I have been dreaming up all kinds of variations on my new favourite kind of cookie: the French macaron. I made these the other day for a work “do.” (yes, I totally just used the word “do” to describe an event: check the urban dictionary circa 1954, right beside the word “dainties”).
They were a pretty big hit, if I do say so myself. One co-worker even hugged me and thanked me for making them.
If you’re in need of a hug today, I’d suggest making these and sharing them.
Here’s what you do:
First things first: the link to my macaron recipe is a recipe for chocolate macarons. To make non-chocolate macarons, do not add the cocoa powder, but add an extra 1/4 cup of almond flour (this would be 3/4 cup total in the recipe).
Whip up some of the vanilla buttercream (see link above).
For the Cinnamon-dusted Vanilla Chai Macarons –
The chai buttercream is made by adding the following to your vanilla buttercream (quantities are based on a full recipe of buttercream, so if you’re saving some for later, then alter the amounts of spices accordingly):
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Dash powdered ginger
Stir the spices into the buttercream until mixed, and taste to make sure it’s chai-y and strongly flavoured enough for your liking.
To alter the cookies, just scrape the seeds of a vanilla bean into the cookie batter just before you’re ready to pipe it onto the parchment paper. Once the cookies have been piped, use your fingers to pinch a bit of cinnamon on top of each cookie. Bake and fill the cookies with buttercream as in the original recipe.
For the Matcha Green Tea Macarons –
I just used the original vanilla buttercream for these macarons, so no need to modify there. To flavour the cookies, I just added about a tablespoon of matcha green tea powder to the batter. Stir the powder in thoroughly and gauge the flavour and colour of the batter (different matcha powders may result in differences here, so best to check). The flavour should be subtle, but recognizable. Pipe the cookies out onto parchment, bake, and fill as per the original recipe.