Say “Joyeux Noël!” with French Macarons

Is Christmas really this week? Wow. This year is really the first year I haven’t had much of a chance to enjoy the holidays, sad, huh? It’s just been so busy here at work and with everything else that I haven’t had much of a chance to catch my breath! But! I did get to do some fun macaron baking last week for all my friends and co-workers here at Hoffman. The Salted Caramels turned out a biiiiiiit crunchy but overall still pretty yummy, and I hear the cinnamon with eggnog filling were quite a hit.

I packaged them up in a glassine bag a tied them with packing twine and some cute labels that my husband made for me. The craft punch to make the scalloped circles is from the craft store.

Cinnamon Macarons with Eggnog Filling

3 egg whites that have either sat out for about 12 hours, or zapped in the microwave for 10 seconds, then 5 seconds
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup ground almonds*
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

*I start off with whole or slivered almonds and pulse 1/2 a cup at a time till they are as ground as I can get them, before too much of the moisture is released. Remember, moisture=bad for your macs. Then, I throw in half of the powdered sugar and continue to grind, because this will help soak up the moisture from the almonds and also get them ground up some more. It’s pretty genius, I have to admit.

Combine almonds, powdered sugar, and cinnamon in food processor and pulse till almonds are a powdered.

Whip the egg whites on high till they are foamy, then add in the granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time. Whip till glossy.

With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe small circles onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Let them sit out for about 20 minutes till they achieve shells, and then pop them into a 375F oven for approximately 14 minutes. Check for doneness after 12. How do you know they’re done? They’ll look cute and the pieds (cute feet characteristic of a macaron) will look slightly underdone.

Allow to cool for a few minutes and transfer them to another baking sheet and fill with Eggnog buttercream.

Eggnog Buttercream:
3/4 cup (more or less to taste) eggnog
2 cups (more or less to desired consistency) of your favorite buttercream (I used Swiss Meringue)

Mix together!

Salted Caramel French Macarons

3 egg whites that have either sat out for about 12 hours, or zapped in the microwave for 10 seconds, then 5 seconds
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup ground almonds*
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

*I start off with whole or slivered almonds and pulse 1/2 a cup at a time till they are as ground as I can get them, before too much of the moisture is released. Remember, moisture=bad for your macs. Then, I throw in half of the powdered sugar and continue to grind, because this will help soak up the moisture from the almonds and also get them ground up some more. It’s pretty genius, I have to admit.

Combine almonds and powdered sugar in food processor and pulse till almonds are a powdered.

Whip the egg whites on high till they are foamy, then add in the granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time. Whip till glossy.

With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe small circles onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Let them sit out for about 20 minutes till they achieve shells, and then pop them into a 375F oven for approximately 14 minutes. Check for doneness after 12. How do you know they’re done? They’ll look cute and the pieds (cute feet characteristic of a macaron) will look slightly underdone.

Allow to cool for a few minutes and transfer them to another baking sheet and fill with Eggnog buttercream.

Caramel Buttercream:
1/3 cup (more or less to taste) store-bought caramel ice cream topping
2 cups (more or less to desired consistency) of your favorite buttercream (I used Swiss Meringue)
2 tablespoons (more or less to taste) coarse Kosher salt or course sea salt (I prefer sea salt)

Mix caramel and buttercream together and pipe onto half of the macs. Sprinke with salt and then top with the other half of the macs. Remember that a little bit of salt goes a long way, so you’ll have to do some taste-testing 🙂

I also sprinkled some salt on top of the macarons and found that it actually stuck pretty good.

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