I had planned on doing lots of Christmas baking this year, but somehow the time just flew by and before I knew it, Christmas was only a week away and I still had to do all my Christmas shopping and baking!
Luckily, I recently received some McLean’s Run Open Range eggs from the lovely people at One Green Bean which inspired me to get cracking with my Christmas baking. I wanted to use make something that would put these fresh, quality eggs to good use and eggnog was the first thing that sprung to mind. I’m not a big fan of drinks that use egg though (alcoholic or otherwise) so instead I decided to capture the flavour of eggnog in something else that uses eggs as the main ingredient – macarons.
In the end, I made both eggnog flavoured and candy cane macarons. It’s been a while since I’ve made macarons and it took me a few attempts to get it right, so it was a good thing I had a dozen eggs to work with! It also didn’t help that I was working with a new oven as well which doesn’t seem to want to be my friend yet.
I love the brightly coloured candy cane macarons which are filled with peppermint buttercream and rolled in crushed candy canes. But I think the eggnog macarons are a little more exciting flavour-wise with the warm, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg and a hit of alcohol thanks to some rum that I added into the buttercream. They go down well with a glass of chilled eggnog as well.
And now it’s only 2 more days til Christmas! I hope each and every one of you out there has a fantastic Christmas filled with lots of awesome presents and delicious food!
Adapted from a recipe by Tartelette
For the macarons:
100g egg whites (about 3), aged
125g almond meal
150g pure icing sugar
100g caster sugar
cinnamon, for dusting
1. Age your egg whites by leaving them out at room temperature for 24-48 hours, or for 3-5 days in the fridge. Process almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor and sift into a bowl. Process any remaining lumps again and sift again – discard any bits that do not fit through the sieve.
2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar whilst beating until stiff peaks form. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and mix quickly with a spatula a few times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Once the ingredients are starting to incorporate, slow down and fold the mixture until it flows like magma and falls in ribbons from the spatula. Pipe 3cm circles onto sheets lined with baking paper. Confidently rap the baking sheet onto the counter top to allow bubbles to come to the surface, pop these with a toothpick. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top of half the shells for the eggnog macarons, if desired. Leave the shells out to dry for 30 minutes to an hour to allow a skin to develop on top – when you can touch the surface without any mixture sticking to your finger, they are ready.
3. Preheat the oven to 140ºC. If you have thin baking sheets, place an overturned baking tray into the oven while it is preheating. When the macarons are ready, place the baking sheet on top of the overturned baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven. The macarons are usually ready when they peel back from the baking paper easily. When they have finished baking, carefully peel the macarons from the baking paper and place onto a wire rack to cool.
For the buttercream:
100g butter, softened
190g icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp peppermint essence (for the candy cane macarons)
2 large candy canes, crushed (for the candy cane macarons)
1 tbsp rum (for the eggnog macarons)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (for the eggnog macarons)
pinch of nutmeg (for the eggnog macarons)
4. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar and milk. Divide the buttercream into two – in one half add the peppermint essence, and in the other half add the rum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
5. Fill the plain shells with peppermint buttercream and roll in crushed candy canes. Fill the cinnamon topped shells with the eggnog buttercream. Place in an airtight container to mature in the fridge for at least 24 hours.