This post is sponsored by Hello Paper Crate. Spring Macarons are the perfect snack while working on your correspondence.
So my penpal-ing and letter-writing is still going strong. About a month or so ago, I was asked if I’d like to review a box of stationery and other fun paper items. Of course I said “Yes!” and the folks at Hello Paper Crate shipped me out a sample. Y’know, because I don’t have enough paper and journals already.
Hello Paper Crate was started by Laurie Burroughs, and her twin daughters: “In 2016 I decided to check yet another item off of my bucket list. That bucket / goal was to assemble a product line where I could combine my love of paper, packaging and stationary with some of my career experience in consumer products and sourcing. I wanted others to also experience that eclectic mix and gift of fun and playful stationary trinkets – all useful in day-to day life… as a result, “Hello Paper Crate” was born.”
She’s a woman after my own heart – I have more stationery, blank books, stickers and stamps than any one person needs! My review crate was jam-packed:
When I was initially approached about doing this review, I was under the impression that this is geared more towards kids/preteens. And while I did share a lot of the contents of the box with the bambino, there was a lot I kept for myself too.
Blank books and stickers and papers galore! You have your choice of boxes – There are several themed collections, and you can also choose the duration of your subscription. You can go a full year, six months, three months, or even month-to-month. Now that I’ve gotten one, I’m thinking at the very least, a three-month subscription is in my future.
As for the macarons…Well, a day of letter-writing or journaling deserves a snack! I opted to re-do my previous macarons, but using a different food coloring this time. Instead of adding vanilla to these macarons, I boosted the almond flavoring. I filled them with some leftover white chocolate ganache, and then topped them with some spring sprinkles.
They are tasty indeed. And I’m enjoying making them (even though I think they’re supposedly passé, but supposedly so are cupcakes and I still make them often enough), and learning from my mistakes.
And they really do make a lovely little snack for letter-writing.
For the Shells:
2/3 C almond flour
1 C powdered sugar
2 large egg whites (room temperature)
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. almond emulsion
3-4 drops food coloring of choice
spring-themed sprinkles (optional)
For the Ganache:
6 oz. white chocolate, broken/chopped coarsely
1/4 C heavy cream
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour with the powdered sugar, making sure there are no clumps and the two are well-combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar. Whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high, and whisk 2 more minutes. Increase the speed again to high, and whisk 2-3 more minutes or until the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.
Add the almond emulsion and the food coloring, and whisk 30-60 seconds on high.
Add the almond flour mixture all at once to the bowl, and fold the dry ingredients in with a rubber spatula. After 40 strokes, test the batter by dropping some back into the bowl. If it sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, it's done. If not, fold 5 more strokes, then test again.
Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Pipe circles approximately 1-inch apart. Pick up each baking sheet and let drop back on table or counter 2 or 3 times, to break up any air bubbles. Sprinkle half the macarons with the spring sprinkles, if using. Let dry for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
After drying time, place one sheet in the oven, and bake for 12-13 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 7 minutes.
Carefully remove the shells from the baking sheet, and cool completely before filling.
To make the ganache, bring the heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Place the chopped white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate, and let sit for two minutes. Once the chocolate has melted somewhat, whisk until completely smooth. Cover, and allow to cool to room temperature. Whip the ganache with an electric beater for 1-2 minutes before using.
Spread or pipe the ganache on the bottoms of half the macaron shells. Top with the other half of the shells. Place the macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.