Gracious Gifts

There are so many things that I love about food. The smell, the taste, the way that it gives you a reason to linger and chat with friends… But one of my very favorite things about it is its value as a gift! Everyone loves to receive food as a gift. Whether it’s a meal given after the birth of a child, a special cake for a birthday, or a favorite restaurant treat mailed to someone who has moved away, food is a thoughtful and practical gift that often evokes favorite memories and brings a smile to the lucky recipient’s face.

cookie box

I had the chance to participate in such a gift this week. One of my staff members was celebrating a birthday with one of her closest friends. She told me that this friend absolutely LOVES French macaroons and she wanted to surprise her with some for her birthday. She looked everywhere, but there isn’t a place in Waco to purchase any. Being unsure of her baking skills, she enlisted me to help her make some homemade ones for her friend.
We started making a plan. I found a recipe online for basic French macaroons. They are a light and delicate filled sandwich cookie. They are basically a baked egg white meringue. They are often dyed pretty pastel colors and are filled with flavors that range from basic vanilla, to hazelnut and lemon. Callie told me her friend loves coffee and loves chocolate. She also told me that her friend attempted to make her own lavender macaroons, but they didn’t turn out the way she expected them to. Armed with this information, we decided to actually make a chocolate cookie and several different fillings: coffee (mocha colored), vanilla (buttery white), raspberry (soft pink), mint (mint green), and coconut (we dyed this one lavender!). They turned out really beautiful! That creamy cocoa colored cookie sandwiched with those pastel colors really popped!

cookie raw

frosting flavors

We put a couple of each flavor in a white bakery box and tied it up with pretty ribbon. It was a beautiful gift and really well received! Her friend was surprised and so delighted. Callie was able to create and give her something that was truly unique and tailor-made just for her! That’s the power of food!

cookie trayI am attaching the link to the recipe we used here. We just replaced ¼ Cup of the almond flour with cocoa powder. Also we used real egg whites that we separated into a measuring cup. (I don’t suggest trying to use egg whites out of a carton)

egg whites

The whole process took us just over an hour from start to boxed. It was a fun task to do with a friend. In fact, I think this would make a fun sister project for Mothers’ Day gifts. They would be a beautiful dessert for Easter dinner too! The recipe was easy to follow and had yummy, pretty results. Give it a try for your next special occasion!

almond flour

sifting

folding

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gale-gand/french-macaroons-recipe/index.html

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