Discover the ultimate holiday treat with these scrumptious Spiced Mincemeat Macaron! These delectable morsels feature spiced pecan shell and a luscious, mincemeat buttercream filling.
Are you ready to sprinkle some holiday magic into your baking? I’ve upped my macaron game with these spiced mincemeat macaron. Sort of at least. I went with a different style of filling for these gems. I always fail at regular buttercream because most recipes make way more than I need to fill this batch of cookies. And it’s always too squishy. The filling just comes right out of the macaron when you bite into it. I’ve mastered the shells, now I just need to master filling them. Maybe I’ll try this miracle frosting on these gingerbread cupcakes. Or maybe these cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
What is mincemeat?
For those that don’t know what it is, mincemeat may sound like a weird ingredient to include in a sweet treat like macarons. Its tradition in holiday baking adds a unique and delightful twist to these festive cookies. So, what exactly is mincemeat? Mincemeat refers to a mixture of finely chopped fruits combined with spices. The fruits can currants, raisins, and candied citrus peel and the spices are your typical sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Sometimes this spiced concoction simmers with brandy or rum for an added depth of flavor.
The history of mincemeat can be traced back to medieval times when it originally contained real meat, hence the name. Over the centuries meat became less prominent and the sweet fruits and spices took center stage. Mincemeat has since evolved into a staple during the holiday season, commonly used as a filling for pies, tarts, and now, macarons.
I’ve incorporated condensed mincemeat into the frosting for these spiced mincemeat macaron, but I’ve also included some of the same spices in mincemeat into the shells. By incorporating these spices into the macaron shells, you infuse them with a burst of warm, comforting flavors that perfectly capture the essence of the holiday season. The combination of the delicate shells and the robust spiced mincemeat filling creates an enchanting holiday treat that delivers a truly magical experience with every bite.
What is ermine frosting?
Ermine frosting originated in France. It’s also known as boiled milk frosting or heritage frosting. It has a rich history that dates back centuries. Traditionally used to frost cakes and other delectable desserts, this classic frosting technique employs a unique cooking process that results in a silky and smooth finish.
The secret to ermine frosting lies in the combination of ingredients. There’s milk, sugar, flour, and butter. Unlike the more commonly known buttercream frostings, ermine frosting starts with a cooked flour and milk mixture which creates a roux. This roux serves as the base of the frosting. Once cooled, roux gets added to whipped butter. This results in a luscious frosting that is rich, yet light and airy.
What are some tips for perfect macaron shells?
The process of making macarons can be a bit intimidating. But it’s not a far-fetched goal! They’re not a unicorn! It just takes some practice and some patience. I mean, you didn’t learn to walk or ride a bike on the first try, did you? No. It took a few tries to get it right. I preach that with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to achieve picture-perfect macaron shells every time.
First and foremost, it’s important to start with accurate measurements. Macarons require precise measurements of ingredients to achieve the desired texture and consistency. Invest in a digital kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients accurately, especially the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour. A cup of sugar may have one weight today and have a different one tomorrow. It’s all about the humidity in the air. Humidity in your ingredients can make or break these shells.
Another crucial aspect to consider is the mixing technique. Over-mixing or under-mixing the batter, or macaronage, can lead to disastrous results. To achieve the right consistency, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue mixture gradually. Be gentle yet thorough. Watch the batter carefully. It will go from dull and matte to a glossy batter that flows like lava but still holds its shape when piped.
Piping is a skill that might take a bit of practice, but it’s worth the effort. Use a piping bag fitted with a half inch round tip to create uniform macaron shells. Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and apply constant pressure while piping. I go straight up and down when piping. Some do a swirl to prevent a nub to form on your shells. Try a few different techniques to see what works best for you. And be sure to space them evenly to allow for spreading and avoid overcrowding. I use a template underneath the silpat liner to make sure mine are similar in size and shape.
There are two overlooked steps in macaron making. The first is to bang the pan on the counter to release any trapped air in the shells. Air bubbles can make them bake unevenly. The second is the drying time. Once piped, leave the macaron shells at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. This will create a thin, smooth layer on top, known as the “skin,” that helps the macaron hold their shape and develop their distinct feet during baking. Touch the shells gently with your finger. If they are no longer sticky or tacky, they are ready to bake. Sometimes I turn the vent on my stove to make sure they dry even on the most humid of days.
Every oven is unique, and slight adjustments may be necessary to achieve the perfect macaron shell. Start by preheating your oven to the recommended temperature. Make sure to keep an eye on the shells as they bake. Look for a smooth, firm shell with slight browning around the edges. Remember that macarons continue to develop their texture and flavor as they cool, so be patient and resist the temptation to remove them from the oven too soon.
Make sure to handle these spiced mincemeat macaron with care during the storage process. These little confections are delicate and can easily crack or lose their shape. To prevent any mishaps, place a layer of parchment paper or nonstick baking mat between each layer of macarons when storing them in an airtight container. This will help keep them from sticking together and maintain their beautiful appearance.
Yes, you could and should refrigerate these mincemeat macarons. However, since they easily absorb odors, it’s recommended to store them in an airtight container. Be sure to keep them away from any strong-smelling foods or ingredients. So, not next to like blue cheese or your spicy chili. I don’t usually bring mine to room temperature, but you probably should.
If you’re planning on gifting these homemade spicy mincemeat macarons then presentation is key. Consider packaging them in elegant gift boxes or clear cellophane bags tied with decorative ribbons. You can find some clamshell type containers with wells made specifically for macaron. I used to have some, but I can’t find the ones I ordered a few years ago. You can also add a personalized touch by including a hand-written note or recipe card with the box. This not only makes the gift more special, but it also allows the recipient to recreate the magic of these spiced mincemeat macarons in their own kitchen.
What do spiced mincemeat macarons taste like?
The holidays in a macaron! I always taste the shells. They should have flavor and not just the filling. That’s what sets my macaron apart from most recipes and almost every commercially prepared macaron on the market. Why take the time to limit your production by flavoring the shells when you can simply split the batter out into different colors? I take the time make sure there is flavor in my shells making my macaron delectable! These shells have gingerbread spice in them and maple sweet flavor from the pecan meal. It was a last minute decision, but well worth it!
The mincemeat buttercream is the perfect combination of creamy and sweet with a hint of mincemeat flavor. Not too much mincemeat flavor like you get with a pie or a tart. That’s all due to the condensed mincemeat I added to the roux for the buttercream. I stumbled on this product trying to find regular mincemeat. It’s been my favorite holiday ingredient for the last few years.
You add water and rehydrate it, but this time it was milk that rehydrated it. I added it to the milk, sugar, and flour when making the roux. That was plenty of liquid and heat to rehydrate the mincemeat. In my previous mincemeat Manhattan recipe, I used bourbon to rehydrate it. Oh, yes, I did. And the mincemeat is not chunky because you whip the ermine frosting for a while. So, there’s no large chunks of raisins or currents in your filling. Just smooth and creamy buttercream filling for these spiced mincemeat macarons.
Treat yourself to something special! Spiced Mincemeat Macaron! It has a creamy filling and zesty flavors that will knock your socks off this holiday season!
For the macaron:
- 2 ounces almond meal
- 2 ounces pecan meal
- 7 ounces powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon gingerbread spice
- 4 ounces egg white, room temperature
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 50 grams sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spice mix
For the filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup mincemeat
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- Pulse the 7 ounces powdered sugar and 4 ounces almond flour with the gingerbread spice in a food processor to form a fine powder. Sift three times into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large, metal mixing bowl). Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the eggs and hand mix the two together with the whisk attachment for the stand mixer (or hand mixer).
Fasten the whisk attachment and beat the mixture on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Add 1/3 of the almond mixture into the meringue. Continue folding and adding the almond mixture until all of it is incorporated into the meringue. The mixture should drip slowly off the spatula; like lava flowing. (Think conditioner dripping out of a bottle. That works for me.) The mixture will have a sheen to it when it’s ready to pipe.
- Transfer the batter to large piping bags fitted with a 1/2 inch tip and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds onto a silpat covered baking sheet. There are several different templates out there. You can print mine out here.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- You’re going to LOVE this next part! Once all the batter has been piped or your sheets are full, grab the edges of the pan, secure the silpat with your thumbs (or any extra batter) and rap the pans on the counter. That’s right! You heard me! Bang them on the counter!! This releases any remaining air bubbles in the meringue. Continue rapping the sheets, turning occasionally, until no more air bubbles surface. If there are some stubborn ones still not popping, carefully pop them with the tip of a toothpick.
- Allow the macaron to rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes or more depending on the humidity level of your kitchen. If it’s a humid day, set them on the stove and turn the vent hood on to help the tops dry.
- Once they’ve rested and the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, bake at 325 for 7 to 9 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom and bake an additional 7 to 9 minutes.
- Do the wiggle test to see if the meringue is cooked; carefully grab the top of the shell and see if it moves easily from side to side when wiggled. This indicates that the meringue isn’t completely cooked.
- Continue to cook in 2 to 3 minutes intervals until they wiggle just slightly. They will continue to cook as they cool. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling.
For the macaron shells:
- Combine the sugar with the flour, milk, and mincemeat in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir with a whisk until combined. Bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Cool the mixture to room temperature and then put in the refrigerator for at least an hour to cool completely.
- Beat the butter with the shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the mincemeat mixture one tablespoon at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Beat at medium high speed for 5 to 7 minutes or until the frosting is creamy.
- Put the frosting into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe a quarter sized amount of frosting onto one shell and top with a matching shell. Continue until all the shells are matched and filled. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the filling:
Amount Per Serving Calories 253Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 29mgSodium 158mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 1gSugar 26gProtein 2g