Snack Food Goes Gourmet: Macarons With Cheetos, Cool Ranch Doritos Sandwich

PHOTO: Cheesy orange poofs meet macarons in this spin on the classic French dessert.
Alyssa Ringler for Tasting Table

Snack food favorites have made their way into established restaurants, resulting in mash-up dishes that appeal to both the sophisticate and the college kid. Think French macarons with Cheetos and a chicken salad sandwich with Cool Ranch Doritos.

Kalisa Martin, director of TastingTable.com, a daily free email newsletter catering to adventurous eaters, appeared on "Good Morning America" today with four recipes that creatively incorporate your favorite snack foods. All the recipes, adapted by Tasting Table, have a surpising and delicious snack food twist.

PHOTO: Cheesy orange poofs meet macarons in this spin on the classic French dessert.
Alyssa Ringler for Tasting Table
Cheetos Macarons

Cheesy orange poofs meet macarons for a snacky spin on the classic French dessert. Who knew white chocolate and cheetos worked together?

Yield: About 3 dozen macarons
Cook Time: 25 minutes (plus 1 day and 3 hours for the ganache and macarons to set)
Ingredients:
For the Cheetos Ganache:
2 ounces Cheetos Puffs (about 30 puffs)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup roughly chopped white chocolate
For the Macaron Cookie:
1½ cups confectioners sugar
1¾ cups almond flour
4 large egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
Directions:
1. Make the Cheetos ganache: In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, add the Cheetos® Puffs and the heavy cream. Bring the liquid to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 1 hour. Strain the Cheetos-cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing on the mixture with the back of a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.
2. Add 1 inch of water to a medium saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. To a medium heat-safe bowl, add the white chocolate. Set the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, add the Cheetos®-infused cream and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the ganache is thick, at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Make the macaron cookies: Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 320°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and the almond flour.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and the sugar and beat the egg whites on low speed until they are frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the meringue thickens and becomes opaque, about 2 minutes more. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the meringue is thick and fluffy and medium-stiff peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Use a rubber spatula to fold the beaten egg whites into the almond-flour mixture one-third at a time, folding the mixture together until no white streaks remain. Transfer the macaron batter to a piping bag fit with a ½-inch round tip. Onto the 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe the meringue into 1¾-inch circles set about ¾ inch apart. Firmly tap the baking sheets on the counter twice to remove air bubbles from the macarons. Let the piped meringues dry slightly at room temperature until a thin skin forms on the surface, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the trays to the oven and bake, rotating the sheet pans from top rack to bottom rack and vice versa midway through cooking, until the macarons are set and hard and can be easily removed from the parchment paper, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the macarons from the oven and cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper.
6. Flip half of the meringues over so the flat side faces up and pipe about 1 teaspoon of the filling onto each. Top each of these halves with the other half of the macarons and return to a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover the macarons with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

This recipe is adapted by Tasting Table from Christina Ha, Macaron Parlour, New York City.

PHOTO: Cool Ranch Doritos are hidden inside this chicken salad sandwich
Alyssa Ringler for Tasting Table
Cool Ranch Chicken Salad Sandwich

Cool Ranch Doritos are hidden inside this chicken salad sandwich, providing crunch and that taste chip lovers crave.

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Ingredients:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ranch dressing powder (such as Hidden Valley® Ranch Dressing)
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (preferably breast meat; rotisserie chicken works nicely)
8 thin slices sourdough bread
4 large slices Pepper Jack cheese
1 small avocado, halved, pitted and smashed into a smooth paste
8 small iceberg lettuce leaves
1 cup Cool Ranch Doritos®, plus more for serving
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, ranch dressing powder and lemon juice and stir together until combined. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the ranch mixture.
2. Preheat the broiler to high. Place the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes (watch the bread closely, as broiler intensities vary). Remove 4 slices from the baking sheet and set aside. Turn the remaining 4 slices of bread over so that the crisp, golden side faces down. Top each bread slice with 1 piece of cheese and return to under the broiler until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes (watch the cheese closely, as broiler intensities vary). Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
3. Divide the mashed avocado over the untoasted side of the 4 non-cheesy bread slices. Top each of the bread slices with the chicken salad and 2 lettuce leaves placed cupped side up. Add ¼ cup Cool Ranch Doritos® to each of the 4 uppermost lettuce cups. Top each bread slice with a cheesy bread slice, slice on a bias, and serve with more Cool Ranch Doritos® on the side.

This recipe is adapted by Tasting Table from Ryan Scott, Market & Rye, San Francisco.

PHOTO: This elegant recipe for Chex Party Mix is cooked in duck fat.
Alyssa Ringler for Tasting Table
Duck-Fat Chex® Mix

This elegant recipe for Chex Party Mix is cooked in duck fat.

Yield: 8 servings
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) rendered duck fat, melted
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons smoked salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
3 cups Corn Chex®
3 cups Rice Chex®
1½ cups Wheat Chex®
1 cup small pretzels
3 fresh thyme sprigs
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 250°. In a medium bowl, add the melted duck fat, Worcestershire, smoked salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne and stir to combine.
2. To a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, add the Corn Chex®, Rice Chex®, Wheat Chex®, pretzels and thyme sprigs. Drizzle the duck fat-spice mixture over the top and use a rubber spatula to toss and coat the Chex® evenly. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the Chex® mix is toasted and fragrant, about 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and serve warm. (Cooled Chex® mix can be rewarmed in a 250° oven until warmed through, about 7 minutes.)

This recipe is adapted by Tasting Table from Jake Godby, Humphry Slocombe/Truck Stop, San Francisco.

PHOTO: Ramen noodle soup is turned into a culinary success with mini pork meatballs
Alyssa Ringler for Tasting Table
Mama Ramen Shrimp Soup with Mini Pork Meatballs

Ramen noodle soup is turned into a culinary success with mini pork meatballs and inventive seasoning.

Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
6 ounces ground pork
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon fish sauce, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
4 packages shrimp-flavored ramen noodle soup (preferablyMama brand), seasoning packet reserved
5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chile powder
1 bunch yu choy or Chinese mustard greens, coarsely chopped
12 extra-large 16/20-count shell-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, add the ground pork, garlic, ½ teaspoon of the fish sauce and the black pepper. Mix just until combined, then portion the mixture into ¾-inch meatballs. Place the meatballs on a plate and refrigerate. 2. Fill a large, shallow saucepan with enough water to reach 3 inches up the sides of the pan. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and carefully tip the egg into the boiling water. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs. Use a spoon to baste the eggs, cooking until the whites are set, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer the eggs, one at a time, to a paper-towel-lined plate.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the ramen noodle bricks and cook until the noodles are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the noodles in a colander.
4. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, add the chicken broth, tamarind paste, sugar, chile powder, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the ramen seasoning mix, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the yu choy, shrimp and the chilled pork meatballs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the yu choy is tender and the shrimp and pork meatballs are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Divide the cooked ramen noodles among 4 bowls. Use tongs to top each bowl of ramen with a few shrimp and plenty of meatballs. Divide the broth mixture evenly over each serving, then top with a poached egg. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted by Tasting Table from Andy Ricker, Ping, Portland, OR.

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