Thanksgiving Cranberry Macarons
Have you ever had an idea that turned out even better than you intended? I made these macarons for the book club ladies last week and they were a huge hit! Originally I planned to share this recipe as a plan for using up leftover cranberry sauce. But then I realized it would actually be a really nice Thanksgiving dessert! These macarons are light, sweet and slightly tart. Your guests will appreciate a dessert that’s light and unexpected. I don’t know about you, but after gorging myself on Thanksgiving dinner sometimes pie seems like too much (don’t get me wrong, I still eat it, ha!).
Let’s get to it!
Preheat your oven and cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Now sift the almond meal and powdered sugar into a bowl to remove any lumps. I just pour mine through a fine mesh strainer. Set this mix aside for later.
Next whisk the egg whites and sugar by hand in the bowl of a stand mixer just until blended.
Set it to mix on medium for two minutes. Then turn the mixer up to medium high and whisk another two minutes and finally crank it up to high and mix another two minutes. You should end up with stiff peaks meaning when you pull the whisk out, the peak that forms should hold its shape. If it doesn’t whisk longer.
Now gently fold in the cinnamon, almond meal and powdered sugar until evenly combined. Count the times you fold everything together, you want no more than forty strokes. Every time you fold this you’re taking little bit of air out of the egg whites, and that’s what makes them puffy and wonderful.
Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe into 1 1/2″ circles on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Make sure they aren’t too thick or they won’t get crunchy on the outside. Once they’re all piped bang the cookie sheet on the counter to get out any large air bubbles. Let them sit ten minutes at room temperature. This will help them develop a nice crust.
Now bake them in the oven twelve to sixteen minutes or until they are set. Take out of the oven and let them cool.
Next, you’ll make the filling. Put the cranberry sauce, cream cheese and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend with the whisk attachment until smooth.
Now mix in the powdered sugar. I like the filling pretty tart so taste it and add more powdered sugar to your liking.
At this point you can keep the components separate until you’re ready to serve. The filling will last in the fridge for four days and the macarons can be made a day ahead. Once the cookies are sandwiched with the filling they will get soggy if left overnight.
To fill the macarons, I used a piping bag to make it go on smoothly. You can also just use a spoon or spreader. Put about one tablespoon of filling onto a cookie and top with another pressing to get the filling to the edges. Do this with the rest of the cookies and serve. You may have leftover filling.
The macarons are crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside and the cinnamon adds a lovely warmth. The filling is creamy and tart with the cranberries balancing the cinnamon out. So tasty!
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 2 large egg whites, room temp
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temp
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 325° and cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift almond meal and powdered sugar into a bowl and aside.
- Whisk the egg whites and sugar by hand in the bowl of a stand mixer just until blended. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. Turn mixer up to medium high and whisk another 2 minutes and finally crank up to high and mix another 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in cinnamon, almond meal and powdered sugar until combined but no more than 40 strokes.
- Put mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe into 1 1/2" circles on prepared cookie sheets. Make sure they aren't too thick. Bang the cookie sheets on the counter to smooth them. Let them sit 10 minutes at room temperature.
- Bake 12-16 minutes or until they are set. Take out of the oven and cool.
- Put the cranberry sauce, cream cheese and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend with the whisk attachment until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar.
- Fill the macarons using a piping bag, spoon or spreader. Put about one tablespoon of filling onto a cookie and top with another pressing to get the filling to the edges.
This post contains affiliate links.