FOR MACARON SHELLS:
100 g super fine almond flour
75 g powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
70 g egg whites, at room temperature
75 g fine granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar optional
2 tsp Spicewalla Gingerbread Spice
¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Gel food coloring if desired
FOR BUTTERCREAM FILLING:
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup (50g) sugar
3 ½ tablespoons milk
½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Spicewalla Gingerbread Spice
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line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or teflon sheet, or silicone mat. ( For even air circulation, flip the baking sheets upside down.)
Sift together almond flour and powdered sugar and Spicewalla Gingerbread spice twice. Note: If you have up to 2 tablespoons of chunky dry ingredients left in the sifter, you don't have to replace it. Simply discard those chunky bits.
In a clean mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium low speed until foamy.
When egg whites are foamy, add cream of tartar and salt and continue to whisk.
Then slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time, while mixer is still running. Allow the sugar to dissolve after each addition.
If you’re making colored shells, add gel food coloring when the meringue reaches soft peaks.
Continue beating the egg whites on the same medium low speed until hard peaks form. Meringue should ball up inside the whisk, and when you lift the whisk, the meringue should hold a pointy end and have sharp ribs.
Sift almond flour mixture into the meringue. Using a silicone spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until fully incorporated. Then continue to fold the batter until it’s runny enough to draw a figure eight. To test, take a small amount of batter and drop it into the bowl. If the small peaks dissolve into the batter on its own in about 10 seconds, the batter is ready. If not, fold couple more times and test again. Be careful not to over-fold the batter. (Making french macarons is all about the technique. Run the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. If you’re beginner macaron-baker, I suggest to count every fold. It takes roughly about 50 folds to reach the proper consistency. After 50 folds, start testing the batter, and continue testing after every couple folds.)
Transfer the batter into a pastry bag, fitted with a round tip. Or a star tip like We did here to create the Christmas tree look.
Hold the pastry bag at straight 90° angle and pipe about 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter (or using your hand) a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. You can also use a toothpick to burst some large air bubbles. This step ensures smooth tops.
Let the macarons sit out on the counter for at least 15-30 minutes, maybe up to couple hours, depending on humidity. When you lightly touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your finger, then it’s ready to go into the oven.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Note: I don't use convection settings. I set my oven to heat from top and bottom.
Working one baking sheet at a time, place one tray with macarons on the middle rack. (To prevent browning, you can place an empty baking sheet on top rack to shield the heat.) Bake for about 15-18 minutes. It’ll take longer for larger macarons. To test for doneness, touch a macaron lightly and try to move it. If it slides and wobbles, bake a minute or so longer. The cooked macarons should be firm to touch and the base shouldn’t move. ( It’s always better to slightly over-bake macarons than under-bake them!)
Cool macarons complete and then remove the shells from the parchment paper. (Don't remove the shells while warm, you may risk breaking the shells, or the bottom might get stuck to the baking surface.
Make Buttercream Filling
in a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks slightly with a whisk and add the sugar and Spicewalla Gingerbread spice. Continue to whisk until the mixture is pale and sugar is mostly dissolved. Stir in the milk. Transfer the egg yolk mixture into a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring frequently. Continue to cook until it’s thick like pudding, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture back to the bowl and bring it to room temperature. Stir in the butter in three batches. Add vanilla extract and continue to mix until smooth. Transfer the buttercream into a pastry bag with round tip.
pair the macaron shells by size and arrange them on a wire rack. Line them up so that bottom shells are upside down.
Pipe a dollop of filling on bottom shells. Place the top shell over the filling and press lightly so the filling spreads till the edges.
Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 24 hours to mature, which allows the filling to soften and flavor the shells.
bring the macarons out about 30 minutes prior to serving.
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Hi Jennifer, Macarons can be so tricky! i know my neighbors have eaten tons of ugly mistakes for me while i was working though the kinks. I found this video to be really helpful though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yz78dFgjKQ&feature=youtu.be
I hope it helps you as much as it helped me!!