I'm spicing it up with allspice on this Macarons Monday. Macaron Monday is something I started without fanfare on this here blog and am going to try to stick to for awhile. I guess I am in denial because even Paris based David Lebovitz has declared the French macaron passé. Regardless, I keep experimenting, dressing them up in outfits and pushing flavor boundaries and you readers seem to enjoy it. So as long as we all still want to pull up seats at the macaron table, it's on.
I made this flavor combination for the holidays last year several times. each time they were gobbled up by guess or taken to parties before I had the chance to photograph them so they went on the list again this year.
I just love allspice and experimenting adding it to different recipes, from cookie dough to chocolate ganache. I mixed some leftover cranberry sauce into a cream cheese frosting recipe adding another layer of flavor and a pop of color.
These were a big hit last year and after tasting them again, I sure know why. The spiced shells paired with the creamy cranberry filling is like a little spicy holiday in a cookie. Warm, rich and comforting.
Allspice Macarons with Cranberry Cream Cheese Frosting Filling
Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.
- 90 grams of egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
- 25-50 grams of fine granulated sugar
- 200 grams of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons Allspice powder
- 110 Grams of almond flour*
- Pinch of cream of tarter
- Pinch of salt
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces.
- Remove and discard two tablespoons of the mixture and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of Allspice and set aside.
- Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tartar.
- Add the powdered sugar/almond/Allspice mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Make a peak of the batter and if it does not disappear after 5-7 seconds, keep folding. If it's running all over the place, you will probably have to start over. Place a pastry bag fitted with a round shaped tip in a tall water and and fold the edges down around the glass.
- Fill the pastry bag with the macaron batter, twist the open top to secure and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat.
- Let the macarons dry for about a half hour or until they harden.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place the macarons on the middle rack in the oven. I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon.
- I place another empty baking sheet on top to prevent the shells from becoming toasted and discolored.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- When checking them after 10 minutes or so, if the ones in the back of the sheet seem to be cooking faster that the ones in front, flip the tray around.
- To test to see if they are done, peel the baking paper or silpat back, if the shell comes off easily, they are done.
- If you do have a problem with the shells sticking to the surface when removed from the oven, lift up the baking paper and pour a bit of water underneath. this will steam them off the paper.
- Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely before matching up the shells into pairs according to size and then fill.
For the Cranberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 +1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cranberry puree or sauce
- Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the sugar a half a cup at a time until thoroughly combined.
- Mix in the cranberry sauce
- Load frosting into a pastry bag and pipe filling into the macaron shells.