Espresso Macarons

Photo by: Ryan Feng

I've been experimenting with coffee macarons for a while now between doing it via French Method and Italian Method. My oven at home is INSANELY finicky so I've tested and tested and think I finally figured it out! 

For this go-around, I used the French method. I also made these on a humid day so it look extra long for them to dry before baking. Definitely take my word for it and DO NOT make these a rainy day project unless you have the ability to dry out your kitchen by turning on the AC. For me, living in Santa Monica, I do not have such luxuries. If you insist on making these on a humid day, definitely go Italian method for a more stable egg white. 

There are a ton of really amazing resources for macarons online but sometimes it can be VERY overwhelming to make them because these little suckers are so temperamental.  Here are some of my favorite guides -  Dessert First: based on the Pierre Hermé macaron... and this Misohungry troubleshooting guide. 

It's important that you age your egg whites especially if you're using the French method. Crack your egg whites into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and poke some holes in it or just cover with a piece of paper towel. If you're aging only 24hrs then leave them on the counter at room temp. If you're aging longer, place them into the fridge (up to 3 days) then remove and allow to come to room temp before using. 

Espresso Macaron Shells
Makes 25 macarons depending on the size


  • 70 grams aged egg whites (at least 24-48 hours) 
  • 90 grams fine almond flour 
  • 110 grams powdered sugar
  • 10 grams espresso powder 
  • 40 grams granulated sugar
  •  pinch cream of tartar 
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 

1. In a food processor, add almond flour, powdered sugar and espresso powder. Pulse on high to mix and to get extra fine. This is going to be the most time intensive so it's important to prepare first before you even whip your egg whites. Sift the almond, sugar and espresso mixture at least 2 times. If you have the strength, go 3 times. :) Toss any big bits back into the food processor to grind up more and go through the sifter. 

2. Prepare your piping bag with a round piping tip and prep your baking sheets with parchment paper or lined with silicone baking mats. If needed, apply templates to the size of the macaron you want to pipe then set aside. 

3. Clean your stand mixer whisk, stand mixer bowl with a couple drops of fresh lemon juice and a paper towel. This will get rid of any fat or gunk that might mess with your egg whites. 

4. Add your egg white and start to mix with the whisk attachment on medium low. When your egg whites are nice and frothy, add the pinch of cream of tartar. Now increase speed to medium high and stat to slowly add in the granulated sugar little by little. Increase speed to high once all the sugar has been incorporated. 

5. Beat egg whites until it reaches a very thick, stiff peak. If there is any sort of softness to the peaks then beat again on high for another 10 seconds. 

6. Now the macaronage process begins. Start by taking all the egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Add in 1/2 of the dry mixture and start folding the dry into the egg whites. Careful not to deflate the egg whites too much. Once that is practically all mixed in, add the rest of the dry mixture and continue folding until the batter looks like molten lava and creates a ribbon effect when you lift it out with a spatula. Do not over mix. It's better to have a slightly under mixed batter than over.  In total, you're looking at 40-50 strokes. Any more and you might have over macaronaged your batter and remember adding to the piping bag is a few extra strokes. :( 

7. Fill your piping back with the macaron batter. Pipe macarons by holding your bag upright and keeping your piping tip slightly higher than the parchment paper. The goal is to get as little air in them when you're piping as possible. 

8. Once you're done piping the batter on the sheet, bang your sheet on the counter or stove top multiple times, keeping the tray level. Turn the sheet around and repeat. This will hopefully raise any air bubbles to the top. 

9. Dust the tops of each macaron with cocoa powder. 

10. Set aside for 40 minutes -1.5 hours so macarons can properly dry. Mine took closer to 2.5 hours cause it was humid. If you see any air bubbles pop up, take a toothpick and pop them. You'll want the shells to not feel tacky anymore. They should not stick to your finger when you touch them. 

11. Preheat oven to 285F to 300F. It depends on the oven and how hot it runs. I've found that 285F worked for me and I had to DOUBLE LINE my sheet pans. But my oven runs hot with heat coming from the bottom. Make sure you play around with this on your oven.

12. Bake for 18-20 minutes total on the middle to higher rack. If macarons start to brown then turn the oven temp down or crack your oven door. Check macarons by lightly pushing the shell. The feet and top of the shell should feel stable and attached. If you used parchment you can try to peel a corner macaron off to check the bottom.

13. Wait for the macaron shells to cool completely on the sheet pan then remove from the parchment paper/silicon mat.  From here you can fill these babies with any kind of buttercream to your heart's content. :) 


Cherry Corn Cookie

Reflecting back on our Signature Bar Cookie Challenge on The Great American Baking Show, I made a Honey Corn Blackberry Basil Crumb Bar Cookie.  My inspiration for this cookie came from mixing two things I LOVE into a cookie-- cornbread and pie! I'll have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of bar cookies but fell in love with this flavor combination of corn + fruit compote. Since I prefer eating regular flat crispy and/or chewy cookies, I made a new version today! Boy, were the results FANTASTIC!

I am in love with the look of these cookies with the beautiful color swirling through them and large chunks of cherries peeking through. Couple of tips while making these-- 1) Make sure you use an ice cream scooper since it will be too soft to handle. 2) When you add in the cherry compote, stir with a spatula by hand and only a minimal amount of times so it's only a nice swirl of fruit on each cookie. The more you mix the fruit in, you'll lose that contrast. 

This is a super easy recipe that can be done from start to finish in about 2-2.5 hours. These also yield very delicious crispy edges with a chewy center type cookies. You get the sweetness from the corn and then a bit of tartness from the cherries which make for a yummy cookie unlike you've had before. Hope you enjoy these guys as much as my hubby does!

Cherry Corn Cookie
Makes 22 cookies (using a 1 3/4 inch ice cream scooper) 

Dark Cherry Compote: 

  • 1/2 cup frozen dark rainer cherries
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 

Corn Cookie Dough: 

  • 1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick, room temp)
  • 1/2 cup of salted butter (1 stick, room temp)
  • 1 large egg, room temp 
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour 
  • 2/3 cup freeze-dried corn powder (I'll just throw freeze dried corn into a food processor) 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1. Add frozen cherries, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until cherries have broken down. Add in corn starch and continue to cook until mixture has thickened. Set aside in a separate bowl and allow to come to room temp. (Or you can put in the fridge if you don't want to wait to get started on the rest of the cookie dough. 

2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add butters and sugar then cream together on medium high for 2 minutes until mixture is light and well mixed together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula then add the egg and beat again for another 5 minutes. The mixture will get very fluffy with the egg. 

3. In a separate medium bowl, add flour, corn flour, freeze dried corn powder, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk ingredients together. 

4. With the stand mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, sugar and egg 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until everything comes together. You may need to keep mixing a little more by hand. 

5. Remove bowl from the mixer since the next part you should only mix with a spatula in hand.  Add half of the cherry compote and mix in with about 5 strokes in the batter. Add in the rest of the compote depending on how much cherries you want per cookie. Remember, you want this to be a swirl and not fully mixed in. Have a gentle hand during this part of the mixing and be aware of how many time you're folding the compote in the dough. 

6. Portion out the dough using an ice cream scooper and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. I like to use a 1 and 3/4 inch scooper which results in about a 3 inch cookie. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 1 week. These cookies need to be fully chilled before baking. 

7. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

8. Arrange 6 cookies on each baking sheet and bake two sheets at a time. See my post on Kona Mac Nut Cookies for how to space out the cookies. Bake for 14-17 minutes, rotating the pans once half-way through the bake time. Cookies will spread a good amount. They are done when the edges are browned and middle is still light colored. 

9. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Do not move them early since they need time to harden as they come to room temp. After 8 minutes, move cookies to a cooling rack and allow to come completely to room temp. Store cookies in an airtight container for about a week.  


Kona Coffee White Chocolate Mac Nut Cookies

It's been a few weeks since we got back from Hawaii and I'm doing just about anything I can to hang on to the sunshine, warmth and delicious food! I was lucky enough to pick up a bag of these beautiful Hawaiian macadamia nuts from the local market before leaving. One of the hubby's favorite cookies is a white chocolate mac nut cookie so no better time than now to tear into this bad boy! 

I adapted the recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar's Compost Cookie but reductions on sugar and different drop-ins. I am in love with how crispy the outside is and chewy the centers are. They also result in a very THIN cookie. This makes it fun to eat with ice cream or on their own. 

A few tips before starting... use an ice cream scooper for shaping your cookies. This is a very soft dough so don't bother using your hands to roll them. Also, keep in mind these cookies spread quite a bit in the oven so space them out properly. You can also bake two sheets at a time just make sure to rotate them (turn and switch racks) about 75% of the way through.  

Pre-bake: space out 6 cookies per sheet. 

Pre-bake: space out 6 cookies per sheet. 

Post-bake: cookies spread considerably! 

Post-bake: cookies spread considerably! 

Kona Coffee White Chocolate Mac Nut Cookies
Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar, makes about 2 dozen 4 inch cookies

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp (2 sticks) 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed 
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or 2 tablespoons of glucose 
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small chunks (I used 2 Ghirardelli baking bars) 
  • 1 cup of macadamia nuts, roughly chopped (to same size of white chocolate) 
  • 2 teaspoons ground coffee (do not use instant coffee) 

1.   In your stand mixer bowl, add butter, sugars and corn syrup. Cream sugars and butter together using the paddle attachment on medium high for about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl then add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat again on medium high for another 6 minutes. 

2. In a separate bowl, add your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to ensure they are well mixed together. 

3. Your egg, butter sugar mixture should be very light and pleasantly whipped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and turn your mixer to low. Start adding your flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Turn off mixer once the dough comes together. Shouldn't be more than a minute. 

4. Now add the white chocolate, mac nuts and ground coffee to the dough. Again, only mix until all the dough comes together (about 30 seconds) and do not over mix. Scrape the dough together with a spatula. 

5. Prepare 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper and grab your ice cream scooper. I like to use a 1 and 3/4 inch scooper which results in about a 4 inch cookie. Remember the larger scooper you go, the more you'll need to space out your cookies for baking. Start to scoop cookie domes to the baking sheet until all the dough is gone. 

6. After all the cookies have been scooped, wet the back of your scooper and lightly press down each cookie so you flatten out the tops a bit. Next these cookies will need to chill for at least 1.5 hours or up to a week in the fridge. Wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and go enjoy something on Netflix. 

7. When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 F. 

8. Place the chilled cookie domes on parchment lined baking sheets spaced at least 4-5 inches apart. (See images above) You can fit about 6 cookies on each sheet and bake two sheets at a time. Keep cookies that aren't going into the oven yet in the fridge. 

9. Bake for 16-18 minutes. about 13 minutes in, rotate the pans and switch levels if you're baking two sheets at a time. 

10. Cookies are done when the outsides are a nice golden brown and the centers are still a bit blonde. Remove from the oven and cool cookies on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. If you try to move them too soon they'll completely fall apart. 

11. Pour a glass of milk, or if you're like me, almond milk, and enjoy! Keep remaining cookies in an airtight container up to 5 days. 


Orange Rosemary Shortbread

While we were in Hawaii, I really wanted to bake something for a family gathering. With a very limited kitchen... no stand mixer, no hand mixer, no measuring cups/scale (!!), and no rolling pin, I went in search of something I could make that would be delicious and be pleasing to the eye! 

Behold... the SHORTBREAD COOKIE! What a great way to get back to improv baking! The key to shortbread is similar to sugar cookies. Make sure the dough stays cold, cold, cold after you roll it out and all through the shaping process. Here's what you'll need: 

- Mixing bowls, wooden spoon, plastic wrap, parchment paper, a glass cup or wine bottle (as your rolling pin), large chef's knife, baking sheets. 

Orange Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
Makes 2 Dozen cookies depending on your cutters

  •  1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup of clover honey 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • zest from 2 large navel oranges, separated
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, chopped 
  • 2 cups dark chocolate, melted

1.   In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with your wooden spoon or using your stand mixer. Add in vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. 

2. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and add flour, salt and orange zest. Mix until well incorporated. 

3. Remove dough from the bowl and shape into two round, flat discs. Wrap with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 30 minutes. 

4. After dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350F. 

5. Roll out the chilled dough till it's about 1/2 inch thick. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and put it into the freezer for 10 minutes to re-chill. Repeat rolling out the dough with the second dough disc. 

6. Remove rolled dough from the freezer and cut rectangles with your kitchen knife (or use cutters at this time. 

7. Line more baking sheets with parchment paper and space out cut cookies at least 1 inch apart. Lightly sprinkle each cookie with chopped rosemary. 

8. Bake up to 2 sheets in preheated oven for 20-25minutes until the edges start to turn golden. When you touch the edges of the cookie they should feel stiff but the middles of the cookies will be a little soft. Rotate sheets at least once. 

9. Remove cookies from the oven and let it cool for 1 minute on the sheet. If the cookies browned too much in the oven, then remove immediately to a cooling rack. 

10. Let cookies cool completely before dipping in chocolate. 

11. In a small bowl, microwave 1 cup of chocolate chunks for 30 seconds then 10 seconds at a time until you can stir the melted chocolate. Don't overheat. Add in the rest of the chocolate and continue to stir until that chocolate has melted into the bowl. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled. 

12. Zest your second orange and set aside in a small bowl. 

12. Dip each cooled cookie into the chocolate, sprinkle chocolate section with orange zest and then set on parchment paper for the chocolate to set. 

17.  Store dried cookies in an air-tight container for a week.


Matcha Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

I love a good sugar cookie recipe because I enjoy spicing things up wherever possible! I submitted one of my go to cookies during the holidays for NBC Asian America's segment for great cookie recipes for Santa! Like I told NBC, I love this recipe because you can get great flavors and a festive look without the gross unnatural food coloring that usually will go with Christmas goodies.

Just remember that the key to those great sugar cookie shapes are to keep your dough AS COLD AS POSSIBLE. Which means you will be mixing and chilling... rolling and chilling... cutting and chilling.. chilling and chilling... then chill before baking! When in doubt, chill away!

See the article it was featured in on NBC News here and below. 

Cranberry Pistachio Matcha Cookies
Makes 3-4 Dozen cookies depending on cookie cutters

  •  3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons culinary matcha powder
  • ½ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  •  ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces of white chocolate, melted

1.     In a small saucepan, add chopped cranberries and orange juice. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir and cook while simmering for a minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside. After mixture cools down, strain the juice out of the berries. 

2.     In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, matcha powder and chopped pistachios and whisk together until incorporated then set aside.

3.     In a stand mixer bowl, add butter and sugar. Cream together with a paddle attachment on medium speed for a few minutes.

4.     With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl then turn mixer back on and beat in egg and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, another 2-3 minutes.  

5.     Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, turn the mixer on low then add in cranberries and the dry mixture a cup at a time until all the ingredients are mixed together. Don’t over mix. You should see cranberries speckled throughout and the dough should be a nice green color.

6.     Remove ½ of the cookie dough from the mixer bowl, form into a disc then wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with the other portion of dough. Place into the freezer for 15 minutes to harden the dough quickly. If you aren’t in a hurry, place into the fridge for 35-40 minutes.

7.     Preheat oven to 325°F.

8.     Prepare your cookie sheet pans by lining with parchment paper. Place 1 disc of cookie dough on top and then add another piece of parchment paper on top so dough is sandwiched between the paper.

9.     Roll out dough so it is 1/4” thick. To ensure the dough rolls out evenly, I like to use ¼” wooden dowels on either side of the dough so the rolling pin will be even and stop before it gets too thin.

10.  Place the dough and sheet pan back into the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. Repeat with the other disc.

11.  After the flattened dough is hard, start to cut out your desired cookie shapes! I love using this recipe with a Christmas tree cookie cutter because of the fun green color. After cutting as many as you can, collect scraps, chill in the freezer and repeat steps 8-11 to use up remaining dough.

12.  Layout cut cookies on parchment paper lined sheet at least 1 inch apart. Cookies will be very nice and cold so shouldn’t spread much by the time you are baking them.

13.  Bake for 13-15 minutes until the edges start to slightly brown and will be hard to touch. Let cookies cool on the sheet for 10 minutes then finish cooling on wire racks.

14.  Once cookies have cooled completely, melt white chocolate either on a double boiler or with a microwave. If you’re doing it with a microwave, place chocolate into a glass bowl uncovered on high for 45-60 seconds stirring once, until chocolate can be stirred smooth.

15.  Make sure there is sheet pan under the wire rack before decorating with chocolate.

16.  Place chocolate into a piping bag or a ziplock bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag then squeeze with a quick waving motion across the cookie.

17.  Let white chocolate set in the fridge if in a hurry or set out for a few hours. Store dried cookies in an air-tight container for a week.