Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling


 
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese
Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese

Hi hi! I am back sharing another recipe with my friends at Domino® Sugar today with these Golden Sugar Macarons with a Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling! These guys have a sweet, warming cream cheese filling, and the shells are sprinkled with extra Golden Sugar to give them a little extra sparkle and crunch on the outside of the shells. If you’ve been following along at home, (and by at home I mean on Instagram), I recently got a new oven, which has been a game changer for multiple reasons, the main one being that I can now see into the oven (!!), but another massive perk from my shiny new friend is that I can bake two trays of macarons at once! Very, very exciting.

I’ve been playing around with Domino® Golden Sugar in my kitchen for the last few weeks, and I’ve been loving how it performs. If you haven’t tried new Domino® Golden Sugar yet, it is a less processed alternative to white sugar that still works cup for cup in baking! It has the most beautiful golden colour, and a slight molasses hint in the flavouring. I’ve thrown it at a lot of things recently, including a couple of recipes which can be a little finicky, and they have come out amazingly! I started with these Salted Caramel Cream Puffs, but this week I put it to the ultimate test, with one of the more finicky recipes I know - French Macarons.

Macarons are known to be tricky wee things - make one change and the whole batch can turn wonky on you, so I figured that this would be a great test for the Golden Sugar, and it performed perfectly! The Golden Sugar gave the macaron shells a super pretty golden hue, and I sprinkled a little extra sugar on the top - the slightly coarser texture of cane sugar is perfect for giving the shells a sparkly finish. I just also love anything sugar coated.

I kept things pretty simple filling wise and went with one of my faves - a cream cheese buttercream. I added a teeny hint of cardamom just to give it a little warmth, and some vanilla bean, because that goes into everything I make. You can absolutely leave out the cardamom, but I loved how it tasted against the slightly tangy cream cheese and sweet crunchy shells.

A few wee tips:

  • All of my best macaron tips (there’s loads of them - I add to the doc every time I discover a new one) are in this post

  • You may be able to bake two sheets of macs at once - depending on your oven. My old one wouldn’t let me, but I just got a new oven and I did two trays at once no worries - just make sure you rotate them half way through. If you bake two, make sure you you use a spare sheet pan under each.

  • You can fill these with anything that you like! The Domino® Golden Sugar shells are essentially just ‘plain’ vanilla bean shells, so they would be perfect for pairing with almost any filling.

 

 

Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling

- Makes about 24 -

Golden Sugar Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
160g Domino® Golden Sugar
Extra Domino® Golden Sugar for sprinkling on the shells

Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
170g cream cheese, cold
340g powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cardamom

 

- PROCESS -

GOLDEN SUGAR MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the vanilla bean paste. Gradually add the Domino® Golden Sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little flick of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. 

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth. Sprinkle the tops of the macarons with the Domino® Golden Sugar.

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Depending on your oven you may be able to bake two sheets of macarons at once, but start with one first and see how you go.

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. If you are baking two sheets at once, switch over the top and bottom sheets half way through. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

CARDAMOM CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese on high until pale and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add powdered sugar, and mix on low to combine. Turn the mixer to high and beat for another 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean paste, salt, and cardamom, and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides and mix again briefly to ensure the mixture is even.

ASSEMBLY

Transfer Cardamom cream cheese frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large french star tip (such as an ateco #866). Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size. Pipe a circle of buttercream on one half, and then sandwich with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Golden Sugar Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling. These French macarons are made with golden sugar, sprinkled with the sugar to give them a sparkly top, and filled with a smooth cardamom cream cheese filling. These are an easy gluten free treat, and this is a great go-to macaron recipe, filled with tips and tricks to help you master french macarons! #frenchmacarons #goldensugar #cardamomcreamcheese

Thank you so much to Domino Sugar for Sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Rainbow Macarons (Vanilla Bean Macarons with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream)


 
Rainbow macarons for pride - vanilla bean French macaron shells are filled with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, which is tinted the colours of the rainbow and piped around the shell. These are the perfect rainbow macaron for any occasion! #pride #Frenchmacarons #glutenfree #rainbowmacarons
Rainbow macarons for pride - vanilla bean French macaron shells are filled with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, which is tinted the colours of the rainbow and piped around the shell. These are the perfect rainbow macaron for any occasion! #pride #Frenchmacarons #glutenfree #rainbowmacarons
Rainbow macarons for pride - vanilla bean French macaron shells are filled with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, which is tinted the colours of the rainbow and piped around the shell. These are the perfect rainbow macaron for any occasion! #pride #Frenchmacarons #glutenfree #rainbowmacarons
Rainbow macarons for pride - vanilla bean French macaron shells are filled with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, which is tinted the colours of the rainbow and piped around the shell. These are the perfect rainbow macaron for any occasion! #pride #Frenchmacarons #glutenfree #rainbowmacarons
Rainbow macarons for pride - vanilla bean French macaron shells are filled with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, which is tinted the colours of the rainbow and piped around the shell. These are the perfect rainbow macaron for any occasion! #pride #Frenchmacarons #glutenfree #rainbowmacarons

Happy Saturday and Happy Pride! We are celebrating with these Rainbow French Macarons - basically our ultimate go to, a vanilla bean french macaron shell with a vanilla bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This year is 50 years since the riots at Stonewall Inn - i’ve found myself in many a rabbit hole reading about how rights have changed throughout the world. While there’s still so far to go, especially with some people’s views (we see you), on the whole the world has come a long way. I am so proud to have so many of my good friends a part of the LGBTQ community, and will forever be an ally - I’m here, standing in all the corners, standing up for all of the rights! Jase has written some more words here which I think sums it up so well! He and his husband are doing some amazing work bringing important issues through their work in #whyIdidntreport it and Pride Train - I’m so proud to be able to call so many amazing humans my good friends.

We certainly weren’t going to let pride go past without a rainbow macaron happening! We riffed on our fave - the basic macaron shell with a vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream. We divided the buttercream into seven - keeping some white for the middles, and then colouring the rest the colours of the rainbow, and piping them into the shells. I love how they turned out - such a fun and colourful riff on a classic!

A few wee tips:

  • All my macaron tips are here!

  • Because Swiss meringue buttercream has so much fat in it from the butter, it can be hard to get the colour to really take. To combat this we coloured the buttercream, then left it to sit overnight, which helped lots to brighten up the colour. My friend Chelsea says if you whip the shit out of it in your mixer after you add the colour that works well too - but I haven’t tried that out yet!

  • It’s hot here and pretty humid, which may affect drying time for your macs - just keep an eye on them!

  • Be careful when you are choosing sprinkles to use - if they are solid sugar or chocolate balls, they may get hot and melt through the shells. Go for small balls and baubles in your sprinkles mix if you can!

 

 

Rainbow Macarons

- Makes about 24 Macarons -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Sprinkles to finish (we used white non pareils)

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1/2 cup (123g) egg whites, or 4 large egg whites
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
455g (16oz, or four sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Gel Food Colour as desired
 

- PROCESS -

MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly.  Sprinkle the shells with sprinkles of your choice.

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth. 

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

 

VANILLA BEAN SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air.

Divide the buttercream into seven, and colour six of the portions with your desired gel food colour. Transfer to piping bags fitted with various small french star and round piping tips.

ASSEMBLY

Pair up each macaron shell with another of an equal size. Pipe a round of white buttercream on one half of the shell, then place the second shell carefully on top. Using the coloured buttercream, pipe blobs of buttercream around the edge of the macarons, so the blobs face outward (as opposed to these where we piped the blobs directly onto the shells and then topped with a second shell). Repeat with the rest of the macarons. Macarons are best chilled overnight to allow the flavours to meld, but can also be eaten immediately. 

Rainbow macarons for pride - vanilla bean French macaron shells are filled with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, which is tinted the colours of the rainbow and piped around the shell. These are the perfect rainbow macaron for any occasion! #pride #Frenchmacarons #glutenfree #rainbowmacarons

The Ultimate Christmas Macaron Box


 
The Ultimate Christmas Macaron box - a cute, gluten free twist on the traditional cookie box. This cookie box is filled with the flavours of christmas - Candy Cane, Eggnog, Christmasfetti, Gingerbread, and cranberry. Each macaron is filled with a delicious complementary filling - ranging from american buttercream to German buttercream. This macaron box would make the perfect homemade gift. Grab the recipes now!
The Ultimate Christmas Macaron box - a cute, gluten free twist on the traditional cookie box. This cookie box is filled with the flavours of christmas - Candy Cane, Eggnog, Christmasfetti, Gingerbread, and cranberry. Each macaron is filled with a delicious complementary filling - ranging from american buttercream to German buttercream. This macaron box would make the perfect homemade gift. Grab the recipes now!
The Ultimate Christmas Macaron box - a cute, gluten free twist on the traditional cookie box. This cookie box is filled with the flavours of christmas - Candy Cane, Eggnog, Christmasfetti, Gingerbread, and cranberry. Each macaron is filled with a delicious complementary filling - ranging from american buttercream to German buttercream. This macaron box would make the perfect homemade gift. Grab the recipes now!
The Ultimate Christmas Macaron box - a cute, gluten free twist on the traditional cookie box. This cookie box is filled with the flavours of christmas - Candy Cane, Eggnog, Christmasfetti, Gingerbread, and cranberry. Each macaron is filled with a delicious complementary filling - ranging from american buttercream to German buttercream. This macaron box would make the perfect homemade gift. Grab the recipes now!
The Ultimate Christmas Macaron box - a cute, gluten free twist on the traditional cookie box. This cookie box is filled with the flavours of christmas - Candy Cane, Eggnog, Christmasfetti, Gingerbread, and cranberry. Each macaron is filled with a delicious complementary filling - ranging from american buttercream to German buttercream. This macaron box would make the perfect homemade gift. Grab the recipes now!
The Ultimate Christmas Macaron box - a cute, gluten free twist on the traditional cookie box. This cookie box is filled with the flavours of christmas - Candy Cane, Eggnog, Christmasfetti, Gingerbread, and cranberry. Each macaron is filled with a delicious complementary filling - ranging from american buttercream to German buttercream. This macaron box would make the perfect homemade gift. Grab the recipes now!

We had to sneak in just one more cookie box before Christmas. And it just had to be a macaron box. Jase and I have been making macarons once a month to really nail them down, and we’ve been talking about making a macaron box for Christmas for the longest time. We made this one over the course of two days, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

We wanted to capture as many flavours of Christmas as we could, and I think we managed to encompass almost all of them. I found this a little easier to make than a standard cookie box, maybe because we were just repeating the same process over and over to create the shells, varying the colouring and finishes, and then just had to worry about making the fillings, rather than thinking about all kinds of different batches of cookies as with the cookie boxes. Macaron boxes like this would make the most amazing gift, particularly if you are baking for someone who is gluten free - and if you’re like me and have still done next to no Christmas shopping, a homemade gift such as a cookie box would be so perfect! Each batch of macarons makes about 24-30, so you could make 5-6 cookie boxes if you made all the flavours. You can also mix it up and add them to a treat box - there are two I have made here and here.

Here’s what we ended up with:

  • Candy Cane Macarons - Vanilla bean shell with peppermint Swiss meringue buttercream

  • Eggnog Macaron - Nutmeg dusted shell with an Eggnog German buttercream

  • Christmasfetti - Vanilla bean shell with Vanilla bean American buttercream and sprinkles

  • Gingerbread - Vanilla bean shell with Gingerbread German buttercream

  • Sugared Cranberry - Vanilla bean shell with Mascarpone frosting and Cranberry Jam

A few wee tips:

  • I have added the base recipe we use for the shells down below, then at the end I have put the variations in food colouring or finishing that we did to make each shell ‘flavour’ (they are all vanilla bean flavour). The filling recipes and assembly instructions will be underneath the shell recipe.

  • Everything I have learnt along the way about making macarons is in the notes of this post - I update it whenever I have something to add. I suggest giving it a good read through before you start if you are new to macs!

  • I used this box to make this cookie box - Rich cut me little dividers on the laser cutter, but the craft wood is soft enough that you can use a craft knife and a ruler. I then just taped the dividers in.

  • We made all the shells on one day, and the pastry cream for the German buttercreams (eggnog and gingerbread), and then the following day made the remainder of the fillings, filled the macarons, and filled and shot the box. If you break up your workload, and prep your ingredients before you start (having enough sheet pans is important), it isn’t too much work!

  • In terms of work flow, we were able to start the next batch of shells soon after piping out the previous ones. Like I mentioned before, this only works if you have lots of sheet pans!

  • If you are making something like this and you don’t want to make loads of batches of shells, you can split the batter is mixed - for example we split a batch and piped some plain and dusted with nutmeg for the eggnog flavour, then piped some through a piping bag painted with food colouring for the peppermint. We kept the shells all the same flavour for convenience.

  • If you are colouring one batch of batter two different colours, mix it part of the way, then split the batter into separate bowls (half a batch of batter weighs 420g), then add the gel food colouring and finish the mixing process.

  • Store the macaron shells in an airtight container until you are ready to use.

  • Enjoy! If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to pop them here and I will answer any I can! Merry Christmas x

 

 

Vanilla Bean Macarons

- Makes about 30 Macarons -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

 

- PROCESS -

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add gel food colouring, if using, a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. 

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth.

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

-FLAVOUR / COLOUR VARIATIONS -

  • For Candy Cane shells, paint the inside of the piping bag with four stripes of red gel food colouring. I found you need quite a long brush to avoid making a mess, so taped mine onto a chopstick first. Fill with Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe follows).

  • For Eggnog shells - Dust with nutmeg after piping. Fill with Eggnog German Buttercream (recipe follows).

  • For Christmasfetti shells - Colour the batter green (we used forest green by americolor), and sprinkle with Christmas Sprinkles. Fill with American Buttercream (recipe follows).

  • For Gingerbread Shells - colour the batter brown (we use chocolate brown by americolour). Fill with Gingerbread German Buttercream (recipe follows).

  • For Sugared Cranberry Shells - Colour the batter red (we used Super red by americolor), then dust the shells with edible glitter and white sanding sugar after piping. Fill with Cranberry jam and Mascarpone frosting (recipe follows).

 

 

Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

60g egg whites
100g granulated sugar
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Red gel food colouring to Paint bag.

- PROCESS -

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract, and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Fit a piping bag with a closed star tip, and paint four stripes of red food colouring on the inside of the bag. Fill with the buttercream.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a round of buttercream on one half of each pair. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Eggnog German Buttercream

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

110g sugar
12g (1 1/2 Tbsp) cornstarch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
190g eggnog
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
340g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

- PROCESS -

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then whisk in the egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium saucepan, heat the eggnog and vanilla to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath. Stir frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Store in an airtight container until ready to use, or if using immediately, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a round of buttercream on one half of each pair. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Vanilla Bean American Buttercream (for Christmasfetti Macarons)

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
500g (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbsp whole milk, as needed
Green gel food colouring (we used Forest green by Americolor)
Additional Sprinkles (optional)

- PROCESS -

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, vanilla bean paste and salt until pale and creamy. Sift in the powdered sugar, and mix on medium speed until well combined. If needed, add milk a tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is light and fluffy, and a pipeable consistency. Add gel food colouring until the desired colour is reached. Transfer to a bag fitted with a large french star tip (I used an ateco #866).

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a round of buttercream on one half of each pair. Sprinkle with additional Sprinkles. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Gingerbread German Buttercream

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -

110g dark brown sugar
12g (1 1/2 Tbsp) cornstarch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
190g whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
15g unsulphured Molasses (treacle if you are in NZ)
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
340g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

- PROCESS -

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then whisk in the egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Heat to to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath. Stir frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Store in an airtight container until ready to use, or if using immediately, transfer to a piping bag fitted with small french star tip.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe small buttercream blobs on one half. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Cranberry jam and Mascarpone Frosting

- Makes enough to fill 30 Macarons -


Cranberry Jam
230g fresh cranberries 
170g apple cider or water (If you are in NZ, apple cider is reduced apple juice, NOT the vinegar)
100g white sugar 
1 medium lemon, juice + zest 

Mascarpone Frosting
225g Mascarpone, at room temperature
55g cream cheese, at room temperature
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
25g powdered sugar

- PROCESS -

CRANBERRY JAM

Place the cranberries, apple cider, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is boiling. Boil for 13-18 minutes, stirring often, until the cranberries have burst.

Transfer the mixture to a high speed blender, or blend with a stick blender, until smooth, approximately one minute.

Return the mixture to the saucepan, add the lemon juice zest, and cook over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and cool in the saucepan for 20 minutes, before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating until completely chilled. The mixture will thicken as it cools. When you are ready to assemble, transfer to a piping bag and snip a small piece of the end off.

MASCARPONE FROSTING

Place the mascarpone, cream cheese, salt and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until well combined and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix well to incorporate. Add about 2 tsp of the cranberry jam, and mix to combine. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a circle of buttercream on one half of each pair. Pipe a small blob of cranberry jam in the centre. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

The Ultimate Christmas Macaron box - a cute, gluten free twist on the traditional cookie box. This cookie box is filled with the flavours of christmas - Candy Cane, Eggnog, Christmasfetti, Gingerbread, and cranberry. Each macaron is filled with a delicious complementary filling - ranging from american buttercream to German buttercream. This macaron box would make the perfect homemade gift. Grab the recipes now!