I know I’ve talked about my good friend Mel who went on sabbatical to South America, met a boy, fell in love, moved to Argentina, got married, had one baby boy and then a second one. Right?
Well, if I haven’t, Mel and I went to college together and then, along with our other friend Amber, we lived together for another three years after graduation. Three years, three different apartments and way too many adventures to recount here. But let me just say, I can think of at least three weddings Mel and I went to as each other’s dates (well, technically, Mel and TD were dates for one of those, but thats because I was in the wedding). Obviously, this was well before the part about Argentina.
Anyhow, Mel was in the U.S. a few weeks ago and I flew up to hang out with her for the day.
Now, Argentina seems like a great place and Mel seems very happy on her new continent with one notable exception. For all its charms, Argentina is a country devoid of peanut butter. Not only is it absent from market shelves, you can’t even send it in a care package (well, you can try).
Mel likes peanut butter. Mel is sad Argentina does not have peanut butter.
So, I knew I had to bring her something with the ubiquitous (well, in the U.S. at least) legume paste when I visited. Enter the chocolate peanut butter French macaron.
I also used Mel as an excuse to try a different chocolate macaron shell I came across at Cannelle et Vanille while hunting for the pink peppercorn recipe. I didn’t think she’d mind.
The peanut butter filling is unequivocally fantastic. The shells. Well, it is probably baker error, but the tops came out wrinkly. Weird right? Bake shorter: wrinkles. Bake longer: wrinkles. I’d wonder about the weather but made the pink raspberry shells the same afternoon and those were beautiful and smooth. I’ve also had good success with David Lebovitz’s chocolate macaron shells–so I know it isn’t a normal characteristic of chocolate shells. Hmmm.
Typical fickle French macaron.
But, Mel and I had fun. One afternoon is never enough to catch up and I am a grossly negligent Skyper. I think I’m just going to have to go to Argentina to get me fix.
Etta James. Oh, Etta. The world is a much less beautiful place without you in it. Mel and I were lucky enough to see Etta James in the late 90s(?) at the House of Blue on Sunset. TD and I were supposed to see her again a couple of summers ago at the Hollywood Bowl with Adele. But, Etta was ill and replaced at the last minute by Chaka Kahn. I know, seriously?
My favorite? Fool that I am. Thank you Ms. James!
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Macarons
Because I am obviously missing something what, with the wrinkles and all, I’m going to link directly to Cannelle et Vanille. Hers are definitely not geriatric looking so I think it better you follow her directions than mine.