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A question about a recipe: Citrus-Thyme Macaroons

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I have a question about the recipe "Citrus-Thyme Macaroons" from drbabs. To the editors: how did you get these to come out puffy?

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

asked over 2 years ago
16 answers 784 views
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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

More detail here: ok, I know this is my recipe, but when I make these, they come out flat and crunchy like lemon Girl Scout cookies. Yours are rounder and higher and soft in the middle. How did you do at?

21cce3cd-8e22-4227-97f9-2962d7d83240.photo_squirrel
added over 2 years ago

barbara, love thyme and lemon together; i do a cornmeal cookie with those elements. i looked at your recipe and had some thoughts. i'm thinking that the editors may not have followed your instructions. I'm wondering about your directions to . I think you may be abusing your egg whites. when i make merinques as cookies or for a dacquoise, i beat the white w/ salt pinch til opague and foamy or maybe 1/2way to stiff; and then i add the sugar gradually and continue til shiny stiff. You mention the meringue being thinner because of zest's water but i think it is the OIL in the zest that is the culprit; oil being the element that will deflate meringues and make them watery and flat(the latter can also happen by working the meringue too long. For yrs i have made a silver palate recipe for Chocolate mint merinques, made with chopped After Eights. When I made big batches, i had trouble with meringue getting thin/flat and then weeping when baked. So I started doing the meringues in multiple small batches so i could get them into the oven ASAP after adding the fat (the After Eights).Your recipe says for your meringues to sit 1/2 hour before baking. I think that's a major glitch, because the oil in the zest will deflate them while they sit. Take a look at that SP recipe and try baking them right away. In the same Good Times ckbk they have a dacquoise w/ almond meringues; they bake them at 300 degrees for 1 hour, all in one go.
So i'd suggest those alterations.

The other thing you might want to play with is using True Lemon instead of zest. I heard it raved on Chowhound and bought it to try and ended up using it in my Lemon Pecan Polvorones (http://food52.com/recipes...) to great effect.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Le bec fin, thank you so much! When I made these, I was following instructions for French macarons, which have you let the batter rest. I'm going to try it again without the rest. I tried True Lemon as a lemon sub in drinks and didn't like it, but it might be just fine in cookies, I'll try that as well. Thank you, this is really helpful.

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added over 2 years ago

dr. b, it's an honor if i can be of help! i haven't tried True Lemon in anything except those polvorones so i'm glad to know not to try in drinks.I am SUCH a lemon-dependant; wouldn't it be a thrill to have a lemon tree in your yard (like some lucky 52ers?!)

67da29df-0253-44dd-98a1-250b49e519a4.hilary_sp1
added over 2 years ago

I'm waiting for the editors to chime in--because I really want to know! I made these a few days ago, and they tastes fantastic. But I was disappointed because I hoped for a puffy cookie like in the editors' pictures. Re: True Lemon, I haven't tried it, but I do really like the KAF Catalog powdered lemon flavor. I tried the powdered pineapple, too. Very effective for French macarons, so probably good for this use, too.

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added over 2 years ago

I was going to buy some of the KAF powdered lemon, but they added corn syrup to it! I had hoped it would save me from all the lemon zesting, but I have a zero tolerance for corn syrup.

67da29df-0253-44dd-98a1-250b49e519a4.hilary_sp1
added over 2 years ago

The corn syrup is a significant down side--and I use the powder sparingly, mostly in icings and frosting. I hadn't paid close enough attention to the ingredients when I bought the KAF.powder.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

Such an interesting thread, this one. Great for the poor souls like me who must enjoy such activities vicariously. ;o)

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Ok, just for grins, I tried this recipe with True Lemon (1/2 tsp) and dried thyme instead of fresh (about 1/4 tsp). I put them in the oven right away, and baked at a lower temperature. They were slightly more puffy, but still crunchy in the middle. And I really don't like the taste. The thyme note is fine, but there's a huge difference between the taste of fresh zest and True Lemon; we preferred the cookies made with zest. So the mystery continues.

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added over 2 years ago

well barb, mea culpa. so sorry it didn't work out for you.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

No worries, le bec fin, I had fun playing with it and will try again. Maybe it's the almonds?

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added over 2 years ago

I had never heard of True Lemon until reading this thread, but my sanity depends on always having a bottle of Minute Maid Lemon juice on hand. It is sold in the frozen juice section of the market and I keep one in the freezer and one in the fridge. When I don't have a fresh lemons, it is a godsend. No preservatives or additives. Penzeys used to sell freeze-dried lemon zest but I don't know whether they do now. It's hard to imagine a satisfactory substitute for zest.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I've used the Minute Maid juice also, and I should have realized that if I didn't like True Lemon in water, I wouldn't like it in cookies. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

67da29df-0253-44dd-98a1-250b49e519a4.hilary_sp1
added over 2 years ago

But we still don't know how to get them puffy! Barb, what kind of oven do you have? Maybe they have a really nice convection oven? I have a very plain GE Profile, electric--has cold spots in the front left side. But what I'm thinking is that maybe superior oven and we cannot be blamed for the non-puffy cookies?

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Hi Hilary, I actually have a brand new oven that isn't convection but works really well. I'm thinking maybe it's the almonds. I use Trader Joes almond meal, but I'm thinking about trying it with almonds I grind myself. I made meringues with almonds that I ground/chopped and they came out puffy. To be continued......

67da29df-0253-44dd-98a1-250b49e519a4.hilary_sp1
added over 2 years ago

Drats again! Okay that was the only somewhat plausible thought I had. But I too, used the Trader Joe's almond meal--cheaper and less fussy.