I hosted an Office marathon last weekend and made a bunch of food, but forgot to post about it until now – it’s been a super-super-busy week. One of the things I made turned out to be really yummy, one is good but still not quite the right recipe, and one was a bit of a letdown. The real star of the day ended up being the Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza that Jillian brought – SUPER-yummy!
My contributions began with yet another try at the elusive strawberry-balsamic cupcakes. This time, I tried using the Vanilla Vanilla cupcake from Magnolia but substituted my strawberry-balsamic syrup in place of the milk (well, most of the milk, in my case). Not bad, though definitely bring them to a comfortable room temperature before serving, but still not quite what I’m aiming for.
Which brings me to my bit of a letdown (I want to end the post on a positive note). I was very excited to try Tartelette’s Saffron Pumpkin Macarons because the earlier ones I’d made had been so super-sweet as to be almost unbearable (but on the good side of unbearable). Plus? Saffron. I think I would have liked these if I’d been able to get a few more workable ones. I used the very pretty templates from MooseAbout here which very thoughtfully say ‘Remove BEFORE baking.’ Which I promptly forgot to do. Nothing caught fire, thank goodness, but I think this made them more sticky as they kept falling apart when I tried to remove them from the parchment paper. The pumpkin filling is not sweet at all – there’s no sugar, just pumpkin and cream cheese – which is not the best thing I’ve ever eaten on its own – but sandwiched between the uber-sweetness of the meringue cookies, it’s actually just right.
But the best of my contributions was the Bourbon Peach Hand Pies from, where else? Smitten Kitchen. Mine were actually Southern Comfort Peach Hand Pies (surprise, surprise!), but they were still very good. And she’s not kidding when she says that the pie dough is somehow more like a laminated dough with lots of buttery layers. Mine didn’t come together quite as easily as I was hoping, but I was a little short on the lemon juice and ended up just adding some sweetened lime juice that I happened to have on hand for margaritas and it ended up working just fine. I think next time I’d roll it out even thinner than I managed this time so as to have a higher peach:dough ratio, but I like my desserts on the bready side, so I wasn’t disappointed for my sake, just a bit self-conscious when offering them to others.
Plus, you can totally eat them for breakfast – it’s fruit! Oh, come on, humor me. I ate three of these in one day (two of them for breakfast), so I have to justify it somehow! 😉