Cereal Macarons with Cereal Milk Frosting

Cereal Macarons with Cereal Milk Frosting 3Cereal and I have a love/hate relationship. I love how there are endless flavors and textures, how each cereal turns plain milk into a unique drink, and how you can eat it for pretty much any meal or snack (and even when you run out of milk, you can eat it plain, kind of like teeny tiny cookies).
Cereal Macarons with Cereal Milk Frosting 1 fruit loops macarons cereal milk frosting recipe cereal milk frosting On the other hand, I hate it for two reasons: 1) I pretty much cannot stop eating it once I open it up. It’s rare for me to have the “recommended serving”. I once took out a measuring cup and measured exactly one serving. Dude, it’s the size of my fist and I have small fists. 2) I hate soggy cereal. I think there is nothing worse than fully saturated cereal. It gets all mushy and some even start deteriorating into the milk. Don’t ask me to do something once that milk hits the bowl, because unless it’s a real emergency I’m taking the five minutes to eat it.
Cereal Macarons with Cereal Milk Frosting 2cereal macarons recipecereal macaron recipeThis recipe takes two of the best parts of cereal: the crispy bits and the cereal milk.  No sogginess, and you can customize each macaron flavor to whatever you wish! The cereal milk from this recipe tastes like the cereal milk you would get from Frosted Corn Flakes. (I got the inspiration from Momofuku Milk Bar’s cereal milk soft serve.) I suppose you could try using a different cereal (sans the toasting) and you would technically get the flavor that cereal’s milk.
lucky charms macaron fruit loops macaron frosted cheerios macaroncocoa pebbles macaron trix macaron cinnamon toast crunch macaronIt was really exciting to watch them bake and I loved seeing them in so many different colors and textures. The Lucky Charms batch smelled especially good in the oven. I think it was the marshmallow bits baking and yes, they were magically delicious.

Cereal Macarons with Cereal Milk Frosting

Ingredients:
212 g. almond meal
212 g. powdered sugar
172 g. egg whites, divided to 82 g. and 90 g (aged, if possible)
236 g. sugar
158 g. water
cereal of your choice, crushed (I bought the multipack of mini bags to have a variety.)
cereal milk frosting (recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond meal and powdered sugar and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  3. Sift the mixture over a large mixing bowl, throwing out the lumps as they appear.  Add 82 g. of the egg whites and stir until you get a thick mixture.
  4. In a small pot attached with a candy thermometer, combine the sugar and water over medium heat and boil until the syrup reaches 200˚F.
  5. Once the syrup reaches 200˚F, start whipping the remaining 90 g. in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks are reached.
  6. Once the syrup reaches 248 ˚F, remove the pot off the burner and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl with the egg whites on medium speed.
  7. Once the egg whites are fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium high until egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks.
  8. Mix a ⅓ of the egg white mix to the almond mixture and stir together until the batter is slightly lighter and less pasty.  From then on, fold in ⅓ of the egg white mixture at a time until the mixture “flows like magma”.  The mixture should be smooth and run thick ribbons off the spatula.
  9. With a pastry bag fitted with a ½ in. plain tip, pipe 1¼ – 1½ in. rounds.
  10. The piped batter may have peaks but should smooth away in a minute or two.
  11. On half of the macaron shells, sprinkle on desired crushed cereal.
  12. Let the batter stand until the tops of the macarons are dry to the touch, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  13. Preheat the oven to 325-350˚F.  If your oven tends to run hot go for 325˚F, if not then 350˚F.
  14. Lower the heat to from 350˚F to 300˚F. (If starting from 325˚F, lower to 275˚F.)
  15. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the feet are formed and the tops are smooth.  The macaron shell is done when you slightly wiggle it and it starts to come off of the parchment paper / silicone mat.
  16. Remove pan from oven and reheat oven to higher temperature for 10 minutes before baking the next tray, lowering the temperature when you start baking it.
  17. Pipe a dollop of cereal milk frosting on the plain macaron shell.
  18. Top it with crushed cereal macaron, flattening it slightly to push the frosting to the outer edge.
  19. *This step is optional but I prefer to age my macarons. To do so, place assembled macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. The next day, the macaron shells will have softened slightly and in my opinion, more delicious.

Cereal Milk Frosting

1½ c. cereal milk (recipe below)
1/4 c. flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk milk, salt and flour until combined.
  2. Continuously whisk mixture until thickened to a pudding like consistency.
  3. Once thickened, strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with a spatula to remove lumps.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the flour mixture (to prevent skin from forming) and put bowl into the fridge until fully cool.
  5. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy and pale about, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the chilled flour mixture and continue to whip on high speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Cereal Milk

Ingredients:

3 ½ c. Corn Flakes cereal
4 c. whole milk, cold

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300˚F.
  2. On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, toast cereal for 5-7 minutes, until slightly deeper in color.
  3. Cool toasted cereal.
  4. In a large bowl, mix cereal and milk and steep for 30 minutes, until cereal is soggy.
  5. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer. (Do not force mixture through mesh strainer. The resulting milk will be starchy and thicker than what you started with.)

*Macaron recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller, Sebastien Rouxel.
*Cereal milk recipe adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi, David Chang.

Milk Bar Corn Cookies

corn cookie 3After hearing about Christia Tosi’s amazing creations for years, I finally had the opportunity to go to a Momofuku Milk Bar last weekend.  Everything sounded delicious but I had three things I just had to try:

1) crack pie
2) cereal milk soft serve with cornflake crunch
3) corn cookie

corn cookie 2They were all good but I think I set my bar way too high because I was not impressed for the most part.  My favorite out of all three was the corn cookie and even that was disappointing because I wanted it to be more corn-y.
corn cookie 1I had the recipe for corn cookies bookmarked from Christina Tosi’s book for years, but I didn’t want to make it before I had the real thing.  So with finally having a Milk Bar experience under my belt, I gave the recipe a spin.  I followed all the instructions: bought European butter, King Arthur bread flour, corn flour, and freeze dried corn, measured every single ingredient by weight, and even did two batches of cookie dough, one resting for 1 hour and another 24 hours.  (FYI a 24-hour rest yielded a better cookie.)
corn cookie 5And guess what, it wasn’t the same!  It didn’t have the buttery smooth interior of the original and the flavor wasn’t all there.   I’m not saying it was a bad cookie.  It was delicious with a slight corn scent and a lingering crispness.  I guess you could say that I was looking for a clone, but I found a sibling instead.
corn cookie 4I’m working on my own corn cookie, a cornier and chewier version.  But until then, I’ll leave you with the official recipe.  (It’s still really good! I promise!)

Milk Bar Corn Cookies
From Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi, David Chang

Ingredients:
16 tbsp. or 2 sticks (225 g) butter*, at room temperature
1½ c. (300 g) sugar
1 egg
1⅓ c. (225 g) flour**
¼ c. (45 g) corn flour***
⅔ c. (65 g) freeze-dried corn powder****
¾ tsp. (3 g) baking powder
¼ tsp. (1.5 g) baking soda
1½ tsp. (6 g) kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Using a 2 3/4-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1⁄3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature–they will not bake properly.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute if not.
  6. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

*European butter is recommended for the higher fat content and its characteristic yellow color.
**King Arthur Bread Flour is recommended for the higher protein content.  However because of the higher protein, you must be careful when adding your flour.  Once the flour is mixed, be careful not to over mix because it will easily form tough cookies.
***Corn flour can be found online or in well stocked supermarkets.   I found mine at Whole Foods.
****You can make your own freeze-dried corn powder by grinding freeze-dried corn in a food processor or blender.  You can find it online or in well stocked supermarkets.  I found mine at Target.