The supply of Christmas cookies in my freezer is dwindling, and not because I’ve been giving a lot away. Which is why I finally packed up a bunch into charming boxes, before I no longer fit into my new jeans.
I wrote a few weeks ago about my first attempts at macarons which turned out well for the most part, although I knew I could do better. My second attempt at them, however, was equally as varied. This time, the cookies turned out very well, but for some reason my caramel-making skills have disappeared. Strange, non? Which is why I couldn’t write about them last week because we were fighting after two batches of burnt caramel.
The thing I’ve learned about caramel is that it does take a lot to totally wreck it. Because what you want to do, basically, is burn sugar. Which I’d think wouldn’t be much of a problem, since usually I try really hard NOT to burn things. In this case, however, it got out of my control and in the end, I thought I’d burnt it too much…but actually, the second batch still tasted pretty good. The first batch of caramel is really REALLY burnt and I should throw it out ‘cuz it’s still sitting on my counter, taunting me and my wretched caramel-making skills. I’d had trouble with my initial cheap-o candy thermometer, so I was excited to use my spanky new not-cheap-o thermometer. Do these things need to be calibrated before actually using them? ‘Cuz this one did a worse job than the cheap one. So disappointing! There was a point when it was reading the temperature of the sugar going DOWN, while it was clearly getting browner. As. If.
Anyway, after leaving it for a few days in the fridge, I decided the second batch was good enough and ended up sandwiching the perfect macaron cookies together and then presenting them in the little candy papers.
Which brings me back to the cookie boxes. I wanted something lovely and not too small to hold a good quantity of goodies as giveaways to Jon’s office and other friends. Leave it to Martha Stewart to create the perfect cookie box, and to include ribbon and scalloped sticker tags, as well. (Plus, they are matchbox-style boxes, which I think are just the coolest and would love to find something similar, but not Christmas-themed, to use for packaging photos and albums for my photography clients. So far, no luck though. Anyone out there know of a place?)
And now off to make dinner for the hubs.