Candy Cane Macarons

Minty, merry and bright, these tasty Candy Cane Macarons will surely delight!

Candy Cane Macarons by Cakewalker

In recent years whenever December rolls around something magical happens. I’m not talking about the festive feel in the air or having visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. No, the magic is a driving force, an inexplicable inspiration to create something sweet, new, and different than anything else in my repertoire—a dessert to arise the occasion of Christmastime.

There was a blitz of eggnog flavored treats that brought about this cake and that cheesecake. I also toiled at a toffee recipe that remains proprietary to this day. The old standbys are always there; my famous cinnamon rolls, fudge, peanut brittle, peppermint bark and gingerbread cookies, yet I’m compelled to get in the kitchen and play, in a quest for a merry-making kind of way.

Candy Cane Buttercream Filling

Then the vision came: candy cane macarons. I wasn’t naïve enough to think the notion was completely original—a Google would refute that.  But I was tickled enough to come up with a version to brighten the holiday table. These visions come to me as a mental image of a finished product in appearance and flavor intention.

As culinary explorations go, there was an initial run which ended in a return to the drawing board. In the case of the eggnog cake, for example, an entire year passed before the recipe went to print. But for these macarons the second pass was a week later and I’m quite happy with the results.

Piped Macaron Shells

Please don’t be intimidated by making macarons; if you’ve whipped egg whites to stiff peaks before, or prepared a Pavlova, you can do the delightful macaron.

December marks eight years since this blog debuted on the web. As I close out 2018, I thank you for your continued readership. May you and yours be filled with the magic of this season and have a wealth of blessings in the New Year. Until then, happy baking!

Candy Cane Macarons - Cakewalker

Recipe inspired by Zoe Bakes

Candy Cane Macarons

Minty, merry and bright, these tasty Candy Cane Macarons will surely delight!
Keyword candy cane, macaron
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 1 minute
Servings 24

Ingredients

For the shells:

  • 125 g almond meal, blanched divided in half
  • 225 g powdered sugar divided in half
  • 130 g egg whites, about 4 large whites, divided use real egg whites, pasteurized won't work
  • 110 g sugar divided in half
  • A few drops Wilton white frosting tint
  • Red gel food color

For the candy cane buttercream:

  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp (scant) peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1 large candy cane, crushed

Instructions

  • You’ll need multiple mixing bowls as you’ll be dividing the above shell ingredients by half, mixing them separately for each color. If the digital weight scale you use doesn’t extend to a decimal for grams, round up the number in determining the half measurement.
    In a food processor, mix together the almond meal and the confectioners’ sugar in one batch until it is well mixed and very fine. You may need to scrape down the sides. Repeat for the second batch.
  • The Wilton white icing tint is just that; a food grade titanium oxide based pigment which will whiten/brighten icings and batters. The use of the white icing tint is optional, but because of the natural color of the almond meal, the batter will result in an off-white shade of almond yellow or ivory if not used. I chose to add the colorant as I wanted the striking contrast of white to red in the final product.
    In baking, whether or not the white shells are tinted, the edges can turn tan in color. If this occurs before the baking time is up, and the shells are not yet set, try reducing the oven temperature to 325° and go a little longer in the oven if needed. 
  • Beat 2 egg whites in a mixing bowl until they are foamy. Sprinkle half the sugar over them in a steady stream and then turn up the speed and beat the whites until soft peaks. At this point you’ll add the color: a few drops of Wilton white tint. Continue beating until you’ve reached stiff peaks. Do this for the second bowl of colored batter except using the red gel.
  • Next, in three additions using a rubber spatula, fold in half the almond meal mixture to each mixing bowl. Having completed the three additions the batter will be thick. Keep folding the batter into itself until the batter no longer clings to the sides of the bowl; it will slowly slump into the middle. Repeat for the other color.
  • Using 2 pastry bags fill one with white batter, the other with red batter; snip the tips off each to leave a good size opening. Then slide the colored batters side by side into a larger pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Make sure the snipped tips of the colored bags reach the end of the larger tip. Pipe batter circles onto a flat baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper in a gentle swirl to attain the color striations. If you are new to piping there are downloadable templates online to help you attain uniform circles and spacing or make one yourself. When the trays are all piped, wrap the pans onto the counter a few times to get air bubbles out and flatten the circles then let them sit for 30 minutes, depending upon the environment, until the tops are dry to the touch. Preheat oven to 330° F.
    Bake the trays one at a time for 11 minutes. If they do not set, then rotate the tray and bake for an additional minute or two, depending upon your oven. Let them cool completely before filling.
  • Make the buttercream. In a medium sized mixing bowl add half of the powdered sugar and the extracts to the butter (use the scant measure of peppermint as the buttercream will absorb additional peppermint flavor from the candy cane). Engage the electric mixer slowly at first until the mixture begins to come together—a teaspoon of the milk will help with mixing; scrape down the bowl. Add the rest of the powdered sugar until well mixed and fluffy, scrape the bowl. If the buttercream is too thick, add another half teaspoon of milk, beat well. Fold in the crushed candy cane until dispersed uniformly throughout.
  • Once the shells are cooled, flip over every other shell—match up same sized/shaped shells as best as possible. Pipe the buttercream filling onto the flat-side up shells. Top the macarons with the remaining shells rounded side up; lightly press to sandwich them. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve; the macarons actually taste best the next day when all the flavors have melded. You may freeze macarons in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper.
    Notes: The Wilton white icing tint is just that; a food grade titanium oxide based pigment which will whiten/brighten icings and batters. The use of the white icing tint is optional, but because of the natural color of the almond meal, the batter will result in an off-white shade of almond yellow or ivory if not used. I chose to add the colorant as I wanted the striking contrast of white to red in the final product.
    In baking, whether or not the white shells are tinted, the edges can turn tan in color. If this occurs before the baking time is up, and the shells are not yet set, try reducing the oven temperature to 325° and go a little longer in the oven if needed. 

 

 

Comments

  1. These look awesome Brooks, nicely done. Winter is definitely the best time of year to bake these finicky treats.

  2. Brooks, it’s funny, I don’t actually like to eat macarons (they’re far too sweet for my taste), but you’ve come up with such a *cute* one that I might just have to make a batch to give to someone! So pretty. I love what happens whenever you “get in the kitchen and play!”

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