I told you I haven’t been able to stay away from the macarons! I’ve made more macarons this fall/winter than I’ve made in my life. It’s one of those desserts that I tried making a million years ago, then completely forgot about. Somehow. Knowing that they are incredibly finicky, I think I moved on to greener pastures where the desserts don’t mock you when you don’t fold the batter quite enough. Seriously, one fold can make or break them. Not that I am trying to deter or scare you. They are definitely a worthy baking challenge. Because when they are good, damn are they good.
Ever since this summer, when I came across a killer macaron recipe, it piqued my interest again. I made said recipe this summer and it was ahmazzing. Unfortunately, I did not get to photograph those macarons, so those will have to be a dessert shared at a later date when strawberries are back in season. But anyway, that recipe sort of opened the door again. I stuck my toe through the door this summer, got a feel for the water, then this fall, I decided to open the door all the way and run through it. I haven’t looked back.
Now that we’ve established all those metaphors, let’s talk about this actual recipe. Since I don’t think I’ve shared any gingerbread recipes this December (eeek!), I thought it was probably overdue. (How did I manage to not share any!?) This macaron shell is my new favorite method, as seen below. The filling however, is gingerbread to the max. You’ve got molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. Yes, yes, yes! Oh, and since I love me a creamy filling, it has to have cream cheese with a touch of butter. That’s just how I roll. You need it, you want it. Go and try your hand at macarons! If you click on the recipe source at the bottom of the page, you will find a better description of how to really tell when the macaron batter is ready.
⟶ You’’ll find the ingredients are only listed in measurements. To ensure the best possible outcome, measuring your ingredients with a kitchen scale is paramount.
⟶ Be sure that your whisk and mixing bowl are completely clean and grease free, whereas it can potentially ruin your macarons
⟶ Yes, you need to sift your ingredients.
Recipe adapted from Pies & Tacos
For the shells
- 105 grams almond flour
- 105 grams confectioners’ sugar
- 100 grams egg whites
- 100 grams granulated sugar
For the gingerbread frosting
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 3 oz. full fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Have ready a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and 2 baking sheets lined with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. Ready your stand mixer with a clean bowl and the whisk attachment.
- In a medium mixing bowl, measure and sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together. Set aside.
- Create a double boiler by having ready a heatproof bowl that will fit in a small pot of water without touching the water. Bring water to a simmer in pot. In the bowl, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar. Place the bowl over the barely simmering water and whisk constantly. Continue whisking until the sugar has melted and the eggs are frothy white, 4-5 minutes. You can test if this by rubbing a little bit of the mixture between your fingers. If it still feels gritty, then the sugar hasn’t melted yet and needs to cook a little more.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared stand mixer bowl. Turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and mix for 30 seconds. Gradually increase the speed and mix the egg whites until they are glossy white and form stiff peaks, 5-10 minutes
- Pour the sifted dry ingredients into the meringue. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the meringue with a rubber spatula until no dry streaks remain, and the mixture runs smoothly off of your spatula.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared piping bag. Pipe the mixture on the prepared baking sheets by holding the bag at a 90º angle, and apply pressure on the bag for about 3 seconds, until a small circle has formed. Twist the bag and pull the bag up quickly. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
- Gently bang the baking sheets on the counter to release any air bubbles. Use a toothpick to pop any pesky air bubbles. Let the shells sit at room temperature for 20-40 minutes, to allow the shells to dry and slightly harden.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Place one baking sheet in the preheated oven, in the center and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating half way through. Remove from the oven and bake the other tray. Let the shells cool completely before removing from the pan.
- While the shells cool, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the confectioners’ sugar, then mix in the molasses, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until combined and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- To assemble, match the shells by size. Pipe a boarder a round of frosting on one half of the sandwiches. Gently sandwich the macarons together, pressing gently to hold. Serve!
- The assembled macarons will last for about 24 hours in the refrigerator. Otherwise, store in the fridge, unassembled, assembling before serving.