Oaxacan Cinnamon Chocolate Macaroons

By • March 26, 2010 • 22 Comments

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Author Notes: In the Mexican city of Oaxaca, almonds are ground into a rough paste with cacao, cinnamon, and sugar and hardened into thin fingers of chocolate. The distinctive mixture is used in the city’s famous mole sauces and melted into rich hot chocolate which the Oaxacans drink more regularly than coffee. The warm, spicy smell of toasted cacao, cinnamon and almonds fills the city, as crowded storefront grinders are endlessly turning and the mercado stalls are crowded with vendors selling secret family recipes. The Oaxacan trio of cinnamon, chocolate, and almonds is so lovely, that I was inspired to make macaroons with the same flavors. Put on a Lila Downs album, and enjoy these delicious cookies with a cup of Oaxacan hot chocolate or a glass of Mezcal, the region's smoky alcohol made from roasted agave hearts.robinbeth

Food52 Review: If Laduree had a location in Mexico, this would be their signature treat. Perfectly crisp and airy, with just the right amount of lift, robinbeth's macaroons are gently spiced with cinnamon and tinted the lightest shade of brown with just a touch of cocoa powder. The rich, sweet ganache, made of melted Mexican chocolate, butter and a dash of cream, echoes the spice of the cookies and the sugar crystals crunch pleasantly between your teeth. Intimidated by French-style macarons? This is the perfect recipe for your first attempt. - A&MA&M

Serves 40 1.5 inch cookies or 20 sandwiches

Macaroon Ingredients

  • 100 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs, left at room temperature for 24 hours)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 125 grams almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill, made from ground blanched almonds)
  • 175 grams confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons cocoa powder or raw cacao
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar

Ganache Ingredients

  • 150 grams Mexican chocolate (can be found in most supermarkets, gourmet shops, or ordered online)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Measure egg whites and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours in a covered bowl. Aging the whites helps them thin and will create a better textured macaroon.
  2. Line two cookie pans with parchment paper and trace 1.5 inch circles on the paper, keeping the circles about one inch apart. Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  3. Pulse the almond flour, confectioners sugar, cinnamon and cocoa in a food processor until it is a finely mixed powder. Sift into a large bowl.
  4. Put egg whites in stainless steel bowl and beat on low with a hand mixer until frothy. Add salt and cream of tartar, and slowly mix in the granulated sugar. Once the sugar is all incorporated, increase mixer speed to medium and beat until meringue forms stiff peaks. The meringue should look glossy and remain in place when the bowl is tipped on its side.
  5. Using a silicone spatula, fold the almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites one-third at a time. You do not have to be gentle, instead use brisk strokes to fold the mixture together completely, this will help reduce the air in the meringue and keep the macaroons from being too puffy.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag or a ziplock. If using a ziplock, cut off a 1/4 inch tip from the corner. Pipe the mixture in a spiral to fill each 1.5 inch circle on the parchment paper. Allow the unbaked cookies to sit out for 30 minutes, until the cookies have a matte texture and are no longer sticky.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then peel very gently off the parchment paper.
  8. Make ganache while the cookies cool. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Whisk in heavy cream and butter and stir mixture over gently boiling water until it is smooth and shiny.
  9. When the cookies and filling are cool, spread or pipe the ganache on the flat side of one macaroon and create a sandwich with a second one.
  10. Eat.
Jump to Comments (22)

Comments (22) Questions (5)

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10 months ago Lauren Wohl-Sanchez

I just made these this morning and they came out perfectly. A few things, though:

1. Having never made macaroons, I was really surprised at the texture of the macaroon batter. It was almost like marshmallow — really sticky, although they piped without a problem. I assume this was correct, because they came out looking just like the photo, but a word or two about what to expect would have been, if nothing else, reassuring.

2. After running the food processor, I still wound up with some thicker particles from the almond flour that wouldn't sift in. I didn't know whether to just mix this into the finer sifted mixture or discard and add back finer flour. I ended up mixing it in, but advice would be appreciated.

3. While I liked the flavor, I prefer things on the less-sweet side. Is there anything I can do to reduce the sweetness of the macaroons without affecting the consistency?

4. In terms of the template, what worked for me was to draw out 1-1/2" circles on the computer and create a grid that fit my baking sheets. I laid these under my parchment (which I could see through) and when I'd finished piping a set, I just shifted the parchment off and slid it onto a baking sheet after drying for 30 minutes. Then I could just lay another piece of parchment over my template and keep piping, without having to redraw circles for every sheet. Granted, I'm a graphic designer, so this was a no-brainer for me, but I suspect it wouldn't be that hard to do something similar by hand.

5. This is more of a general comment/suggestion: I'm wondering if there could be a separate section for questions/advice actually related to following the recipe versus comments like, "This looks delicious!" or "I really want to try this!" While the enthusiasm is great, I'd rather not wade through them to find practical information.

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almost 3 years ago chava

A year late to the party, but I just tried the recipe. First and most important, these are delicious. But the consistency of the batter was nothing like something that could be "piped": it was quite crumbly. (I did use sa standing mixer - could that have been it?) I added a couple of teaspoons of water, and was able to spoon it onto the baking sheets. Rough and a little rugged looking, but quite delicious.

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almost 3 years ago stuvwyz

A very well-written recipe. Can't wait to try it!

Meathook

over 4 years ago Brenna

These and some Mezcal? Yes, please.

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over 4 years ago Ilafox

ARGH! ... Another thing to be ADDICTED TO! These are different, delicious and the chocolate. well there are no words except "MORE!"
You have my vote!

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over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Another great recipe! Love the chocolate spice combo!

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over 4 years ago CarynCooks

Question from a novice baker - what do you use to trace the circles? Not a lead pencil I hope... Pen? Marker?

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over 4 years ago robinbeth

You can use an indelible marker on the underside of your parchment paper and it will show through on the right side but not get on the batter.

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over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

I may just put on Lila's La Cantina alum and bake these this weekend!

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over 4 years ago robinbeth

That's exactly the album I was listening to when I made these! La Cumbia del Mole! Ah, reminds me of being in Oaxaca.

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over 4 years ago hilarydavidson

Thanks for this delicious-sounding recipe. I especially love that it's gluten-free! I've put a link to it up on the Gluten-Free Guidebook's Facebook group, and I'll definitely mention it on the site, too.

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over 4 years ago robinbeth

Thanks so much! I try to be gluten-free as much as I can so I was excited to discover a new flourless treat!

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over 4 years ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

BTW, if people are having trouble finding Bob's Redmill (or don't want to pay the high prices for it that I've seen here in Seattle), Trader Joes has pretty inexpensive almond flour/meal, and I've found it in bulk at natural markets (Whole Foods, and I think Central Market and maybe PCC in Seattle)!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You might want to double check that Trader Joe's almond meal, as it seems to be made from almonds that have not been blanched. The food52 editors say in the slideshow that you should use blanched almonds . . . . ;o)

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over 4 years ago dymnyno

BOTH finalists have such great recipes...Amanda and Merrill, Can we have a tie??

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over 4 years ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

Agreed!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

This is when the hard work of making a choice really has an impact, folks!

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over 4 years ago NakedBeet

yum.

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over 4 years ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

O.M.G. These look fantastic!

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over 4 years ago robinbeth

Thanks! I loved the flavor of ground almonds in the Oaxacan chocolate and thought it would work well for the macaroons. Mmmm. ¡Muy Delicioso!

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over 4 years ago Gloria I

Where can in purchase the Oaxacan chocolate.

Gloria I

Stringio

over 4 years ago testkitchenette

Que bonito! If only Food52 has some kind of instantaneous delivery system. These look fabulous!