A Hard Shell with a Soft Interior

A Hard Shell with a Soft Interior

You remember back in the day when macarons were a thing, or more accurately the thing, much like sourdough is today? It was the sought after dessert at parties and events, the go to sweet gift, and the home bakers envy. This sophisticated dessert was so popular and for good reason too. With its hard exterior and soft chewy interior, a variety of great flavors, beautiful presentation (much the way I like people these days. Perhaps we can get into it later.) this sophisticated dessert was a tasty delight.

But like all good things that make the A-list, this too was soon almost but forgotten. You can still spot them here and there, but they no longer take the center stage between elegant sweets. Yet I sure didn't forget or more accurately couldn't forget, for back then when macarons were all the hype I did take a try or two at this delicate confection, after all I named it the home bakers envy!! All I got were cracked and empty flat shells. The defeat was too great to bear. Finally after years the nagging in the back of my brain won me over and I took another chance. To my delight they came out as perfect as I could have hoped for. So when you get such great luck you up the challenge. This time I made it heart shaped. It's February after all and it's for a very special birthday girl.

But the story doesn't end here. After the macarons were baked, filled and safely stored in the freezer (yes they are extremely freezer friendly) my birthday girl mentioned that she really dislikes macarons. Being the great mother that I am I baked her new favorite cookie in heart shape with fun toppings. And then feeling that wasn't enough we baked cinnamon buns in the shape of hearts sticking to the theme.

Mom was happy with the results and birthday girl with the attention! A real win win.

For the macarons I used Martha Stewarts recipe. With the cream cheese filling below:

• 4 oz cream cheese
• ½ cup powdered sugar
• 2 tbsp salted butter
• ½ tsp clear vanilla extract

Add a center squeeze of strawberry jam for ultimate flavor.

heart macaron


For a simple yet tasty cookie try these. Play around with the toppings.

heart cookies valentines


Paula Deen's Cinnamon Rolls are a family favorite. For the heart shape simply roll both sides to the center, cut to size and squeeze end. 

I sometimes do 2 small changes.

Instead of 1-1/2 cups sugar I replace 1/2 cup with brown sugar.
For the glaze I add 2 tablespoon cream cheese for a creamier texture. 

cinnamon bun


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