Orange Walnut Macarons with Spiced Cream Cheese and Cranberry Filling
Today’s post is by my dear friend Allie from Baking a Moment. Allie has an incredible love and talent for baking and these orange walnut macarons with spiced cream cheese and cranberry filling are a perfect example. I’m always in awe of her creations! She is also the sweetest darling and I have been very lucky to get to know her these past few months. You will love her and all her gorgeous desserts. Like these macarons.
Hello there, Blahnik Baker readers! My name is Allie and I blog over at Baking a Moment. Zainab and I have connected through desserts-blogging, and I couldn’t be more pleased! She is just so sweet and warm, and she has the most generous spirit. Am I right? I mean you guys already know…
She’s also one of the most intelligent people I know. Hello, neuroscience? That’s like a whole other level of brainy… which leads me to why I’m here today. Zainab is currently out of town and away from her beloved oven, attending a conference for neuro-scientists. Am I even saying that right, Zainab??? Well, I’m so happy that she’s invited me to guest post in her absence, and excited to share this recipe with you, her readers!
I know that macarons are a little intimidating for some, but I also know that they are one of Zainab’s favorite things to make. So, I figured, if she likes them, then you must also like them, and since I like them…
…how about a nice, late-fall/early-winter macaron rendition.
I always associate walnuts with the holiday season. There’s just something about their warm, toasty flavor that puts me in the holiday spirit! For these macaron shells, I subbed some ground walnuts in for the traditional almonds. Be sure to look for walnut “pieces,” as opposed to “halves,” when you are shopping for them. Walnut halves are crazy expensive and they’re just going to get ground up in the food processor anyway. My food processor recently bit the dust so I actually ended up using the chopper attachment to my stick blender. Just pulse the nuts until they are as finely ground as possible, but be careful not to turn them into nut butter!
I also added some orange zest for a citrusy pop that contrasts so nicely with all the other seasonal flavors. And a little sprinkling of gold disco dust gives them an extra festive sparkle.
For the filling, a simple cream cheese frosting is spiked with a little cinnamon spice. Pipe it in a circle on one macaron shell, and dollop a juicy drop of whole berry cranberry sauce in the little well you’ve created. It’s a happy little surprise when you bite that first macaron, and find the tart and fruity filling hiding inside!
I just last year learned how easy it is to make homemade cranberry sauce. Before that time, I was a slave to the can, but once I tried my hand at homemade, there was no going back! I mean, we’re talking three ingredients and ten minutes, you guys! That being said, I’m sure it’s pretty much the same thing in the can, so if you’re in a rush, there’s no shame in the shortcut.
You’re going to love the way the tart fruit contrasts with the sweet, marshmallowy macaron shell! And the toasty walnuts and citrus notes will tickle your taste buds. The rich cream cheese filling with that hint of winter spice rounds out the flavors in such a delicious way! Wouldn’t these just be gorgeous on your holiday dessert table, or even as a little party favor for your guests to take home?
I hope you guys enjoy these fun and seasonal macarons! I had so much fun putting them together and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to meet all of you Blahnik Baker readers. Thank you Zainab! You are a dear friend, and beautiful both inside and out.
Thank you very much Allie!! These macarons knocked me off my feet and I cannot wait to try them. Isn’t she lovely? I told you you will love her. Head over to her blog, Baking a Moment, to find more creative recipes like this. Just remember, I loved her first!
Orange Walnut Macarons with Spiced Cream Cheese and Cranberry Filling
Orange walnut macarons are filled with spiced cream cheese and a cranberry filling.
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.
- Cool completely.
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.
- You will have (a lot of) extra cranberry filling.
- Canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce can be substituted for the Cranberry Filling.
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Thank you so much, Zainab, for the opportunity to post on your blog and say hi to your readers! And thank you for all the sweet compliments too! I’m so happy you like the macarons and so glad you are enjoying your time in San Diego. xoxo
Thank you very much my dear for this wonderful post!!! These macarons are so festive and beautiful. Your photos spring me into the season right away and I cannot wait to enjoy them. I am planning on making your cranberry sauce this weekend and just might whip up some of your macarons to use up leftovers. Thank you again for all the kind compliments. You are the best 😉
Allie, these look so gorgeous! And amen to everything about dear Zainab 🙂 I can’t wait to start my holiday baking, especially now that I’m seeing fresh cranberries in the market.
Thanks darling Amy!! I just grabbed my first few pounds of fresh cranberries this week and I am ready to start holiday baking this weekend 🙂
These macarons are bursting with holiday flavors! They are just beautiful!!
What a fantastically festive macaron!
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I love it that they are gluten free. Has anyone had success making macaroons with a natural sweetener like honey or coconut sugar???
Thanks Ester! I have not personally tried macarons with natural sweeteners yet but I can only assume it will be sticky. However, check out Brave Tart’s website and see if she has any recommendation on the topic. She is my go-to person for macaron woes and troubles!
PS: If gluten free is your concern, you could use GF powdered sugar. That’s the one I use for my macarons out of habit. Here is a nutfree and GF recipe I’ve used several times: http://bravetart.com/recipes/NutFreeMacaronsGF
I love these! It pushes me instantly into the holiday spirit! They are so festive and look even more delicious… the fruit and the marshmallow together sounds perfect!
I know!! The holidays are here and I am not even baking yet. I am fixing that soon. Thanks as always dear 🙂
It’s starting to taste a lot like Christmas! 😉 Cranberries? Oranges? Walnuts? Mouth.Watering. And they are so pretty!
Thanks Mary Frances. It is beginning to smell a lot like Christmas too 🙂
Awh, girls! These look so so beautiful is unreal! Seriously, Allie, you’re so so talented!
And Zainab, I hope you do well in your conference! Have a nice trip 🙂
Thanks Consuelo. Allie is so talented and makes the most beautiful desserts.
such beautiful pearly white macarons…a winner 🙂
I also have started making my own cranberry sauce last year, Allie! It’s so easy. And, adding it to these gorgeous macarons…very decadent! I’m going to attempt this recipe…you made this recipe very easy to follow. Thank you for sharing with all of us over with Zainab!
Thanks Gloria! I am going to use her cranberry sauce recipe for Thanksgiving as well lol!
These macarons look incredible! Love the festive and holiday flavors in here, thanks for sharing such lovely treats with us Allie and Zainab 🙂
Thank you Kelly!! They do make me feel festive as well.
Those macs are beautiful!!! I love how seasonal you made them…the cranberry cream cheese filling is such a nice touch!
I am having a srious love affair with macaroons at this moment especially pistachio or lemon ones. Would be fab to try these.
Stunning! These are beautiful and my oh my do they look delicious!
Beautiful macarons, Allie! Just lovely for the Christmas holidays. Thank you for hosting, Zainab, and for sharing!
Oh gosh these look amazing! Adding them to the Christmas dinner list now!
Hi Zainab and Allie – these look incredible! Thank you so much for sharing them at Best of the Weekend and of course, pinning! I hope you both have a fabulous weekend!
Thanks Cindy!! I’ll see you again tomorrow night 🙂
These are just lovely, Allie! I haven’t been brave enough to attempt making macarons before, but you make it sound easy. And thanks so much, Zainab, for linking up this beautiful recipe to Moonlight & Mason Jars…we really appreciate you stopping by! 🙂 Have a great weekend, ladies!
These macarons are beautiful, Zainab and Allie! Thank you so much for joining us and sharing these at the party, Zainab! Have a wonderful week!
Great Recipe and so festive!
Allie these are Great!!!!!!!! So festive and delicious! <3 Zainab, Allie! Ya'll are just tooooo good! <3 <3 🙂
Can any tell me the conversion amounts of the “grams” part of the recipe into “cups” for the shells?
I love the flavor combination of these macarons. I made these as a dessert for my sisters Christmas party. They were a huge hit. Thanks for a great recipe.
I am so glad to hear you loved this recipe!! Thank you very much for letting me know 🙂
When do you add the almond flour, this isn’t mentioned in the recipe… I’m new to making macrons.
Hi Megan, you add it with the nut mixture in the processor.
Is the cranberry filling supposed to be bitter? I don’t think I did anything wrong but mine is definitely bitter.
Cranberries are tart but not bitter. Maybe they were overcooked/burned?
Hello! I’m going to attempt these again this year :). While the ones I did last year were far too ugly to share (I’m a macaron newbie) they were absolutely delicious :). Can you advise how long they stay fresh for? If I leave them in the fridge after assembled will they get soggy once at room temperature? Thanks so much 🙂
Hi Melisssa! Glad to hear you will make these again. they are truly special. I have kept my macarons in the fridge for 3-4 days and they don’t get soggy. However, I would make sure you eat them the day you take them out of the fridge to avoid any sogginess. Let me know how they turn out!
Mine were perfect for only about 8 hours, almost as pretty as the pictures and very delicious. Then they turned into inedible mush, which was unfortunate, because I took them to Thanksgiving for my family… :/ You couldn’t even pick them up without them falling apart. I did keep them in the refrigerator. I’m thinking it must be the moisture content in the jam. Maybe putting frosting on each side and jam in the middle of that would keep it from getting to the cookie, but not sure that would even help enough.
Hi Rachel, I am sorry to hear this. Yes, I do agree with you, the refrigeration would do that with the cranberry filling in there. The moisture would be too much for the delicate shells. Your suggestion to fill with frosting could help a bit with this.
Stunning! These are beautiful and my oh my do they give the impression of being delicious!
These were everything I’d hoped for. The melding of the different flavors was perfect. My family thought they were very delicious. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
So glad to hear that you loved them 🙂