Orange Walnut Macarons with Spiced Cream Cheese and Cranberry Filling put a holiday twist on a classic favorite. These light macarons are lighter than air with a spicy walnuts cranberry filling that is perfect for a holiday treat.
FOR THE CRANBERRY FILLING:
• 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup water
FOR THE SHELLS:
• 155 grams powdered (confectioners) sugar
• 50 grams walnut pieces
• 50 grams almond meal/flour
• zest of half an orange
• 3 egg whites
• ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
• pinch of kosher salt
• 55 grams granulated sugar
• Gold Disco Dust, optional
FOR THE SPICED CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
• 4 ounces softened cream cheese (I used ⅓ less fat)
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• ¼ cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• pinch of kosher salt
MAKE THE CRANBERRY COMPOTE:
Place the cranberries, water, and sugar in a medium pot and bring to boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
MAKE THE MACARON SHELLS:
Place the bowl of the food processor on a kitchen scale and zero it out.
Weigh out the nuts, almond flour, and confectioners sugar, add the orange zest, and process finely.
Sift the mixture, re-process any large pieces that may remain, sift again, and set aside.
Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whip on medium speed to soft peaks.
Gradually whip in the granulated sugar, turn the speed up to high, and continue to whip to stiff, glossy peaks.
Add the nut mixture all at once. Fold together just until the mixture falls from the spatula in one thick, long, continuous ribbon. Do not overmix.
Fill a pastry bag with the batter, and pipe 2-inch diameter circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with gold disco dust, if using.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Allow the piped batter to dry until a thin membrane has formed over the surface (about 20-30 minutes).
Place one tray of macaron shells in the hot oven, and immediately drop the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 11-12 minutes, remove from the oven, and raise the temperature back to 375 F before putting the next tray in and immediately lowering again.
Cool the shells completely, on the baking sheet, before filling.
MAKE THE SPICED CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
Place all the Spiced Cream Cheese Filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beat until fluffy and smooth.
ASSEMBLE THE MACARONS:
Pipe a ring around the bottom of one macaron shell.
Fill the center of the ring with about ½ teaspoon of Cranberry Filling.
Sandwich another macaron shell on top.
To get the red color you will need to add red food coloring to the macaron mix.
You will have (a lot of) extra cranberry filling.
Canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce can be substituted for the Cranberry Filling.