FBS12: a spot of tea + a dash of christmas

ChristmasTree_2016_01Anxiety was building once Halloween ended and as American Thanksgiving neared.  My tree wasn’t up and the only signs of holiday in our condo were the rolls of wrapping paper I pulled out from the closet and the box of early gifts I purchased throughout the year.  Those who are familiar with my overly eager Christmas punctuality know that my tree is up earlier than later to ensure that I get every second out of the holidays.  Fortunately, my anxiety ended just before our American neighbours broke bread over turkey and candied yams; I got my tree up and decorated!

ChristmasTree_2016_02This faux tree has been with Mike + me now for over 5 years.  It’s travelled from Winnipeg to Toronto and will likely hang around for the remainder of our condo Christmases.  Each year in the guise of a gift in Mike’s stocking, I gift our tree with a new whimsical, usually food related, ornament.  Last year it was pizza and the year before it was a hamburger.  And though I try to limit my new ornaments to 1 [the one in Mike’s stocking], I often skip up a couple more before and after the holidays.

ChristmasTree_2015_04Amongst the newest of my ornaments are 2 felted critters from West Elm; a little piggy and a penguin – both handmade + fair-trade from Nepal.

ChristmasTree_2015_06ChristmasTree_2015_05With my tree decorated and gifts wrapped, the final piece of my holiday puzzle were the baked goods.   Last Christmas, I gave out boxes of, perhaps the best looking macarons I have ever baked.  However, as mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been going through a bit of a macaron slump.  None of my batches were working out and with Christmas in less than a month, anxiety episode #2 was setting in.

tea_10Whenever Mike makes fresh pasta, I am left with containers of egg whites.  Not wanting to let the egg whites from his last dinner of noodles  go to waste, I decided I’d try another batch of macarons. And to my surprise, they turned out pretty good!

Sticking to the flavours in my pantry, I attempted Earl Grey macarons infused with a tea I picked up from our last trip to the UK.

tea_01

tea_02E A R L  G R E Y  M A C A R O N S

macaron recipe 

filling

  • 6Tbsp chilled Earl Grey milk
    • 1/2Tbsp loose Earl Grey tea leaves
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8Tbsp [4oz] butter | cube + @ room temp.
  • 3 1/2C icing sugar

tea_04to prep the Earl Grey milk, in a small sauce pot combine heavy cream + loose tea leaves over low-med heat; occasionally stirring
remove pot from heat once milk scalds
let sit for 5 mins | occasionally stirring to prevent a skin from forming
strain into a bowl separating the leaves from the milk + ensuring to squeeze out all the liquid from the tea
pour into a bowl and let sit in the fridge to cool 

tea_05in a mixer [with a whisk attachment] on medium speed, begin whipping the softened butter
gradually add in the icing sugar about 1/2C at a time
continue whipping until combined
gradually add in 6Tbsp of Earl Grey milk
continue whipping until fully combined and fluffy
scoop buttercream into a pipping bag and start filling your macarons

tea_08Serve these macarons with a cup of hot Earl Grey and you’re only a few cucumber sandwiches away from high tea.

Not a bad start to my holiday baking.  Now I just need to shake off this cold and I’ll be ready for full holiday everything!!!

madelaine

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