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I tried making Liz’s French Macarons last night for the first time. The recipe seemed easy enough, it was my oven that proved to be troublesome. Getting everything onto the cookie sheets was fairly easy. Liz provided plenty of pictures with her recipe, which helps when you consider I learn best by watching.

My problem was that I just couldn’t seem to cook them long enough. I had to throw out the first sheet I had baked. They just never seemed to bake all the way through. But perhaps that was because I was using a baking stone. I know not to use an airbake cookie sheet, but wasn’t sure the baking stone would be a problem or not. Either way, the dough just wouldn’t cook right, and they wouldn’t come off of the wax paper.

The second sheet that came out seemed better, but I still felt like they weren’t cooked enough. Then the third sheet came out and I had cooked them too long. They ended up coming out crunchy. Whoops!

My fourth sheet of cookies cooked the right amount of time, I just forgot to let them sit out for a bit before baking them, so they didn’t form the nice little shell that makes them look right. Then I seemed to get it just right with the fifth sheet of these delicious little cookies. They looked right, and they had cooked properly. Hurray! Finally. Whew.

I put the dark chocolate ganache on and put them into the fridge overnight. Below is the finish product of cookie sheets 2-5.

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Then I had my neighbors test them out in the morning. (Don’t worry…I bake a lot here, and they begged to be my guinea pigs…didn’t stop me from being nervous that they wouldn’t taste good.) My fears were wasted though. Even the crunchy ones were gobbled up by them. The cookies from the last sheet were the favorite, but they each asked to take some of the others home to munch on later. So at least I know that they were edible. The youngest boy next door keeps knocking on my door to see if I have more. Good to know they were happy with my efforts. Even I enjoyed them.

I promptly took the rest of the best two sheets up to the Hill for my friend to have, and was rewarded by having him squeal in delight at the bag of cookies. Good. Though he said my true test would be to make a batch and take them to Seattle for the master to test. I told him I needed more practice first. So…what am I doing the very next night. Yeah…baking more French Macarons. At least I know they will be tasty, and my co-workers will appreciate them tomorrow morning.

Here is a link to the original recipe. Deliciousness in such a tiny package. Liz’s French Macaron Protocol And below, you will find my second attempt. They still aren’t perfect, but they look loads better than my first attempt. Though I did try using the baking stone again, and found that while the cookie did cook, for some reason the bottom would not cook right. It just wouldn’t harden on the bottom at all and I found that the wax paper sort of just melded with the cookies. I was only able to salvage three halves out of twelve that were on the cookie sheet. So note to self…airbake cookie sheets and baking stone cookie sheets are out of the question when making macarons. They are fine for regular cookies, just not these delicate morsels. I think I’ll definitely stick to using the regular cookie sheets next time.

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Here is to my first time blogging.

So I suppose a little history is in order to explain Dragon Born Deinera.

First of all…Dragons. How can you go wrong there. But I do love them. They are fierce and magnificent, and I can only hope to befriend one someday.

Next up…Deinera. Deinera Nailo was the name of my first elf in D&D. I still remember walking back to my dorm room when Stephan pretty much abducted me asked me if I wanted to join play some D&D. My response was, “What is that?” Lets just say it was all down hill from there. That D&D group was a huge life saver for me. They really helped me to come out of my shell and actually interact with people rather than just watch. I doubt most of them even realized that they had done that. I didn’t even realize it until many years later. And to me Deinera was part of that catalyst. I’ve continued to use her ever since. World of Warcraft, X-Box, PlayStation, Valor, and other role playing games. She’s my gamer identity I suppose, but she is also that persona that helped me learn to interact outside of my own experiences. She’s bolder, more aggressive, and fiercely loyal. Even a little bit crazy. Though that might be the real me rubbing off on her. Perhaps in time some of her will rub off onto me.

Here I am now. I feel like so much is going on, and I just want to share some of it. I want to write about it and push up from there. This summer looks like it could be really exciting. Scary, but exciting. So, here is to riding out the waves and coming out on the other side. First project up…Liz’s French Macaron Protocol.