Tuesday, January 20, 2015

French Macarons Made On A Wonderful Silicone Baking Mat and A Giveaway

I have mentioned I love to bake. It's been a passion of mine for a long time. There are some things I am really good at, gourmet cheesecake being one of them. Other things, I am not as good, but I still love to make them!

Macarons is one thing I am just so-so in making, yet I still enjoy the process and the result! Simple Baker sent me the neatest Silicone Baking Mat that really helps the whole process.

Here are some facts you should know about it:
- Simplify making macarons with THE macaron mat to have! The Simple Baker silicone baking mat comes pre-printed with the most popular macaron template sizes. NO MORE tracing circles on parchment paper or piecing together macaron templates.
- Each pattern has 2 sizes for you to use - regular-sized macarons or mini macarons. The pattern also has optional ear patterns for making cute bear macarons to spice things up or to have fun baking with kids!
- The PROFESSIONAL mat is thick enough to ensure even distribution of heat so that your food and pastries are baked to perfection. The mat fits the standard half size baking sheets (11-5/8" x 16-1/2"). The corners are cut to ensure that the mat is completely flat with the baking pan.
- The mat is produced with FDA and LFGB approved FOOD-GRADE silicone making it NON-TOXIC and safe to use in the oven. The eco-friendly mat will save you money because it is reusable and durable, unlike parchment paper. The baking mat is also NON-STICK, so no need to add unhealthy grease to your foods.

The mat, of course, can be used for all kinds of baking and cooking in the oven. It can go into an oven up to 450°, also the microwave and the freezer. You do have to hand wash it though, as it is not recommended to put it in the dishwasher, but that's really easy. Nothing usually sticks to silicone, so cleaning is a breeze.

Having the pre-marked circles on the mat with the center clearly shown does make the placing and spacing of the macarons much easier. No guessing on the proper size you should make and you keep them far enough apart, but get more on the baking sheet as you bake. It's really nice to use.

I thought I should share the recipe I used to make my macarons. I got it from the Martha Stewart site a long time ago.

French Macarons

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
Choice of filling, if desired

Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.

The circles help you make them the right size (even if they aren't always the neatest).

Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.) Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Finished baking and resting on the pan.

Filling suggestions: jam, chocolate ganache, Swiss meringue buttercream (can add chopped nuts or coconut to the buttercream for further options)

They may not be the prettiest, but they sure taste good.
I filled mine with homemade tart cherry jam. Enjoy!

The Simple Bake Silicone Baking Mat really is a great find for any baker! You can purchase your own Simple Baker Silicone Baking Mat HERE!

Simple Baker has graciously offered to give one of my readers their own Silicone Baking Mat. Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter!!

Open to Continental US Residents only. Must be 18 or older to enter. Limit one entry per household/address. All entries will be verified. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to winning notification if if no response then another winner will be chosen. Contest ends at 12:01 AM 1/24/15. The Minister's Wife Stamps and Saves is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. The company sponsoring this giveaway is solely responsible for the delivery of the prize to the winner(s). The Minister's Wife Stamps and Saves is not responsible for lost or misdirected emails or physical mail. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Instagram, or any other social media. Void where prohibited by law.

We received samples of the products for the purpose of review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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