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|Cinnamon Macarons with Cinnamon Apple-Butter Buttercream
Cinnamon Macarons & Cinnamon Apple-Butter Buttercream
For the Macarons:
- 4 ounces almond flour sifted to remove large pieces
- 8 ounces Confectioners' sugar sifted
- 5 ounces egg whites aged overnight at room temperature (about 5 eggs)
- 2 ½ ounces granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon plus extra to sprinkle on top
- pinch salt
- brown gel food color if desired
For the Cinnamon Apple-Butter Buttercream:
- ¼ cup apple butter unsweetened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 to 1 ½ cups Confectioners' sugar sifted
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch circles (using a cookie or biscuit cutter) on the parchment paper at least 1 inch apart. Turn the paper over and set aside.
- Prepare a large pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip. Set aside. Whisk together the almond flour, 8 ounces Confectioners' sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, granulated sugar and salt. Using the whisk attachment turn the mixer to medium (speed #4 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip for 3 minutes. The egg whites will not seem overly foamy at this point. Turn the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen Aid) and beat another 3 minutes. Turn the speed to 8 and whip for three more minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and food color, if using, and beat on high for another minute or until stiff peaks form and the egg whites hold in the middle of the whisk attachment. Shake the meringue loose from the whisk and add all the dry ingredients at one time. Fold the ingredients together using a rubber spatula. Keep turning the batter until all dry ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is creamy. To test the consistency, drizzle some of the batter back into the bowl using the spatula. If the batter blends back into itself after about 1 minute, it's ready. You don't want it runny like pancake batter. If you think it needs another turn, do them one at a time.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pastry bag and pipe onto the cookie sheets. Do not fill the circles completely. Fill to about ⅔ full as the batter will spread a bit. Sprinkle each cookies with additional cinnamon. Once the whole sheet is full, rap the pan on a hard surface to pop any air bubbles in the cookies. Allow the macarons to rest for 30 minutes before baking.
- Bake about 18-20 minutes. To check if you pull up on a cookie and the top separates from the bottom, they are not ready. Bake another minute or two and test again. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the parchment paper. Use a metal spatula if needed to remove the cookies.
- While the cookies are cooling make the filling. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the apple butter and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and cinnamon and continue to boil for another minute or two. Cool to lukewarm then add the powdered sugar until it is thick enough to spread.
- Pipe the apple butter icing into the middle of one cookie, top with another macaron and twist to distribute the filling.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the refrigerator about an hour before serving. These cookies get better after a day or so.
- Filling adapted from a recipe by Cupcake Project and the base cookie slightly adapted from Bravetart