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Making Mini Macarons with Two Tarts' Elizabeth Beekley

Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.

[Roth, 5/19/11]

Elizabeth Beekley, of NW 23rd's Two Tarts Bakery, thinks small — favoring pint-sized cookies rather than sugary concoctions the size of your head. Eater hung out in the kitchen as Beekley whipped up a batch of her mini basil macarons: Instead of using almond meal (as per the traditional preparation), Beekley pulverizes powdered sugar and almonds for a more "rustic" texture, then folds the dry mix into a meringue of egg whites, sugar, salt, and fresh basil. The little cookies are then sandwiched around honey buttercream filling. And despite creating hundreds of little cookies each day, Two Tart's kitchen generates very little trash: All kitchen waste and packaging is fully compostable, and Beekley's mostly organic ingredients, from no-till flour to dairy products to seasonal fruits, come from carefully-vetted local farmers. Pretty sweet.
· Two Tarts Bakery [Official site]
· All Previous Chef in the Kitchen Coverage [Eater PDX]