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Gingered Peanut Macarons

"Hein! Des macarons aux cacahuetes..?! Ca va pas la tete Tartelette?! C’est pas des vrais comme Pierre!"
"What? Peanut macarons? Did you lose your head Tartelette?! There are no the real thing like Pierre’s!"

Yes well, who said that macarons had to be 100% almond based? Not the pastry shops selling pistachio ones! Necessity is the mother of invention and that proved to be especially true last weekend when these little peanut macarons with a cream cheese buttercream and crystallized ginger center came out of my kitchen.

I had just finished an order for deep red and deep green holiday inspired macarons with traditional fillings and almond shells when I found an extra bowl of buttercream in the fridge, and plenty of ripe egg whites. Since I was on the macaron making train, I decided to make one more batch for us and the neighbors. When I went to weigh the almonds, I had half of what I needed…darn…out of pistachios too and the walnuts were going in cookies…but eh! Peanuts were sitting quiet and pretty on the pantry shelf so why not?! What do I have to lose? Flat macarons, sticky macarons, cracked macarons? Not a problem! They could always find their destiny in ice cream!

Really, what would be the big deal by replacing half the almonds with half peanuts? Peanuts are more oily than almonds but there would only be half the amount in the batter, not enough to make a big difference. I should be ok…and might as well pray too. A conversation with Veronica reinforced my belief things could get pretty tasty. I don’t want to be stuck with eating macaron shells. Remember I am the one who loves making them but not that much eating them. Now is my time to fess up: I have already had six. That little surprise of ginger inside combined with the peanut taste and not too sweet filling is just sinful.

Another issue that afternoon was that I was running out of powdered red color so I knew these would not be as red as Christmas inspired ones. Oh well, there will just be as tasty, especially with the cream cheese buttercream filling, which is nothing more than a basic cream cheese frosting but a little less sweet. The crystallized ginger piece in the middle is completely borrowed from Karen’s fabulous macarons creations which you can go admire on her blog Mad Baker. Go check them out, I’ll wait….

You’re back? Then let me give you the recipe for these:

Gingered Peanut Macarons:

For the shells: (Makes 35 halves)

225 gr powdered sugar
60 gr almonds
65 gr unsalted roasted peanuts
3 egg whites (about 100gr)
red food coloring (powdered is better)
25 gr granulated sugar
small pieces of crystallized ginger

In a food processor, run the nuts and powdered sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Run through a sieve if needed.
Whip the egg whites until foamy, slowly add the granulated sugar, until they are glossy. Add the red food coloring.
Slowly fold the nut/sugar mixture into the whites with a wide spatula. The mixture should remain shiny and flow easily.
Fill a pastry bag with the batter and pipe small rounds onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Let the macarons rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 315 and when they are ready, bake them for 12-15 minutes.
Let cool, remove from the paper and fill with the buttercream, add a piece of ginger and top with another macaron shell.

Cream Cheese Buttercream:

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick butter (55 gr), at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar

With a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, give it one more whirl to incorporate everything. Fill a pastry bag with the mixture and fill the macaron shells.

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linda December 3, 2007 um 9:18 am

Wow, your macarons look so perfect! Never dared making macarons myself, maybe I should make it a New Year’s resolution…

Anonymous December 3, 2007 um 9:50 am

Hi, your macarons look so pretty. Just thought that I let you know that stumbled upon your blog and decided to join Daring Bakers. You are my inspiration Helene. Btw, i tried the Cinnamon Buns and the Pillow Cheese cake and they turned out trying to post on my blog but unsuccesful so far.

Chibog in Chief December 3, 2007 um 9:57 am

what a creative combination: ginger and peanut!! your macarons look gorgeously perfect..i tried making one before..the taste was good but but not aesthetically LOL..

FoodieFroggy December 3, 2007 um 9:58 am

Moi je dis, au contraire, ça va très bien la tête : they are abolutely fabulous !!

Rosa's Yummy Yums December 3, 2007 um 11:06 am

Wow, that’s a recipe for me! I’m addicted to peanuts…
Your macarons look fabulous! What a great idea…



Anh December 3, 2007 um 11:10 am

Helen, you are so good with your macarons! I just had excellent raspberry and chocolate macca at a restaurant here. It is sort of chewier than the normal non-chocolate one… Do you have a recipe for something like that? Just let me know if you have one. Thanks millions! 🙂

desie December 3, 2007 um 11:47 am

oh my goodness, these look stunning. i am sure they are absolutely delish but i wouldn’t want to touch them. they are so pretty to look at!

Babeth December 3, 2007 um 12:50 pm

Olalallala your macarons look stunning! Bravo!

Anonymous December 3, 2007 um 12:58 pm

uauuu, sublimes!!!

Warren Burstein December 3, 2007 um 1:01 pm

How do you get them to come out so perfectly round and all the same size? I’ve never tried making sandwiches out of piped cookies, but I’ve made layer cakes out of baked meringue (either with or without nuts) and even if I am careful to draw circles on the back of the parchment paper and pipe the meringue exactly inside, they spread a bit while baking and need to be trimmed. Also they aren’t perfectly smooth domes like yours, the surface comes out uneven (small cookies that can be piped without moving the pastry bag, the shape is smoother, but there’s a point where I pulled the bag away.)

Sha December 3, 2007 um 1:03 pm

Ils sont parfaits! Bravo!!
En plus de ça tout à fait dans mes goûts…

Ben December 3, 2007 um 1:12 pm

They might look pink, but they absolutely look delicious.

Veron December 3, 2007 um 1:12 pm

Yeh- they look fabulous ,my dear. Glad the peanuts work – the taste must have been phenomenal!

Oh for the love of food! December 3, 2007 um 1:40 pm

Helen, These macarons look sensational! and the crystalized ginger centre is a novel idea, will check out the 'Mad baker'.
My matcha macarons turned out ok too, I was SOOOO Happy!

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy December 3, 2007 um 1:49 pm

I don’t think anyone can argue that you have cracked or ugly macaroons – those are beautiful! Interesting that you mixed both peanuts and almonds – would you consider just peanuts next time?

cookworm December 3, 2007 um 2:22 pm

Those are beautiful and look delicious! I want to try peanut with coconut now. 🙂

If you don’t mind me asking, how do you get the tops so perfectly smooth and shiny? My macarons always turn out tasty but a bit too lumpy on top, even when I grind the nuts very finely. Do you have a special grinder that can get them to that almost flour-like consistency?

MyKitchenInHalfCups December 3, 2007 um 3:26 pm

Good golly that is inspired (even if it might have felt like desperation at the moment). And the ginger in the center, well dugh, brilliant.
It gives me hope that you sometimes aren’t totally keen on eating some sweets. I love baking them all but eating them very often is not high on my list. Doesn’t seem right but there it is.

Mandy December 3, 2007 um 4:11 pm

this is food porn!!!! Not a bad way to start my day. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration, Helene. I know this is going on my to try list.

Graeme December 3, 2007 um 4:13 pm

Wow! I was expecting a ginger-flavoured cream, thinking "Oh, that’s kind of cool", but a little piece of ginger in the middle is so much better.

I love it. I *will* make these one day.

BitterSweet December 3, 2007 um 4:33 pm

These are just so beautiful, and I love the idea of substituting other nuts instead of almonds, too!

Finla December 3, 2007 um 5:00 pm

Wow they look so good. And the colours beautiful

Cakebrain December 3, 2007 um 6:31 pm

You know what? You never fail to inspire me with your creatively cool macaron combinations. You’re the Macaron Queen in my books!

LizNoVeggieGirl December 3, 2007 um 6:47 pm

I agree – macaroons do NOT need to be almond-based. These Gingered-PEANUT-Macaroons look fabulous to me!! The colors are so vibrant – love it!

Anonymous December 3, 2007 um 7:19 pm

they remind me of little hamburgers

Katy December 3, 2007 um 9:29 pm

oh my gosh, are you kidding me? these are too pretty for words. seriously, they’re amazing! and i bet they were delicious, too. 🙂

Astra Libris December 3, 2007 um 9:37 pm

Oh my goodness, these are gorgeous. I’m in awe…

I’m a new blogger, by the way – hi!

Hillary December 3, 2007 um 11:19 pm

Very interesting flavor of macarons you’ve got there! And I like the peanut in the middle 🙂

Steph December 4, 2007 um 12:39 am

I’m jealous of your mad Macaron making skills. I’ve never tried them before sheerly because of how daunting a task it is. But who knows. Maybe I’ll have a Macaron post of my very own soon!

Peabody December 4, 2007 um 1:05 am

I love the idea of using peanuts. Can’t say that I have ever had peanut and ginger together but you have me all curious now.

Elle December 4, 2007 um 2:09 am

Peanut might not be traditional, but these look perfect and sound delicious, especially with the ginger surprise.

Anonymous December 4, 2007 um 4:05 am

Great improvisation with the peanuts. They look great 🙂

Susan @ SGCC December 4, 2007 um 4:38 am

These look gorgeous! I have never found the courage to attempt macarons in this Southern humidity. How do you deal with it?

Amanda December 4, 2007 um 5:06 am

Oh, those are absolutely beautiful. Peanut and ginger sounds like a bit of an ominous combination- but I’ll have to try it out because I’m dying of curiosity!

Big Boys Oven December 4, 2007 um 7:55 am

Lovely and perfect macaroons!!! Also very creative!

Anonymous December 4, 2007 um 10:22 am

i was DROOLING over your cinnamonbons! can you share your tip in making them raise so beautiful? esp the centre bit?


Nora B. December 4, 2007 um 12:12 pm

wow… these made me speechless… Helen, those are mighty fine lookin' macarons. Perfect, I have to say. wow…. sorry for my lack of eloquence, but I am just mesmerized by the skill in which you made those, and your creativity with the combination of flavours.

Dana December 4, 2007 um 2:58 pm

Pretty in pink! Love it :).

Anita December 4, 2007 um 5:13 pm

All those lucky people getting your holiday macarons Helene! I love the flavor combination, you are definitely rivaling Pierre for creativity!

Cheryl December 4, 2007 um 5:21 pm

Those scream the holidays. Just beautiful little bites of heaven.

Lesley December 4, 2007 um 5:25 pm

Yum, that sounds so good. I made a bunch of chocolate shells yesterday for the weekend (in the freezer)…I can’t stand when I have a batch that fails! Please tell me that happens to you sometimes!

Eva December 4, 2007 um 11:24 pm

Helen, they look adorable – and I don’t even like maccarons (always a little too sweet for me)!

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert December 5, 2007 um 12:04 am

wow! those look so cool! and yummy too 🙂

Barbara December 5, 2007 um 1:47 am

They look stunning. I’ve had your macaroon recipe in my folder forever. One day I’ll make them.

glamah16 December 5, 2007 um 1:50 am

I havent attempted macarons yet. But seeing you play with the variations pushes me to try to try it soon. A daring success!

Clumsy Cook December 5, 2007 um 2:49 am

Bravo for your futzing around!! Peanut macaroons sound (and look) WONDERFUL!!

Olivia December 5, 2007 um 3:54 am

Your food is always so mouth-watering and gorgeous. Experiments with such brilliant results always make me happy. I’ll have to try these someday!

bakeorbreak December 5, 2007 um 3:55 am

I love these! The color is so vibrant. And your pictures are lovely, as usual. They look beautiful!

sher December 5, 2007 um 4:30 am

They’re magnificent! I haven’t seen macarons that can beat the appearance of these!

Mercotte December 5, 2007 um 7:43 am

Ciel ciel ciel ….de superbes macarons, j’arrive en courant !! bravo , je teste avec du tourteau de noix et de noisettes en ce moment, pas mal non plus, mais je retiens ton idée à 100% ! bravo les photos en plus sont superbes, je suis aussi allée découvrir ceux de ton lien, …impressionnants !

Cookie baker Lynn December 5, 2007 um 5:27 pm

Your macarons always looks so beautiful. Some day I will be bold and try them. Until I just drool over your posts.

Bea December 6, 2007 um 2:58 am

I love your expression, the macaron making train! I wonder how you would translate in French 😉
Wonderful Helen.

Parisbreakfasts December 6, 2007 um 8:34 am

What a BRILLIANT idea Tarty!
They look so scrumptious too.

Could you PLEASE COME TO NEW YORK and open a shop.
The line will be out the door and onto the Brooklyn Bridge.

There is not a decent macaron in the whole of New York City unless you count La Maison du chocolat’s IMPORTED from France macs.
I was convinced it had to do with altitude or longitude…

Renee December 7, 2007 um 1:29 am

Mmmmmm, they look so cute!!

Unknown December 7, 2007 um 3:03 pm

Hi, I have tried this recipe. I have got feet, but the macarons have very thin shells and crack easily. Do you know why?

Kristen – Dine & Dish December 9, 2007 um 5:11 am

How gorgeous are those? Wow!

Anonymous June 20, 2009 um 8:02 am

Why is space at the bottom of the shell.Why not find one?????

Please help…thank you..

Helene June 20, 2009 um 6:09 pm

Anonymous: I am not sure I understand your question so this may not be what you are looking for: macarons DO HAVE air pockets between the bottom and the top. It will be bigger or smaller depending on how much you fold your batter. Whipped egg whites (meringue) create air pockets as they bake that's just part of the process.

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