November 21: National Gingerbread Day
Let us shine a spotlight on a spice of the season—ginger—with which we have made a variety of gingerbread recipes, from cookies and cakes to muffins and now macarons. We filled our version of Gingy Macs with basic vanilla buttercream boozed up with cinnamon schnapps! Combined with other condiments, such as nutmeg and cloves, the gingerbread spice blend adds a distinctive fall flavor to these famous French cookies. Gingerbread macarons are our unique take on a blog recipe post for National Gingerbread Day and our monthly entry into the MacAttack challenge.
(Adapted from Tartelette)
For the macarons
- 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
- 1 cup almond flour/meal
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- yellow food coloring (we used Wilton brand lemon yellow gel icing color)
Separate the eggs and age the whites at least the night before. Sift the almond flour/meal with the powdered sugar. If necessary, grind them in a food processor in batches to remove any lumps. Stir in the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Make a simple syrup to stabilize the egg whites by boiling the sugar and water together until it reaches a temperature of 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer (or until it reaches a soft ball stage).
Whip the egg whites until peaks form. Pour the simple syrup into the egg whites while whipping until stiff and glossy. Stir in the dry mixtures and fold until the consistency “flows like magma.” Tint the macaronage with a little yellow food color to create a soft ginger hue.
Fill a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet. Let the discs air dry to develop a thin skin for at least 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Watch the “feet” develop, but be careful not to brown or burn the macarons. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Peel off the macarons from the parchment paper. Sort by size and match pairs. Make the filling.
For the filling
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon schnapps (we used DeKuyper brand Hot Damn Cinnamon Schnapps liqueur)
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with a pinch of salt until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon schnapps. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Thin to a spreadable consistency with water. Fill a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe in the filling and sandwich the macarons together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the filling set. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- These gingerbread macarons were made by using the Italian meringue method because it stabilizes the egg whites better. This technique has given us more reliable results for macarons made in our kitchen.
- The medley of the gingerbread ingredients in these macarons is subtly spicy and sweetly speckled but not overpowering—delicious fall flavors are packed into these tiny treats!
- The cinnamon schnapps gives the filling a slight pink tinge. Use the leftover buttercream as an icing accent for other gingerbread recipes.
- This is our entry into the MacAttack #13 challenge. See our MacAttack page or search our blog for other macaron posts.
- The photo prop is of Gingy from the “Shrek” movie series.