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Author Notes: I'm still a novice when it comes to macarons, sometimes I over beat and get no feet and others I just have little meringue cookie explosions...but I love coming up with great flavor combinations and even the ugliest ones taste pretty good. I find precision pays with macaron, so I use a scale to measure ingredients. I grew up drinking thick frothy mexican hot chocolate and my mom always put a sprinkle of chile on top. This is a much more refined way to get the same flavor. You definitely want to use the best quality milk chocolate (I use Valrhona) to give you that milky sweetness with a good chocolate punch. The golden syrup in the ganache is reminiscent of the raw sugar taste of piloncillo and I use enough arbol chile powder to give you a little kick of flowery heat, but it's not overpowering -- heat seekers could probably add up to 1/4 tsp more or even a pinch of cayenne. - MGrace
Makes 16 macaron (32 shells)
For the Cinnamon Macaron
- 83 grams almond flour
- 83 grams confectioner's sugar (10x)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon powdered egg white
- 75 grams granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 egg whites, aged
- 2 drops pink liquid food color
- aleppo pepper, for sprinkling cookie tops
For the Spicy Chili Ganache
- 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 3 ounces milk chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon arbol chile powder
- dash sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- One to two days before you are going to make cookies, separate your egg whites and place in fridge to age them. On the day of baking, remove from fridge several hours before you are going to bake to come to room temperature. If your almond flour seems moist, dry it out in a low oven for a few minutes (15-20 min at 200).
- Cut a piece of parchment to fit your sheet tray, using a 1 1/2" ring mold or cookie cutter trace out circles about 1" apart (with pencil). You can either turn the parchment over and bake on the back side of the circles or place under a silicone mat to use as a piping guide to ensure similar sized cookies.
- Whisk together your almond flour, confectioner's sugar and cinnamon, then run through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside.
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer if you are using-I just use a hand mixer since I don't have a stand mixer) whisk together the granulated sugar and powdered egg whites. Add in the cream of tartar and egg whites. Whisk until combined and slightly frothy, then beat with electric mixer on medium until stiff peaks form. This takes about 11 minutes, don't rush by turning your mixer too high.
- Fold in by hand with a spatula the almond flour, confectioner's sugar and cinnamon mixture. Once it is about 50% mixed drop in your pink food coloring. Keep folding until color is smooth (no streaks) and batter is fluffy but slightly holds it shape when dropped off the spatula. Spoon into a disposable pastry bag or gallon size storage bag with the zip cut off. Cut off the tip leaving a 1/2" opening. You could also use a pastry tip with a similar size (but I don't have such fancy equipment ;)
- Pipe onto your parchment or silicone mat following your guide by squeezing firmly directly into the middle of the circle until it is full and about 1/4" tall, then release and pull up on bag to release. If you cannot fit all your cookies on one tray, just leave the batter in the pastry bag set in a tall glass with the top folded over so you don't develop a skin on your batter. Very firmly whack your sheet tray on the counter five times to get rid of any air bubbles. Sprinkle the tops of half of your cookies with a pinch of aleppo pepper. Then let sit on the counter for about 20 minutes, to aid in developing a smooth shell. Turn on the oven to 200.
- Bake at 200 for 15 minutes, turning sheet halfway through. Then raise oven temperature to 350 and bake for 9-11 minutes. After about 4 minutes at the higher temperature, stick a wooden spoon in the door of the oven. This helps prevent over browning. Turn the sheet again if you notice any unevenness in browning or rise. The cookies are done when firm to the touch (with a shell) but with some inner give. Better to take them out a bit early than too late as a chewy cookie is better than crispy.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chocolate & Spice