Tootin’ some horns

February 21st, 2011  |  14 Comments

Here’s to you.

What a great day for singing your praises.

Baking is such a simple thing, and makes people so happy. One whiff of buttery, cinnamony  aroma wafting from the kitchen can melt away any foul disposition. And the act of stirring and rolling calms our own overstimulated minds. It’s one of those things that we can do together, virtually, and then share and inspire each other to try something new.

It’s also nice to see you step outside your comfort zone. Sometimes a moment of bravery can get you what you didn’t think you were capable of.

Right before Valentine’s, I got an email from Gina. She read this post and “went for it”.


I just wanted to write and thank you for this blog! I myself am a print/web designer who has been looking at pastry work for a while as my next creative outlet. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but found myself drawn to desserts for some reason. I seem to put a little extra love into any dessert I make and I just enjoy the process so much more than preparing savory foods. Eating it isn’t all that bad either. :)

So I took your advice last week and decided to ask a bakery if I could intern for a day. I chose Dulce Desserts because I created their website and knew that the owner might have a little more patience with me. She agreed to let me try it! I worked 10.5 hours on Thursday and left very tired, but happy as could be. Turns out she really needed my help that day, as they had an order for 2400 small bites, 800 of which were the mini cupcakes I made. I didn’t burn, spill or seriously screw anything up. It was a miracle. And everyone got to go home early and spend time with their families. So needless to say they loved me and begged me to come back at the next opportunity. I’ll be helping them out again the Sunday before Valentines Day when I’ll learn to bake a ton of cookies and pipe designs on them. Can’t wait!

So thanks again for the inspiration to try something new. I don’t know if I’ll be able to quit the day job just yet, but I’m definitely going to be practicing at the bakery and at home any chance I get.

Take care!

I know how scary it is to put yourself out there like that and yet the rewards can be huge. It IS possible to go after what you want and Gina is a perfect example that it can be done. Gina, you rock! I’m truly ecstatic for you!

So if you’ve been hesitating up to this point, just try. You may surprise yourself.

Speaking of success, check you guys out! You tried macarons and lived to post about it. We’ll never be macaron deprived again, *wink*.

image courtesy of Joyce at Teamo Passion Delights

1. Joyce at Teamo Passion Delights made peanut butter and jelly, and peach with coconut jam. Gorgeous!
2. Zo at Two Spoons did vanilla macarons with Salted Buttercream and Caramel filling. Perfection!
3. Jaqueline at Always Freyday went with the Classic Almond Version with Vanilla Buttercream. Lovely!

And here’s an email I got from Lisa. She had such good results, she kept going with flavors.

Loved the “Macaron Primer” and you’re right, I was finally able to ‘nail’ the perfect macaron everytime. I just stared at them in awe especially that foot – I made lemon, chocolate and pistachio. I’ve been trying to make them since 1997 and there was NOTHING out there to help me save an articleI stumbled upon from “GOURMET” magazine dated December 1992. I’ve read everything I could get me hands on and never really had consistant results until your primer. THANK YOU so much.

If  you tried macarons recently and want to tell us about it, please do! Add a comment, or link to your post.

I want to thank you guys again, because I learn so much from you, too. You’re always experimenting and coming up with ideas I wouldn’t have thought of. And when you ask questions, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll go look it up, and get instant learning gratification, too.

Ok, my turn! got wind of the macaron primer, and did a really nice post about it! Believe me when I tell you I did a little jig in my office cubicle when I saw it. I hope I don’t get big-headed now, heh heh. Thank you Lauren, at epicurious!

14 Responses to “Tootin’ some horns”

  1. Congrats on the Epicurious article!! Fantastic!

  2. Nadine says:

    great!!! so happy for is so satisfying to know that your work and effort are appreciated. keep it up, because I love reading your blog and trying your recipes

  3. Zo says:

    Aww thanks for the shout out! I made another macaron batch yesterday this time baking them at 280F as you specified, and the shell turned out much softer, which was perfect. Phew, they are so much less stressful after the first time you make them!

    Also congrats on the epicurious feature! You very much deserve it :)

  4. Deanna says:

    Congrats! I wouldn’t be surprised if you start getting some job offers from your blog and your beautiful macaron primer! Your photography is incredible and writing is always entertaining! That photo of the macarons in the jar on the front page of your primer is awesome! I want to frame it!

  5. Lisa Musgrave says:

    Congrats on the Epicurious article! Well deserved. I also wanted to let you know that after all of these years of trying to powder almonds into flour, I’ve finally had the best success with the frozen ones straight from the freezer. No oily mess, no additional powdered sugar and it worked as well with the pistachio nuts too.

  6. thanks so much for the shout out, and again, for the great tutorial on macarons! so happy your primer made it to epicurious!

  7. Astrid says:

    Congrats! You are getting some well-deserved return on investment on your blog, at least of the non-monetary kind: readers who learn something from you and put it into practice, and a pat on the back by a well-respected online resource. I’m sure if you wanted to get into publishing recipes or teaching you would have no trouble generating the other kind of ROI!

  8. PastryPal says:

    Astrid, Thank you. I hope that’s true because my goal is to transition into doing something like that :).

  9. Amy says:


  10. Wow. You’re doing awesome!! Glad to see you inspired someone, I wish I could work at a bakery too!

  11. Bobbie says:


    That spells success!!! After 4 failed attempts, I had given up… until I found your primer. What the heck? What’s one more failure in the grand scheme of things, right? I’ve never seen lava except on TV so I really have no point of reference when it comes to all the other macaron tutelage in the blogosphere. Molten lava? Really?

    But in your primer, I didn’t see anything about lava. Thanks for that. My macarons are lovely AND delicious. Nothing pleased my heart more than when I gave one to my two year old daughter as a very special treat: She broke it open like an Oreo and licked the middle before devouring the cookies.

    Woo Hoo! I made macarons!

    (Private blog because it’s generally just my kids, but here’s a picture of my macarons.)

    THANK YOU! And congrats on an awesome feature on Epicurious!

    Toot! Toot! Toot!!

  12. PastryPal says:

    Bobbie — Another toot from me. Those look PERFECT!

  13. Zoya says:

    I tried making macaroons for the first time and I used your primer to help me out. I’m hopeless at baking but I love to do it, so I was excited to find something that would help me with every step. The pictures really helped too, as well as the troubleshooting section. I’m going to try again the next time I get a break from school. And hopefully I’ll get feet and no cracks.

  14. Anne-Marie says:

    Wow … and all this work for free?! Love, love your posts … and here’s another toot from me again … I’ll be back again tomorrow to toot some more ;-). THANX soooooo much. I also had them the first time in Paris and after that, nothing come close! So, I’m very eager to try it out and give them for free to the pastry shop close by … those they are selling break you teeth ;(

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