Thursday, August 27, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons with truwhip Filling

Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons with truwhip Filling

Macaroons?  Or Macarons?  Whichever spelling you prefer (the single "o" is the French spelling), these are coveted as one of the most difficult cookies in the baking world.  Temperamental and delicate, these little babies are not for the lighthearted kitchen goer.  You've got to be committed for I'm gonna break it down for ya!

The recipe base I use is from Food Network Magazine.  I like it because it gives fairly simple instruction, and the steps don't scare the crap out of first time Macaron-ers.

I LOVE that these cookies are made from just a few ingredients. They're also gluten-free, and actually have a little protein from the egg whites!  You can fill them with just about anything from jelly, to whipped topping to frosting. But, like I said, be committed, and be patient...verrrrryyy patient.

In my Macarons today, I also used some strawberry baking emulsion.  Emulsions are great, because they act just like extracts, but the flavors don't bake out of the emulsions like extracts sometimes do.

But let's face it.  Cookies are all about what's in the center, right?  I mean, I've NEVER met anyone eat the outside of an Oreo and throw away the center.  That's just wrong.  So today, I used just a bit of cream cheese, a little powdered sugar, and LOTS of truwhip!

truwhip (shown frozen) in regular and "skinny" varieties

I've always LOVED the light, airy and fluffy texture of store-bought whipped toppings, but I hated the JUNK that was in them.  I just thought that was the only way for them to get that texture...through some kind of gross, scientific GMO experiment.  Not so... and truwhip is here to let everyone know that!

Made mostly of tapioca syrup and palm kernel oil, this non-GMO product is free of high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats AND gluten!  SIGN.ME.UP.  Make sure you visit their nutritional page for more info.  I LOVE how they break down each ingredient with a little cloud and some helpful into as you hover over them.  OH, and did I mention that they also have a SKINNY VERSION?!  Yep.  That just happened.

So here's what I'm going to do.  This is Food Network's recipe, and I'll give some notes in bold, red italics as I go:

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour (I like Trader Joe's the best, but Bob's Red Mill is okay too)
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar (regular granulated sugar works just fine)
  • 2 to 3 drops gel food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract (this is where your baking emulsion would go)
  • Assorted fillings (see below for truwhip Strawberry Cheesecake filling)
Special Equipment:
  • Oven with convection setting
  • 4 baking sheets (2, I'll tell you why below)
  • 3 silicone baking mats (2)
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Pastry bag with 1/4-inch round tip (a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off works too)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. (I flip the baking sheet over and place the silicone mat (or Silpat) on top.  PLEASE use silicone mats, or Silpats.  I know they're expensive, but they make a HUGE difference, and REALLY help keep the cookies in a perfectly round shape. NOTE:  You CAN just use parchment paper, but don't expect perfect circles for your cookies). Measure the confectioners' sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.

Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.  (If you're a crazy perfectionist like me, you CAN run the almond flour through the food processor first, to make the grind even finer).

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.

Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.

Add the food coloring and extract. Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes (don't over stir the batter, or you'll end up with flat little frisbees.  Not that I've EVER done that or anything.  Someone told me.)

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip (or just the plain old ziploc I told you about earlier). Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles (drop it like its hot).

Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity (if you live in Florida, it may take a week. I would just go to the store and buy some). Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat) (I just flipped the baking sheet upside down.  This prevented the Silpat from having a lifted edge and did the same thing they mentioned above).

Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a "foot," about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).

Read more at:

truwhip Cheesecake Filling

Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons with truwhip Filling
  • 10oz. truwhip, thawed
  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar 
  • 1/2 cup chopped, fresh strawberries

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whip on low speed until sugar is incorporated.  Increase to high speed and mix until creamy and combined.

Spoon about 2 tsp. filling into the center of one of the cookies.  Top with another cookie and serve!

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