Monday, December 22, 2014

Macaron Monday: Gingerbread Spice French Macarons with Molasses Buttercream Filling

What's more Christmassy than Gingerbread? this is a creative way to add the flavor to French Macarons.

I used gingerbread spices in the shells and whipped up a molasses flavored buttercream.

The spicy, homey aroma that came out of my oven when these were baking were enough to put me in a holiday mood.

If you are a fan of spicy and deep flavor, this macaron is fantastic. They will be sitting on my Christmas dinner dessert platter. I hope my guests love them and much as I do. I also hope they last until then. I keep stealing one because they are  bit addictive. 

Gingerbread Spice French Macarons
with Molasses Buttercream Filling

For the Gingerbread Spice Shells:

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 extra fine white granulated sugar
  • 200 grams of powdered sugar
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice mix**
  • Pinch of cream of tarter
  • Pinch of salt
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.

  • 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 two tablespoons of the powdered sugar/almond mixture and discard. Replace with two tablespoons of the gingerbread spice mixSide Note: Instead of discarding, I collect these tablespoons of mixture in a separate ziplock bag and when I have enough I use it to make a half batch or full batch of shells.  Pulse or whisk until combined thoroughly.
  • 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/gingerbread spice mix 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 away from one of the shells. 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.
  • Fill with molasses buttercream or your choice of filling.
For the molasses buttercream filling:

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • Place the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar and the milk in a mixer and cream together.
  • Mix in the molasses. 
  • Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. If the mixture is too liquid, add more powdered sugar.
  • Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and pipe some buttercream on a macaron shell. Top with a matching size shell.

Gingerbread Spice Recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon clove powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • Place all the spices in a bowl and whisk together until combined.
  • Store in a jar until ready to use.


  1. If the gingerbread didn't grab my attention the molasses buttercream certainly did!

  2. These sound utterly delicious and very seasonal. Molasses also reminds me of home... a great combo for the holidays!!


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