Coconut in shells and almond extract in the buttercream make these Snowmen Macaron taste like an almond joy! It wouldn’t be a blogging event if I didn’t make my favorite cookie. This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Hi! My name is Christie and I’m addicted to baking macaron. It started when I was just wee little blogger of about 1 year old (technically 8 but who’s really counting!). I decided I wanted to make them for a recipe contest trying to be part of the “cool kids” group in blogging. Then my obsession just grew from there.
What was the first recipe you ask?
Bananas Foster-rita Macaron. I was trying to get into the “in” crowd (don’t judge me because I didn’t know any better when I started doing this for realz.). It was hosted by Frugal Foodie Mama and This Gal Cooks. There was a smaller group that would participate and I know I probably came on too strong and these women were like, “WTH is this chick?” Like I said, don’t judge because I was young and naïve.
Don’t we all do things when we’re first starting out blogging and we look back and say to ourselves, “WTF were we thinking?” I have a few moments like that. But, they wouldn’t make me who I am today as a blogger if I didn’t experience those situations or events.
Oh, and I’m done trying to find a “cool kids” crowd to belong to because I found something even better! I have found a group of bloggers who are just like me! They love to create recipes and blog about it. They have real lives and most of them have day jobs. I cannot relate to someone who is blogging full time as a new blogger. It just gives you unobtainable pipe dreams in my opinion.
Anyway! Back to the macaron!!
I was determined to master these finicky little beasts, but I knew all the YouTube watching wasn’t going to save me. That whole “lava flow” thing that they talk about for the consistency of the macaronage I just wanted getting. That’s when mom came to the rescue and sent me to school. She gave me a birthday present of a macaron class at Sur La Table. That’s when it all clicked!!
I think most are intimidated by them because – well I don’t really know why! I mean, I know my earlier recipes weren’t picture perfect, but I was trying to master them. I had a few accidental successes, but I guess it’s the lava flow macaronage consistency that could intimidate them. I still don’t quite get that, but what I do know is the batter is ready when it turns from matte to having a sheen to it. It turns glossy! And that’s exactly when I know it’s time to pipe.
I’ve learned over the few short years how to trouble shoot what goes wrong. Wrinkled tops? Oven temperature is too low. Hollow shells? Probably overworked the batter or cooked them too long. Can’t remove them from the silpat? Probably undercooked them and they need more time. For me, I have a brain fart and forget the temperature for my oven is 325. If I forget that, then they wrinkle and I do that V8 thing where I smacked myself in the forehead and then crank the oven up.
I keep saying this, but they’re really not hard to make.
Really not! The food processor processes the almond meal, powdered sugar, and any other ingredients I want to add in there. These have coconut chips in the shell. I was going for an almond joy type experience, but I think the shells need a bit more coconut flavor. The hardest parts are sifting three times or more and piping. At least for these it was piping. They didn’t quite come out in the shape I wanted. That just means I need to keep making them to master the snowman shape. That’s all!
The rest of the steps are make a meringue. I always use the American meringue. Wait at least 30 minutes for the tops to dry. And then you bake them. Of course there’s the whole what to put in the middle issue. Ganache or buttercream? Lately, I’ve been making buttercream because I suck at that, but the more you try to do something the more you learn and the easier it gets.
Of course, it’s easier to make these cookies when I know how the ingredients are going to act and react. That’s why I always use Dixie Crystals powdered sugar. When you’re doing a science experiment, there are certain controls that you need, right? Well, for me the science experiment of adding different ingredients in the shell for flavor means I use the same almond meal and the same sugars.
This is how I knew in the pizza macaron that it was the tomato powder that I added to the shells that made them too moist. And how I knew that the cranberry walnut ones weren’t smooth because of the walnut meal in the shells. When you keep the basic ingredients the same you can learn these nuances about making the cookies.
BUT you have to try to make them first!
Bourbon Salted Caramel Coffee with Whipped Cream from With Two Spoons
Chocolate Eggnog Pudding Shots from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cookie Butter Eggnog Cocktail from My Suburban Kitchen
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Drops from Family Around the Table
Mulled Red Wine Sangria from Platter Talk
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Live Love Texas
Salted Caramel Affogato from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Salted Caramel Apple Cider Martini from Sweet Beginnings
Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini from The Crumby Kitchen
Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie from An Affair from the Heart
Sugar Cookie Martini from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Black Forest Cheesecake from Kate’s Recipe Box
Butter Rum Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Christmas Cornflake Wreaths from The Mandatory Mooch
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cookie Cups from Love and Confections
Cookie Butter Shortbread Bars from Eat Move Make
Fluffernutter Truffles from Mildly Meandering
Frozen Mint Meltaway Pie from Cooking with Carlee
Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting from The Baking Fairy
Spiced Eggnog Sugarmen from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from The Beard and The Baker
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Eggnog Butter Frosting from Lady Behind the Curtain
Slice ‘N’ Bake Grinch Cookies from Big Bear’s Wife
Snowmen Macarons from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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