Fall Fiesta Macs
with Dulce de Leche
September 15-October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
So long to summer and hello to Hispanic Heritage Month! We are celebrating the change of seasons with a fall fiesta and making macarons with Latino flair and flavors. Living so close to the “South of the Border,” we are trying to learn more about the cultures and cuisines of Central and South America before we move elsewhere again.
Our Mexican-inspired macaron shells are made with chocolate (from the Aztec Nahuatl word xocolātl) and cinnamon* and filled with delicious dulce de leche (literally it is translated in Spanish as “sweet of the milk” or “milk candy” and is popularly known as caramel). These cute cookies can be autumn alternatives (or additions) to cinnamon buns, candy apples, pumpkin pies, spiced ciders and gingerbreads on a harvest table. Make chocolate-cinnamon macarons with dulce de leche filling and have a fabulous fall fiesta during Hispanic Heritage Month!
(Adapted from Macaroons)
For the chocolate-cinnamon macaron shells (Italian meringue method)
- 1 cup almond flour/meal
- 1 cup powdered sugar (we used C&H brand)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (we used Nestle Toll House brand)
- 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar, granulated white (we used C&H brand)
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)
Sift the almond flour/meal with the powdered sugar. Stir in the cocoa powder and cinnamon until well combined. Grind in a food processor in batches to remove any lumps (optional).
Whip the egg whites until peaks form. 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). Pour into the egg whites and whip again until stiff and glossy. Mix in the vanilla.
Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar-cocoa powder-cinnamon mixture and blend until the consistency “flows like magma.” 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 15-20 minutes. Watch the “feet” develop, but be careful not to 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.
Spread dulce de leche (we used Nestle La Lechera brand) as a filling. Refrigerate the macarons to set. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- *In Mexican cuisine, cinnamon is frequently used as a spice to flavor chocolate recipes.
- Our fall fiesta macarons are this month’s MacAttack entry with the theme “Macarons of the Season.” Check out the challenge, hosted by Jamie S. and Deeba R., on their MacTweets blog.