bowl from mixer stand and gently fold in the sugar and nut mixture. Using a piping bag fitted with a wide tip, pipe the macarons onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Aim to create circles the size of quarters. Bake at 300 F and remove when the macrons have turned golden and are set on their "foot", approx. 8-10 minutes.

* When macaroons bake it is okay to open the oven after a couple minutes to check on them. This is done by lightly touching them with your finger. They are set as soon as soon as they do not wiggle on their "foot".

*Also, weight is the better route to take, but, I have also done this by oz. It is not as consistent but it does work.
Measurements in ounces. 2 1/3 cups almonds, 6 egg whites, 5 cups powdered sugar

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