#MadGeniusLive: Vintage Baking

On today's #MadGeniusLive, Jessie Sheehan Bakes joins us to make her vintage-inspired cornflake macarons. Drop your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer! Join us every Thursday at 11:30 AM ET for genius ideas in food, entertaining, travel and more. And if you make any of the recipes, show us by tagging your Instagram photos with #MadGeniusLive! We might feature on next week's episode.

Posted by Food & Wine on Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cookbook author Jessie Sheehan was inspired by a macaroon recipe from 1945.

Nina Friend
May 17, 2018

Corn Flakes might seem like an unassuming box of cereal in the grocery aisle, but this staple has proven to be a favorite of some of the most renowned pastry chefs in the world — from Jacques Torres to Christina Tosi. Those light but crunchy flakes add the perfect texture to all kinds of confections, and they even work well in savory applications too, like this Cornflake Oven-Fried Chicken from our very own Justin Chapple, featured in his new cookbook, Just Cook It! 

On this week’s episode of Mad Genius Live, recipe tester and cookbook author Jessie Sheehan came by the Food & Wine Test Kitchen to make her Cornflake Macaroons with Chocolate Drizzle. The recipe comes from Sheehan’s newest book, The Vintage Baker: More Than 50 Recipes from Butterscotch Pecan Curls to Sour Cream Jumbles

As the title suggests, the cookbook is filled with old-style baked goods. Sheehan collects vintage recipe booklets, so she tweaked and modernized her favorites, adapting them for the 2018 home baker. The cornflake macaroonsnot to be confused with French macarons — were inspired by a 1945 booklet titled 55 Recipes for Hershey’s Syrup. While the original recipe didn’t call for salt, Sheehan adds table salt to the batter and then sprinkles flaky sea salt on top of the finished cookies, right when they come out of the oven (to make sure the salt sticks).

After the salt sprinkle comes the chocolate drizzle, and Sheehan shared two Mad Genius Tips to help ensure piping perfection: 

  1. Use the resealable plastic bag trick. Place an opened bag inside of a glass. Pour the chocolate inside so that you don’t have to simultaneously hold and fill the bag. Snip the corner off with a scissor so that there’s a small opening for the chocolate to be squeezed out. 
     
  2. Keep your hand moving. When Sheehan noticed that her piping was coming out curled, she did some research and figured out that stopping your hand movement in the midst of piping can result in squiggles, whereas keeping your hand moving the entire time leads to cleaner lines.

No matter how the chocolate pipes out, however, these soft coconut cookies are the ultimate after-dinner treat. But we’re going to venture off and say they’d make for a pretty sweet breakfast, too.

Buy Sheehan's new cookbook here.