It’s that time of year when gingerbread is in just about everything, and we are not the least bit sorry about it. Gingerbread French Macarons have always been one of my favorites. I adapted this recipe from my mother’s famous Old-Fashioned Gingerbread cake, which is my favorite holiday dessert, though these Gingerbread French Macarons are quickly gaining traction.
Making Our Way to Gingerbread French Macarons
1. First, make the gingerbread crumble. The tangy gingerbread taste will add the most amazing texture and taste to these macarons.
2. Add 1/4 cup molasses to our standard buttercream recipe for the filling. Adding that bit of molasses deepens the flavor of the buttercream to make it a good partner with the other ingredients.
3. Put them together in our perfectly colored gingerbread shell. Recipe is below.
First, add dry ingredients to the bowl.
Once dry ingredients are blended add the vanilla. stir.
Pour the oil in a measuring cup, then add the molasses to the same cup. Combining them makes it easier to pour them both in at the same time…as well as help in getting the molasses out of the measuring cup.
After adding the oil/molasses mixture, the mixture will get a bit lumpy. Don’t overmix. When its comes to that moist, crumbly stage, you are done. Spread out onto prepared baking sheet and bake. Those bits of molasses are so dang tasty. Once it’s baked, set aside until cool and then assemble the macaron.
Gingerbread French Macarons
- baker's half sheet pans: high quality baking sheets with rimmed edges
- KitchenAid stand mixer
- parchment paper or silpat baking mats (with macaron template)
- oven thermometer
- piping bag
- Wilton Piping Tip #12
- food scale that will measure in grams or ounces
- scribe (a sharp, pointed tool), or a toothpick
- digital minute timer
Ingredients for Sweet Mac Shop Macaron Shells
- 160 grams egg whites room temperature
- 88 grams granulated sugar
- 256 grams powdered sugar
- 205 grams almond flour
- 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
Ingredients for American Buttercream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter Let sit on counter for 30 minutes.
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Molasses Yellow Label
Ingredients for Gingerbread Crumble
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 Tbs. neutral vegetable oil like grapeseed oil
- 1 tsp. Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Molasses Yellow Label
Instructions for SweetMacShop Macaron Shells
- Preheat oven to 285 for steel pans, or 300 for aluminum pans. Preheat for at least 10 minutes.
- Measure out your granulated sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
- Measure powdered sugar and almond flour together, then use a sifter to combine. This will make them smooth and lump-free. Set aside.
- Place your bowl on the surface of your food scale. Hit "tare" button to zero out the weight of the bowl. Now measure the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of your KitchenAid stand mixer.
- Add the clear vanilla extract.
- Place bowl on mixer stand (this recipe is for the KitchenAid mixer), and attach the wire whisk beater. Set timer for one minute. Turn mixer to Speed 4, and slowly add sugar to egg whites, shaking it in a little at a time during that first minute.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 6, and set timer for 2 minutes.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 8, and set timer for 1 and 1/2 minutes (90 seconds). Coloring may be added just before this last mixing. Egg whites should look silky, yet stiff enough to hold the peak.
- Now we'll make the macaronage: blend in dry ingredients, by moving a flexible spatula around the bowl, then cutting down through the middle, making sure to scrape the bottom for the flour and incorporate it into the meringue. You know you are done when the batter rolls off the spatula in a continuous ribbon. Batter will be thick...but can flow like a ribbon.
- BAKER'S NOTE: I have several videos of making macaronage in my Instagram Highlights.
- Insert Wilton #12 tip into the small opening of your piping bag. Scoop the macaronage into the bag, filling only half-way full, leaving room to twist the top closed in order to keep the batter from spilling out the top. Pipe the macrons by applying pressure until the batter flows out and just reaches the inner rim of the marked circle on your mat. Immediately release pressure and swirl tip to incorporate point back into the center of the cookie. See my tips on Instagram Highlights.
- NOTE: if you will be using parchment paper -- search for online -- then download a template of circles and place underneath your parchment paper. You'll remove this before baking.
- Once the full pan is piped, gently (or aggressively--no judgement here) bang the pan down onto the counter to release air bubbles. I usually place a towel on the counter before banging the pan. Use your scribe or toothpick to pop any large bubbles, in order to create smooth shells.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD ONE: Place your parchment paper or Silpat mat on the bottom of an upside-down baker's half sheet. Pipe your circles. Let rest about 5 minutes, bang (see above) then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD TWO: Place your parchment paper or Silpat mat on the inside of a baker's half sheet (like normal). Pipe your circles. Let rest until your finger can glide across the top of the mac without stickiness, often up to 30 minutes. Bang (see above), then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, DO NOT -- I repeat -- do not remove from pan until they are completely cooled.
- This recipe yields 36-42 completed cookies (about 72-84 shells).
Instructions for Gingerbread Crumble
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- In stand mixer with paddle beater attachment mix dry ingredients to combine.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly add oil and molasses, followed by vanilla extract. Mix just until crumble starts to form small clusters.
- Spread out onto Silpat/parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Crumble will be soft coming out of the oven. As soon as it comes out, Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 3 weeks, or freezer for up to 2 months.
- This crumble makes enough to make 4-5 dozen macarons.
Instructions for American Buttercream
- Place butter in bowl of mixer, and attach paddle flat beater. Mix on medium speed until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth. Add molasses, then vanilla and salt; mix for 30 seconds until combined.
- Add in heavy whipping cream.
- Measure powdered sugar on scale. Slowly add to the mixer, 1 cup at a time. PRO TIP: Start the mixer speed back up slowly after adding the cup of powdered sugar, otherwise, pull out the mop.
- Once ingredients are all mixed, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for five minutes.
- At this point, color the buttercream to your preference.
- NOTE: American Buttercream will keep up to two weeks in the fridge, and one day at room temperature.