Can you guys believe that Christmas is only like a week away?! It’s kinda freaking me out! I swear next year I am going to be better about planning ahead and getting gifts together. I used to be so on top of it…I’m not really sure what happened the last few years.
But hey, at least I am savoring the holiday spirit! And I made (+ eaten) lots of holiday goodies..which is all that really matters
So remember a few weeks ago when I made those wonderful Pumpkin Spice Macarons? Well I was hooked – I just could not stop thinking of flavor combinations.
I got to work right away and first up was Eggnog – what’s more holiday that eggnog flavored goodies?! Plus it’s Lances favorite so I knew for sure that even if they didn’t come out pretty, he would definitely eat them!
To make these guys special I threw in some freshly grated nutmeg and a nice dose of rum extract. Instant eggnog flavor easy as that. I wanted to make sure you really got an eggnog fix from these, so I also filled them with an eggnog buttercream – that stuff would be deadly on a cupcake!
- 4 ounces (115g) almond flour or blanched almonds
- 8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp nutmeg, fresh grated
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 5 ounces egg whites (144g)
- 2½ ounce (72g) sugar
- ½ tsp (2g) salt
- 1 tsp rum extract
- 1 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons rum extract
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons eggnog
- Preheat the oven to 300° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, along with two sheet pans lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside. If a significant portion won’t go through your sifter (more than 2 tablespoons) you’ll need to grind them up until they do.
- *If you are using whole almonds, process the almonds and powdered sugar for about a minute in the bowl of a food processor. Take out the mixture and sift it, reserving whatever bits don’t pass through the sieve. Add these bits back to the food processor and run the machine for another minute. Sift again. You should have about 2 Tbsp of slightly chunkier almond bits, but just add those into the dry mix. Then sift in pumpkin pie spice.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt and turn the mixer to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid). Whip for 3 minutes. They will not seem especially foamy at that point. Increase the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip another 3 minutes, then crank the speed to 8 for go another 3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and add in rum extract and whip for a final minute on the highest speed. At the end of this minute, you should have a very stiff, dry meringue. When you remove the whisk attachment, there will be a big clump of meringue in the center, just knock the whisk against the bowl to free it. If the meringue has not become stiff enough to clump inside the whisk, continue beating for another minute, or until it does so.
- Now dump in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Use both a folding motion (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a rubbing/smearing motion, to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. This should take about 30-45 turns/folds and should be lava like in texture – this enough to mound up on itself, but fluid enough to melt back down.
- Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag. Pipe the batter into circles on the baking sheet. Keep in mind batter will continue to spread just a bit. Refill the piping bag after piping out half of macarons.
- After piping your macarons, take hold of the sheet pan and hit it hard against your counter three times, rotating 90 degrees after each tap.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. Let cool on the pans before peeling the macarons from the parchment.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Beat in extract, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt until well combined about 15 seconds.
- Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add eggnog. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
- Match up macarons in pairs based on size and shape. Fill a pastry bag fitted with the buttercream and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with the other half.