Maple Macarons are a seasonal twist on the classic French cookie. Subtle maple and cinnamon flavors make this crisp cookie perfectly paired with a cup of tea.
The week before a holiday weekend always seems to drag on ever so slowly. We’ve finally had a full week’s worth of actual spring-like weather, and I think everyone’s just itching to get out and enjoy the sunshine.
I’ve made it a point to walk home for lunch everyday, both for the exercise as well as the Vitamin D boost–Both of which I desperately need. I also got it into my head that I needed to try my hand at macarons once again (thanks, Pinterest). This time, I made some Maple Macarons.
At first glance, they don’t look too bad, do they? I made it a point to sift and grind the almond flour/confectioners’ sugar multiple times, so I could get the smooth shells.
I also made a cinnamon cream cheese filling for them, and combined with the maple flavor, it’s delicious. Maple stuff still reminds me of fall, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy these year-round.
But back to the cookies. The macaron “feet” aren’t quite as perfect as they could be. They’re more ruffled than real feet.
It could be due to a number of things.
My oven was too hot. My egg whites were aged for too long (not sure if that’s really a thing or not)? I didn’t double my baking sheets.
I do think I might’ve over-mixed the batter a smidge, because they spread out a little bit more than I expected. But who knows?
They still taste good! Macarons will still taste pretty good, even if they don’t look completely perfect.
I have to admit though, I really kind of like how challenging macarons are. Already I have more egg whites aging in the fridge, so at some point this weekend, I’m going to try them again.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the last of the Maple Macarons!
For the Macaron Shells:
- 2/3 cup almond meal (71 grams)
- 1 C powdered sugar (117 grams)
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 C granulated sugar (53 grams)
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. maple extract
For the Filling:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 C powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1-2 Tbsp. half & half
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar in a food processor. Blend for 1-2 minutes, then sift. Blend a second time in the food processor, and sift again.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and the granulated sugar. Using the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Increase to medium-high speed, and beat for 2-3 minutes. Beat on high for 2 minutes. At this point, the meringue should hold stiff, glossy peaks. At this time, add the maple and vanilla extracts, and whip on high speed for 30 seconds.
- Begin folding in the almond meal mixture, scraping up from the bottom, and pressing the mixture against the side of the bowl to deflate the meringue. Continue folding until the dry ingredients have been fully incorporated and the batter resembles molten lava (to test, take a clean spoon, and drop some of the batter back into the bowl. If it slowly folds back into itself but still maintains most of its shape, it's ready).
- Place the batter in a piping bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round tip (I used an Ateco #804), and pipe rounds about 1-inch in diameter on the prepared baking sheets. Once the shells have been piped, take each baking sheet and rap several times flat against the counter, to pop any air bubbles. Allow to rest for 30-45 minutes, or until the shells are no longer shiny and will not stick to your fingers when touched. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while the shells are resting.
- Bake one sheet at a time, for 13-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool completely before removing the shells from the parchment or baking mat.
- To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on medium-high speed until well-combined and light. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon. Drop the speed to low, and slowly add the powdered sugar. Add in some of the half & half to get to desired consistency. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl as needed.
- Spread or pipe about half a Tbsp. of filling between two macaron shells.
- Place the filled macarons in an airtight container, and refrigerate at least 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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