November 24, 2014

Gingerbread Macarons




It's starting to get cold here, which can only mean one thing: winter!
I'm a real winter lover. It is one of my most favorite seasons for many reasons. First, snow. I get almost too excited at the sight of it. I love how it coats everything and when it falls so gently. As well as how the Christmas lights reflect off of it at night. It just really gets me in the holiday mood. And of course winter also means Christmas!
There's no denying that there's a scent to Christmas. Don't call me crazy, I know you can imagine smelling it now...
The smokiness of the fire place. The freshly cut Christmas tree branches. And how could I forget the aroma of the many foods? Pecan pie, turkey, eggnog, and most of all, gingerbread cookies.

I wanted to incorporate the taste of gingerbread into something else, to give it a new twist. So I thought, why not macarons! You guys seem to love when I post these guys, so I see to your demands. :)

Gingerbread Macarons

Shells

100g                     ground almonds
100g                      egg whites
200g                     icing sugar
4 tbsp                   granulated sugar
1 tbsp                   cinnamon (optional)
2-3 drops              brown food colouring (optional)

Grind the almonds in a food processor, sift the almonds and dispose of any large lumps. Measure them out again and add more if needed to acquire the 100g amount. Sift in the icing sugar and stir together.
In a large bowl whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar a little at a time to form hard peaks. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without any falling out. But don't whip too much or the shells will be hollow. Dump 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg whites and fold. Add the next 1/3 folding well and scraping down the sides. Add the last bit of the dry ingredients and incorporate until the batter drips off the spatula to form ribbons, but it's also not too runny. When dropped from a spoon, it should take 15-20 seconds to flatten out. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe the batter onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Don't pipe too big 1" is enough. Let your cookies sit for a hour so they develop a dry skin, when you touch it, your finger should not stick. This will help form the "feet". Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, bake for 8-10 minutes in the middle rack of the oven. You can test by touching the sides, if they wobble they are not done. Let the shells cool completely.


Gingerbread Icing

1/2 cup                    butter
2 tbsp                      molasses
1/4 tsp                     ginger
1/4 tsp                     nutmeg
1/2 tsp                     cinnamon
1 1/2 cups                icing sugar
1/2 tbsp                   milk

In a medium bowl, beat the butter together with the molasses. Add the spices and continue beating. Add the icing sugar and beat, scraping down the sides. Lastly add the milk and mix. Transfer the icing into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe icing onto the backs of half the cooled cookies. Place another shell on top and press gently. Store in an air tight container in the fridge. Enjoy!


I hope you guys are having an excellent November and preparing for the Christmas rush! I wish you good luck on your shopping and getting things done in time for the holidays.

Elanne Boake

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