Candy Cane Macarons & Eggnog Macarons

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Candy Cane Macarons

I really do love get togethers, dinners for four or soirees for ten. If there is a story to be told or a moment to be shared, I am there to hear it. In a large family like mine, that is a pretty regular occurence. In his, not so much. I am sure his parents would think we're all crazy and way too loud in mine. When Christmas season rolls around and as we get all busy with family, I start missing mine terribly. Even the crazies.

In those instances, I turn to the familiar sound of a friend's voice or the well-known steps of a favorite recipe and most often we end up with a fresh batch of cookies. Since Thanksgiving, we've been all over these Candy Cane Macarons and Eggnog Macarons as we get into the holiday spirit.

Eggnog Macarons

Last October, Brooke asked me to be part of Trick Or Treat and while I brought Toffee Crabapples to the party, I also left with tons of ideas for next year's Halloween. Last month she asked if anyone would be interested in following the Trick or Treat success with a Christmas Cookie Exchange and I said "sure...", figuring it would be the perfect way to discover new and great recipes to add to my Christmas boxes.

See, we have stopped buying gifts for family and friends about eight year ago and instead, comes Christmas day, we give each family a large hat box filled with nothing but homemade goodies. It's pretty much all the things I have baked, cooked or prepared along the year and that made it to my Top 20. Yeah, I like to think I am hip. I have a Top 20. It can be anything from flavored syrups and sugars, to spice rubs, cookies, cakes, candies, etc...

Christmas Love

I just have one problem this Christmas. I go stuck at Top 9 as life and work got stuck on overdrive. You too, I presume. It's the season. I think I am at the point where I need someone to put a plate of cookies in front of me and say "Here are potential Top 10-11 and 12. Now go put it in that big box for your friend". You know what? I'm not Santa but I know exactly where to find that! A virtual cookie exchange leaving you with brand new favorites to bake.

Yes! Today, I've teamed up with twelve other incredible food bloggers to bring you a holiday cookie celebration so big, it's being monitored by the North Pole. The Baker's Dozen Ultimate Cookie Exchange. From the sneak peaks I have seen so far... you won't want to miss "doing the rounds". I am getting hungry just thinking about it. To see all of the participating bloggers, head to the Baker's Dozen home site, here.

Candy Cane Macarons

In the meantime, let's talk Candy Cane and Eggnog Macarons...

Candy Cane and Eggnogg Macarons:

Notes:
Trust me on this: do not crust candy canes and sprinkle them on your shells prior to baking as a decorative element, as you would sprinkle sesame seed, for example. Trust me. Unless you want a reaction similar to acid perforating your skin. Cratters being created under your very eyes as you peek through the oven glass door. Do you trust me now? Hope so...because it ain't pretty but sure gives you food for discussion if you need some.

Instead...crush some candy cane and roll the macarons in it once they're filled, or add crushed candy canes to the buttercream. Much better.


For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (use eggs whites that have been preferably left 3-5 days in the fridge)
25 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almonds (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)

Prepare the macarons:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 280F. When ready, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.

For the buttercream:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (180gr)(6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
crushed candy canes

Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. Divided the buttercream in two portions.
Leave one portion plain and add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the other one. Fill half the shells with the eggnog flavored one (cinnamon-nutmeg) and half with the plain buttercream. Roll the plain filled shells in to the crushed candy canes. Eat!

101 comments:

Tongue-N-Cheeky said...

Oh, they are breathtaking.

That final photo, with the candy cane heart just lying in the background made me chuckle with glee. I adore you, Tartelette!

Thanks so much for bloggin with us again. It's always a pleasure!

Alexandra said...

Your method of gift giving is lovely! To me it symbolizes the true meaning of the holiday season!
Btw, your timing is impecable! As I was baking today I realized i had plenty of egg whites and was thinking of something christmas-y in the macaron department! Thank you! (it will be my maiden voyage)

K and S said...

lovely and festive!

ilcucchiaiodoro said...

It compliments a beautifulst blog indeed, the photos are wonderful!

Neel | Learn Food Photography said...

I just come here for visual treats and always return more inspired and with lot of creative ideas. What a wonderful photography. Very creative use of Depth of Field in the first photograph. and absolutely loved 2nd and 4th photograph. Kudos to your photography.

Barbara said...

I think these woud be my favourite macarons. They look wonderful.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I saw a recipe for candy cane macarons on Gourmet Traveller's website and fell in love with them, but they were actually piped as canes and that is too difficult for me to try. :S

I love the two flavors you posted here, Helen - and the macarons are so pretty!

Jessica said...

These look incredible! I may take my first shot at making macarons.

Deliciously Organic said...

Beautiful post! Love, love, love the photography. I'm trying to stay away from white sugar, but I think I found an excuse to pull some out of the pantry. I'm definitely making these this weekend. Maybe I'll give some to the movers...that will surely make them pack my things more carefully, no?

Jas. said...

As usual delicious looking macarons - I really need to get these down pat but after two failed attempts I gave up and decided that when I have a bigger kitchen I will try them again (in order to throw dirty dishes in a tantrum because they haven't worked!). Love the photos too - inspirational!

Amanda said...

Those are stunning! And two of my favorite flavors :)

RecipeGirl said...

While Eggnog is among my favorite flavors, the candy cane macarons are calling to me... so festive and darling. I go the home-made gift route too- friends really appreciate it (especially friends who don't cook or bake!)

Lauren said...

They're just perfect. Beautiful.

Julie said...

These are spectacular!!! Of course you made them, so they must be! Wow. Great idea!!

Dodol & Mochi said...

Oh Helene!! These are gorgeous-looking gems!! So festive! Too pretty to be eaten!

Cheers from Malaysia,
Pei-Lin

Lynnette said...

Until I started following your blog I had no special interest in Macarons. Well, thanks to your creativity and beautiful photography I have a new desire to master the Macaron! I attempted your Safron Pumpkin recipe (I think successfully). However, I have an important but probably silly question: how long does a filled Macaron stay firm before it softens? Is it suppose to soften?

Allie said...

These are really lovely. You're my inspiration! I'm still trying to troubleshoot the process to make proper macarons with feet!

Wonder Woman said...

These sound and look just divine. I really wasn't planning on making macarons soon, but I think you have just changed my mind.

Mimi said...

My kids have asked for macarons again and these would be perfect for the holidys.
Mimi

Maria said...

I am not an egg nog fan, but I will take all of the candy cane macarons off of your hands:)

breadetbutter said...

These look wonderful - so Christmassy as well! A perfect homemade Christmas gift. :)

Garrett said...

You know what? Once finals are over I am finally going to give macaroons a shot (they terrify me for some reason).

Cookin' Canuck said...

Those macaroons are gorgeous and your photos are beyond stunning! What a wonderful addition these would be to our Christmas baking repertoire.

Anne said...

These are gorgeous and mysterious!! I am intrigued, they looks so delicious!!

kickpleat said...

I've always been nervous to try macarons but your well-written instructions are ideal for beginners! If I don't have a pastry bag, I guess these would be a bit more rustic looking? Beautiful!

Sara said...

im still not brave enough to try making them, but those candy cane ones are GORGEOUS! You are so talented.

kimberly salem said...

good point with the candy canes... i once made marshmallows with crushed candy canes on top... terrible idea! it made the marshmallows wet and gross.
love your photos and the macaron flavor ideas :)

megan said...

These are so gorgeous. I suspect you've just inspired me to try making macarons for the first time.

syrupandhoney said...

Glad you did not title this post "Candy Cane and Eggnog Macarons" - yikes! These sound individually delicious though :)

lisa said...

Beautiful macarons! I just used your recipe to make macarons for the first time, and I also added some crushed candy canes to the edges. The buttercream filling from your recipe was amazing!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

As always beautiful pictures and macarons.

Sar said...

Oh be-still my beating heart -- I think I'll have to try these out!

Sari said...

Oh oh, these look wonderful. I've never tried to make macarons yet, but I'm gradually tempted to do them as watching yours!

christy said...

Ever more inventive and creative you are. Lovely. And who is your hand model in the first pic? She is so skinny. Is that you?

Wehaf said...

I can't decide which ones I want more...

El said...

I love the look of these macaroons. What a great idea...and those candy canes look amazing!

Nads' Bakery said...

Stunning as always.

oneordinaryday said...

As always, these are beautiful. I haven't made macarons yet and they scare me a smidge. You did a wonderful job.

Alyssa said...

What a wonderful way to bake up some candy cane peppermint cheer without resorting to the usual chocolate and peppermint cupcake! I absolutely love it. And my mom will be happy with some eggnog goodies to go along her coffee that she seasons with eggnog this Christmas!

Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home said...

Beautiful little gifts. I wish somebody was giving me something homemade and delicious!

Anita said...

These are gorgeous, as always - I love your macarons! You always do a beautiful job.

Tartelette said...

Lynnette: macarons are not supposed to stay completely firm. They are best after 2-3 days in the fridge.

Christy: yep, my hands...I don't know about skinny though!!

Thank you everyone!

Katie said...

They just scream Christmas. So festive

Meghan said...

I have been following your blog for several years now - you are absolutely brilliant and beautifully talented! Last week after an orgy of parfait-making I have been left with 18 egg whites, and at long last I am going to try your (now famous) macaron recipe and technique. Thank you so much for your lovely, lovely blog - as delicious as I'm sure your desserts are, the real treat for me is in reading it!

Hilalland said...

mmmmm. lovely!!!!!!!!

diva said...

love get togethers too - it's always so lovely and makes me so happy. we're trying to organize one for the 19th amongst us friends all over england so hope tht works out! these macs are beautiful. i love how christmassy they are. i was looking to see if anyone had done any eggnog ones. and i found them! Happy Christmas Tartelette! x

anna said...

Hahaha! I'm SO GLAD you made candy cane macarons first and already tried sprinkling the shells with crushed candy canes. I want to make candy cane macarons as part of MY holiday goodie boxes and considered doing just that but feared they would melt into craters. They look beautiful though and I think I will have to make some.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

They look simply wonderful! You are such an artist.

Anna (londonfoodieny) said...

so cute! Not sure mine could ever look so perfect....

strawberriesinparis said...

Those are awesome Helen!! Love family dinners- love hearing whats going on with my family. My man also gets a little freaked out with how loud we get!

Kitchen M said...

Your story inspired me to bake some cookies with friends this weekend! Your Macarons are so pretty as always. :)

Nichole said...

Helen, I forgot to tell you that a couple of weeks ago I made macarons for the first time using your wonderfully-detailed instructions in Desserts Magazine. While I still need a lot of piping practice to make them a uniform size, the macarons came out great: delicately crunchy exteriors with slightly chewy centers - they even had the little feet! Thank you for your instructions and recipe. They helped so much and demystified the process!

Nikki @ Delisioucity said...

Helen, I was planning to make candy cane macarons too! But I thought the crushed sugar would not do so well on top of the shells especially in the oven(!), and wanted to do a peppermint ganache with crushed canes. Thanks to your experimentation I can now be more sure abt the candy cane topping :)

lindaraxa said...

Outstanding. What a wonderful idea!This will finally push me to try baking macarons. thank you!

Y said...

Those look so pretty. I love your family Christmas tradition and wish we did something similar but I'm afraid the baking is a one way street around here :P

Tartelette said...

Y: it is a one way street here too since no one in his family bakes and they'd rather buy gifts.

Thanks everyone!

Alexa said...

Tartelette, I love your family's tradition. It's perfect. I always feel that homemade gifts are the best.

Pea and Pear said...

All I want for Christmas is a hatbox full of your home-made sweets!!!! I can not think of anything more glorious. The macarons are divine, yes please.

TeenieCakes said...

You are absolutely inspirational. Your recipes and food photography just leave me in awe! Your macarons are little works of art.

Natasha said...

Dear Tartelette,
You make it look so effortless, when in fact macaron making is an art (that I haven't yet mastered).

Just a couple of questions.

Firstly, is it possible to make macarons using only or mostly eggwhite powder? I really need the practice and am running low on whites.

Secondly, the earlier link you posted to the article in DessertsMag is no longer up. Would you be able to email me a copy?

Thanks a million, Tash.

Tartelette said...

Natasha: I would not use just egg whites powder and I have never used it for macarons even paired with regular egg whites so I don't have the answer for you.
The article is up in a pdf in the sidebar.

Good luck!

Patricia said...

Ditto on what Natasha said... you make macarons and everything look so easy! I have been reading your blog religiously for the last few months, since I've discovered and have become absolutely obsessed with baking the perfect macaron... These candy cane and egg nog macarons look and sound absolutely divine, I may try them some time this holiday. =D

I am making chocolate mint macarons as I type this (my first batch just came out of the oven), and I'm having trouble with the tops. I'm hoping you may have some answers! They aren't cracked, but are rippled... I've never had that happen before! Can this be caused by humidity or something? If it helps to know, the recipe I am using is from the I Love Macarons book, and added dried mint and some extra almond flour and powdered sugar per the recipe in the book.

My previous attempts at macarons have had hollow tops, and this time only about half of them do. It seems like my macarons only come out perfect when my boyfriend is here to help me! Haha.. =(

Thank you so much in advance for your help, Tartelette! I hope your endless knowledge of macarons can solve this mystery!!!

Tartelette said...

Patricia: did you pipe the macarons on a silicone mat (Silpat) or on parchment paper?

Natasha said...

Thanks Helen!

When I master macarons I will make a flavour in honour of you. That could take some time as my macaron skills are still being refined.

Is it essential to have a Silpat? I use ordinary baking paper that comes in a roll.

bunkycooks said...

I tried to open the tutorial on making macarons on your website and was not able to do so. I had a disastrous day yesterday making them for the first time from Hisako Ogita's book. They were too small and did not cook properly. How many macaron halves should a recipe make? I ended up with about 60 (his book said to pipe into 1 inch circles - too tiny!). I am now determined to get this right! Thank you for your help. By the way, your website is beautiful! I just started blogging, so I really appreciate the amazing pictures.

bunkycooks said...

Helen,
I just sent a comment about macarons. I noticed that my full name appeared just as the e-mail was sending and I was not able to stop it. I would rather have my name show up as bunkycooks rather than my actual name if you see it on the comment and can change it. Thanks so much.

Tartelette said...

bunkycooks: did you click on the image under the title? It works for me on different browsers and from different computers so I'm not sure where the problem occurs for you.
The number of shells depends on the recipe ratios. Mine makes about 25-28 macarons but it all depends on how wide your circles are.

Natasha: no it's not necessary but I think the investment in one Silpat pays itself off overtime versus buying rolls of parchment paper. Also different brands of parchment paper have different quality and coating and peeling the macarons can be tricky on some.

Lisa said...

Absolutely stunning little masterpeices! You have inspired me to make macarons!

Renae said...

Oh my goodness...your treats look so yummy. I am going to try some for the holidays!

ps...I just requested you to be a fb friend so that I may follow what you do!

Blessings...

Mormishmom said...

Those look super tasty! I am going to have to give them a go!

Tessa said...

These are so perfect I just want to die! Your photos are always stunning.

Pilar said...

Hi,
After reading your blog for a long time, this week I decided to try my hand with the macarons and I succeed!
I was so happy,
Many Thanks.

Abby said...

Someday I'll tackle macarons! If I drive down to Chucktown would you teach me?! :)

Cakebrain said...

Such beauty! They are stunning!

Food Fascination said...

What Beauties!!! Would you consider selling them to me? I doubt I could make them as cute and I'm sure...DELICIOUS!

Half Baked said...

Just looking at your macaroons is enough to make me want to fa la la la la:) Beautiful!

The Dog's Breakfast said...

I've never tried macarons, but I love the Christmas concept here. Very nice. Will have to give these a whirl.

shortcakeandsnap said...

Gorgeous! I can't wait to try these - although I'll need to get a piping bag to get them beautifully round and cute-looking like yours :)

Patricia said...

I've been using parchment paper. What are the advantages or disadvantages of using one or the other, besides reusability?

Thanks again =)

Tartelette said...

Patricia: beside saving $ overtime, there are different grades of thickness among parchment papers from one manufacturer to the next or even from one batch to the next within the same company. Sometimes, depending on the moisture around and the quality of the paper (not saying yours is bad - the entire loom from which it came from could), the paper develop wrinkles underneath and as you move your paper on the trays or your trays around your kitchen, the shells can mold themselves to these wrinkles and we don't even see that except once they bake.
It used to happen to me all the time at work at the most crucial moments (big orders, parties, etc...) and once I got Silpat or even simple silicone mats (1/2 price of a silpat) it stopped happening.

Hope that helps.

Engineer Baker said...

Hahaha - love the warning about the crushed peppermint - I can just see you, looking on in horror as they all crater and bubble :P

My family, while small, sounds a lot like yours. We're loud, we tell stories, we talk over each other. It's awesome. I miss them, so I'm very glad that it's only a few more days before I make the drive to see them. Maybe I'll make some cookies to take to them - I've turned them on to macarons :P

Natasha said...

It worked!

I read your article religiously, and diligently paid attention to how many folds and the texture of the mixture and wallah! Beautiful macarons with lovely feet. I sat patiently outside the oven and jumped up and down when I saw the feet form!

I've made them before with the Swiss meringue method but they were so cloyingly sweet - these are perfect. Thank you so much for demystifying macarons for me - the possibilities are now endless. I'm so excited!

Just wondering, how do you make big batches - do you have lots of silpats? Just wondering since they have to rest for an hour, if i was making a huge batch would I pipe two trays, wait an hour, bake them, clear the trays, pipe more, wait another hour and bake again?

The Purple Foodie said...

Candy cane macarons? Oh man, you are my hero when it comes to macarons. And given that Natasha has been so successful, I'm feeling very encouraged about making a second attempt at it!

Patricia said...

Upon closer examination of my parchment paper, I did find some ripples. =( I just might go and invest in a silicone mat!

Thank you so much for your help!

Stephanie - Wasabimon.com said...

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! So good! You are such a creative lady :)

kms said...

candy canes + macarons = some of the prettiest darlings i've ever seen.

jef said...

280f. You changed the the recipe up again, eh?
Does the lower temperature work better for you?

Tartelette said...

Jef: It's been over a year that I lowered the temperature by a mere 20F on my macaron recipes so it's not that recent.
Works better for humidity, color control and convection oven baking.

Amy J In SC said...

These are so perfect – I can almost taste them. I wish I could learn how to make macarons but for now I'll just enjoy the fruits of your labor virtually. Maybe you could give a class sometime?

iamahoneybee said...

I have been sharing your blog with other french macaroon loving people. They are beautiful! One day I will get the courage to try to make them myself- until then I will look at yours!

odyssey04 said...

Hi there :)

I should call you the Macaron goddess!!!! Having said that, I am so frostrated with making these little finiky frech cookies! My macarons have lopsided feet! what should I do??? please help!

Tartelette said...

odyssey04: that's a lot to ask on so little information. It takes practice and mny tries sometimes.

Heather T - sloCooking said...

Yummmm - thanks for making me hungry! Happy holidays!

http://slocooking.blogspot.com/2009/12/make-me-hungry-awards-christmas-edition.html

Liz said...

Oooo! I just made your eggnog buttercream. It was great. It's was my first time using a cooked egg white buttercream recipe and it was so smooth and buttery. Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi wow those Macarons are works of art.

I was just wondering if you could use brown sugar instead of white?

Sarah Skerrett said...

Featured this in my Food Trends article today, looks delicious! http://www.mrfoodblog.com/food-trend-eggnog-eggnog-everywhere/

Korena said...

I just completed my first foray into macaron making with these eggnog macarons, and they are wonderful! I was so happy when I peeked through the oven window and saw the little feet :) Thanks Helene for your great instructions - the Demystifying Macarons article is very helpful too :)

Marge said...

Hi

How far in advance can Macarons be made?

I can't get orange food colouring, any idea how to make some?


Thanks

Helene said...

MArge: they can be made one week in advance.
Make orange by combining yellow & red like you would with paint.

Good luck!

elyce said...

Yesterday was my second attempt at making macarons, and while it did turn out quite a bit better than my first try (four years ago, but hey, it takes time to get over a defeat so terrible as it was), I still had some issues. I think it was the oven temp that messed mine up this time. I hope that third try's the charm to make the perfect macaron! Then maybe I'll have mastered enough to try your recipes.

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful. Quick question on the shells that I want to make in advance. You say to leave them out of the fridge or in the freezer. I just want to confirm that the unfilled shells should NOT be stored in the fridge (does it make a difference if they ARE stored in the fridge?)
Thank you

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