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Delicious French macaron fillings using cream cheese

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French macaron cookies are delicate little pastries made of two cookie discs that sandwich a filling. The discs themselves are made with primarily finely ground almonds or almond flour, egg whites, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar. Yes, these delectables are on the average side of sweet. However, once you add a filling, they can be overwhelmingly sweet. Choose your fillings wisely so your macarons are enjoyed instead of trashed!

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Most French macarons are filled with a butter cream-based frosting. Buttercream is very sweet. To better balance your cookies, try a cream cheese or dark chocolate ganache based filling.

The cream cheese filling recipe below has a little bit of powdered sugar and is flavored mostly with your choice of fruit sauce or jam. Follow the basic recipe below then add 2 tablespoons of your fruit sauce or jam. You might also consider adding freshly grated coconut if you use pineapple, strawberry, mango, or citrus-type jams. Enhance the flavor of the filling with corresponding extracts.

INGREDIENTS

Set 1

8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, room temp.

1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temp.

Set 2

2 T. powdered sugar

2 T. your favorite jam

1 to 1/2 tsp. of a matching extract

Set 3

Extra jam

Tools: mixing bowl, electric beater, rubber spatula, cake decorating coupler and # 9 Wilton tip, piping bag

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese and the butter till well combined.

2. Add the powdered sugar, jam, and extract. Beat until thoroughly mixed.

3. With a rubber spatula, scrape around the mixing bowl and fold the mixture several times to ensure everything is combined.

4. Prepare a piping bag as demonstrated in the attached video.

5. Pipe a ring of cream cheese frosting around the bottom macaron disc. The ring should be about 1/4-inch high and about 1/8-inch inward from the edge.

6. Drizzle or pipe about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of jam into the center of the ring, filling up the space to the top edge of the cream cheese ring.

7. Place another macaron disc on top of the filling and twist the discs in alternate directions to push the filling toward the edge. The filling should not extend past the edges.

8. Keep the macarons in a covered container in the fridge to age for at least 8 hours using this cream cheese filling. The macarons should be soft and chewy/creamy not hard.

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