Yes, we did! We made one of our favorite cookies into a macaron! Snickerdoodle Macarons with Cinnamon Sugar Pastry Cream are absolutely delightful!
How to make Macarons?
If you are not already a macaron baker, then you are in for a wild ride! Honestly, these cookies are finicky..... very finicky! But don't let this scare you off! They are worth the time and effort and the end result is amazing even if they happen to have some cracks or imperfections.
What you will need to make macarons
There are some specific kitchen items that will be helpful to have on hand before making these Snickerdoodle Macarons. I use the French Macaron method, which I prefer, but others swear by the Italian method. If you are already a talented macaron maker, feel free to use whichever method you prefer with this flavor combo, but the recipe here is for the French method only.
- An electric hand mixer, or stand mixer with the whisk attachment
- Silicon Baking Mats or Parchment paper
- Pastry Piping bags and Piping Tips
- Baking Tray
- Food Processor
- Kitchen Scale
- A shifter, fine sieve, or tamis
Macarons are almond flour and meringue-based cookies, so there are a few ingredients that may not be in your pantry. Don't try to use alternatives for these ingredients, or you will likely not get good results.
All the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store, but if you have never made macarons, then you may not have these at home.
Making the Macaron Shells
The shells are by far the most challenging part of this whole recipe. If you can master the shells, then seriously give yourself a huge pat on the back!
All ingredients need to be weighed for best results, so definitely invest in a kitchen scale if you don't already own one.
Process and sift the dry ingredients
First, you want to make sure your dry ingredients do not have any lumps or clumps. The best way I have found to do this is to pulse the almond flour, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a food processor first. Then, once the meringue is done, you will sift the almond flour mix directly over the top of the meringue before mixing.
Make the meringue
Making the meringue is quite easy. The key here is to make sure your eggs are fresh and bring them to room temp before separating the whites and mixing. I prefer to use an electric hand mixer, but many people use their stand mixer for this.
You will begin by adding the cream of tartar and salt to the egg whites. Mix this for a few minutes until it begins to look foamy. Now you will slowly add in the granulated sugar and mix on high until the mixture thickens and becomes fluffy, white and shiny. This will take a couple minutes.
The goal here is to create what is referred to as soft peaks. This means the meringue peak created when lifting the whisk from the mixture doesn't stand straight up, but slightly folds over on itself at the tip.
At this point you can add the vanilla extract and continue to mix until it forms stiff peaks. This means that the peaks of the meringue stand straight up when the whisk is removed from the mixture.
Make the macaronage
Macaronage is the French term used to refer to the mixing of the meringue and dry ingredients to the right consistency before piping the batter for the shells.
To achieve this, the mixture is folded in by turning the spatula and quite literally folding the batter onto itself rather than whisking or stirring. I recommend about 50 turns of the spatula in the batter, then check for consistency. The batter should be shiny and smooth, but the best test is to check to see if the batter ribbons off the spatula in a consistent stream, like lava, as you pick the spatula up out of the bowl.
Check out this quick Reels video as a reference for the consistency and piping.
Piping the macarons
Piping is definitely something you will need to get used to and may not come naturally to you. The batter can be a bit unruly, but you will get lots of practice with just one recipe.
I prefer to use silicon baking mats, and the mats with the stenciled circle guides make piping much easier. If you prefer to use parchment, you can use a shot glass, the bottom of a salt shaker, or even a small biscuit cutter to draw the circles on the paper. If you are truly adventurous, then no need for a stencil at all!
I use a 1a piping tip to pipe the batter onto the mats for ease. For best results pipe the batter straight up and down onto the mat in ½ inch circles. They will spread out a bit once the batter settles but you want these to stay fairly small in general with macarons.
Now, you don't want to pull directly up when you are done piping one circle or you will make a bunch of Hersey Kiss looking shells. Instead, you should stop squeezing the bag and do a quick, small circular motion - watch the video above again to see how I do this.
Once you piped the whole tray, you will want to get some of the air bubbles out and allow the batter to spread. To do so, take the tray and simply lift and drop it straight down onto your counter top about 4-5 times. Prepare others in the room for this noice first though - it is quite loud!
Finally, you will take a toothpick and gently pop any air bubbles you see on the surface of the macarons. You can also use the toothpick to carefully fix any imperfections or tips created from piping.
Form the skin
Once you finish with the piping, you want your shells to dry to the point where they are no longer sticky to the touch. With low humidity, this takes about 45 minutes. BUT, this greatly depends on the humidity, so just let them do their thing and they will tell you when they are ready! I've waited over 2 hours on very humid days.
Don't rush these high-maintenance cookies!
One trick I have found for quicker drying is to slide the silicon baking mat or parchment off the tray and directly onto my granite countertops. Since the granite stays very cool, the shells dry much quicker than if I keep them on the trays. Give it a try and let us know if you find this helpful as well!
This step is very important to ensure that the macarons bake correctly and develop their signature feet - or the little ruffles around the bottom of the smooth top shell.
Baking the shells
I preheat my oven to 300°F as soon as the shells are no longer sticky and not a minute sooner. I find that the extra time it takes to preheat the oven gives me a bit more of a cushion for the skin to be formed.
The tray should go on the middle rack of the oven. If you have a gas oven or if you oven bakes unevenly, you may need to turn the tray halfway through the baking process. Do not use convection bake for these if you can avoid it.
The shells bake one tray at a time for 15 minutes, or until they easily peel off the mat or parchment paper. They should not brown, so if you notice any browning, try baking at 275°F the next time around.
Filling the macarons
The shells should cool completely before filling the macarons. The pastry cream used is this recipe is quite delicious, but there are a ton of different fillings that can be used. Experiment with ganache or buttercream if you wish, but be warned Snickerdoodle Macarons with Cinnamon Sugar Pastry Cream will be your favorite.
For best results, fill the macarons and place in an airtight container overnight in the fridge. With pastry cream, the macarons should be eaten within 1-2 days or they will begin to get soggy. Buttercream or ganache will not get soggy so quickly, but these macarons never last that long around here!
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Snickerdoodle Macarons with Cinnamon Sugar Pastry Cream! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Check out some of our other macaron recipes below: