Let me begin by saying, I'm no Pierre Hermé, Ladurée or Geffroy Chevallier (ummmm - why did I feel the need to point that out?!?). I've actually LOST COUNT at how many times I've attempted French macarons and failed miserably (no I haven't - it's seven - seven times).
On that note, these cinnamon macarons were good. Not amazing, but good enough that I decided to photograph them.
I used Donna Hay's recipe, added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon extract and dusted the tops with ground cinnamon before baking (after resting 20 minutes), then, I filled them with cream cheese frosting that I had left in the freezer from this incredible carrot cake I made in December (turns out cream cheese frosting freezes BEAUTIFULLY - you would never know it was made two months ago!!).
It's said that room temperature egg whites are key to macaron success.
Every time I make these incredibly frustrating/rewarding little cookies, I make notes about what-not-to-do next time.
Notes from this attempt:
- Add cinnamon extract to eggs whites before whisking - the cinnamon extract is so powerful it actually deflated my meringue - I think this is why some of my 'feet' were straight-sided instead of nice and ruffly
- Bake one tray at a time - I don't know why but I popped both trays in the oven together - the top tray of macarons looked like the ones in the photo above - the bottom tray all cracked
- Don't stress - Though my macarons weren't perfect, they were TASTY. I know one day, the stars will line up and I will make perfect French bakery-style macarons. Because I love baking so much I try not to stress when things go wrong (notice I said TRY).
* I bought my cinnamon extract at Sur La Table in the US - think cinnamon hearts and cinnamon toothpicks - it's intense.
** I would like to send a shout out to the most lovely Maureen O. of Baked In Nova Scotia - www.bakedinnovascotia.com. She posted gorgeous ruffly pink macarons on Facebook the other night which inspired me to give it another go!