Last week my company had a cookie exchange/competition. Last year I won with chocolate french macarons with salted butter caramel. This year the pressure was on. I decided to keep the holiday theme and make gingerbread macarons. These cookies were so flavorful and delicious. You were left with the spicy ginger and cinnamon flavors lingering around far after you finished a cookie. I stuffed them with a dark chocolate ganache, which complimented the ginger and cinnamon well. Iended up winning the cookie exchange competition again this year thanks to these yummy macarons.
Cook time: 1 hours Serving: Makes 50 Macarons
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp dried ground ginger
1 tsp dried ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried ground cloves
1/4 tsp dried ground nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips ( I used Ghirardhelli dark chocolate chips)
5 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 F
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the powdered sugar, almond meal, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.
3. You want your egg whites to be room temperature. You can do this two ways: 1) Leave out your eggs during the day or overnight 2) Submerge the eggs in lukewarm water for 4-5 minutes, or until they aren’t cool to the touch. I used the water method and it worked great! Next, pour your egg whites into your mixer and mix on medium- low (setting 4 on my Kitchenaid) until it starts to foam. Once it’s foamy, add the cream of tartar. Let this mix for another 30 seconds, and then add 1/4 cup of sugar gradually in a smooth stream over the bowl as it is running. Once you add all the sugar- set that sucker to 10 and let it whip! At about 4 minutes- stop the mixture and check for stiff peaks. If it droops, then keep mixing and check in a minute.
4. Next you are going to sift half of the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture into the bowl with the meringue. You sift twice so that you don’t get lumps or bumpy macarons because you want the meringue to be as smooth as possible.
5. Start folding the dry ingredients into the meringue DO NOT MIX IT, as you will destroy the lovely airiness of the meringue. Take your spatula and fold them bottom of the mixture over the top and then cut through the middle. Repeat
6. Fold until you have incorporated all the dry ingredients and then sift in the other half the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture. Fold that in as well.
7. Now you can either fill a piping bag or freezer bag with the meringue. I used a freezer bag with the corner snipped off and it worked great for me. Cover your baking sheets in parchment paper or a Silpat if you have one. Pipe 3/4 inch circles by piping at a 90 degree angle (straight above) the baking sheet with even pressure and then swirling the tip when you release. I sifted cinnamon powder over the macarons to add a pretty design. Once you piped all your macaron shells, bang the sheet 5 times on the counter and rotate and bang 5 more time.
8. Now let them rest for about 15-30 minutes to form a “skin”. You can tell they are ready when you touch the outside lightly and it doesn’t stick to your finger. They will also look a little shiny too.
9. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time. Place them on the rack at the very top level in your oven and bake for 10 minutes, rotating 180 degrees at 5 minutes. You’ll see the feet starting form if everything went right!
10. Now remove the sheet and let it cool completely. This will help the macarons release easily from the parchment paper or Silpat. Now you can fill them up with whatever filling you choose and enjoy! You can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge, but make sure to let them sit out for 1 hour before eating them. Macarons straight out of the fridge are kind of a weird texture.
11. For the chocolate ganache-place the chocolate chips, heavy cream and vanilla in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and mix. Repeat until its smooth and melted. Wait for it to cool down a little and put into a pipping bag or sandwich bag with the corner cut off. Pipe the filling onto the macarons and enjoy!