Turron Macarons and some Christmas Memories

Growing up, one of the first things that really signaled the beginning of Christmas season was the display of all the different varieties of turron on the shelves of grocery stores, pastry shops and pantries. Turron duro is a hard nougat covered in wafer paper and normally comes from Alicante. Turron blando on the other hand, is a soft paste also made with ground almonds, honey and sugar and this usually comes from Jijona.

My fondest memories come from sitting down in my family’s pastry shop and watching everyone peel the blanched almonds for the turron by hand. Sacks and sacks of almonds were ordered, blanched, peeled and ground by hand in the pastry kitchen right before Christmas. We all helped as much as we could, even us kids. This was a very busy time and still is, with tons and tons of holiday orders to fill. My family still makes turron every year and how I wish I could be there to help.


So I really wanted to make some macarons with those flavors in mind. Although I have talked about making nougat in this blog several times already, I did not make the turron this time since it is available in our store straight from Spain. I made a paste by grinding it in the food processor and mixed it in with buttercream to create a nutty and creamy filling for the macarons. I hope you try them.

Turron Macarons

180 grams almond flour
245 grams powdered sugar
140 grams egg whites
3 grams egg white powder
2 grams of finely ground sea salt
80 grams granulated sugar
edible gold luster or chopped almonds for the topping

In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg white and the egg white powder. Whip in medium speed until egg whites start to increase in volume. When the egg whites are almost fully whipped and very fluffy, slowly start adding the sugar. After all the sugar is incorporated, continue to whip the meringue in high speed now until semi stiff peaks have formed. Add the food coloring now and whip.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the meringue. Fold until we achieve a shiny mass that is a bit runny but still leaves ridges. We are looking for a mass that spreads a little but not too much otherwise our macaroons will be flat. Test a couple to see if you need to mix some more.

Pipe the mass onto half sheet pans lined with silpats. Sprinkle the wet macaroons with chopped almonds or edible gold luster. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes so they dry. We want the tops to not stick to our finger when we touch them. This will ensure a crack-free macaroon.

Preheat oven to 350F. We will bake one sheetpan at a time. When you are ready to bake the first one, lower the oven temperature to 300F. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 8 minutes or so. Check to see if they are done by lifting one from the silicon mat. It’s ok if they stick a bit, but just a bit. As they cool on the hot sheetpan, they continue to dry. It’s a matter of trial and error.

Turron Buttercream

50 grams egg whites
100 grams sugar
150 grams butter, room temperature
50 grams of turron paste

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together egg whites and the sugar lightly. Place over a water bath until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Bring bowl to the electric mixer and whip until stiff peaks form. Add butter, a tablespoon at a time while whipping. It might seem like the buttercream breaks, but continue whipping as it will come together. Add the turron paste and mix until combined.


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73 Responses to “Turron Macarons and some Christmas Memories”

  1. Such pretty and perfect macarons! That flavoring sounds delightful! As always, I love your gorgeous photography…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Christy says:

    It’s funny how we still enjoy December considering what a killer time it is for pastry chefs. I love Christmas, if for nothing else but the food J’s mom makes. After last year’s Christmas lunch at his mom’s house…I don’t think I can ever go back to having a normal meal at Christmas anymore.

    I bet December at your family’s pastry shop is a really merry occasion even though it’s a real busy time too. I can just imagine a room full of immediate and extended families helping out to peel the almonds by hand…such festivity!!

    Beautiful macarons and photographs, as always!

  3. I love the simply color of these…perfect for Christmas time…like a winter wonderland!

  4. morgana says:

    Me has dado donde más “me duele”. En mi casa somos unos cuantos “fanáticos” del turrón blando sobre todas las cosas y todo lo que lleve turrón suele gustar. De hecho, el MSC de turrón es uno de los favoritos en casa (producto de intentar hacer MSC de sabores diferentes y de tener algunas sobras de turrón navideño).

    Si no fuera porque me da auténtico pánico ponerme con los macarons, intentaba esta receta. Además, en las fotos aparecen tan bonitos y de un color tan cremoso y cálido… Los lilium de ese color son mis favoritos también y las fotos, como siempre, una maravilla.

    Ojalá pudiera probar estas delicias.

    Un abrazo y que pases unas fiestas estupendas.

    Gracias por todo lo que nos das.

  5. Mobula says:

    Ya me estaba preguntando si no ibas a hacer turrón este año, y la verdad que lo menos que me podía imaginar era que nos lo fueras a presentar en forma de macaron.

    Perfectos como siempre y apetitosos como nunca….

    Besos,

    Ana

  6. Sunshinemom says:

    Reminds me of how we used to help Mom prepare snacks for Diwali. We may not have done a great job but we were indulged! I was sort of picturing a bakery and the bustle as I was reading the post – very nice, and the visual treat helped a lot in the images!

  7. linda says:

    Lovely flavour for macarons. I’m planning on making turron for Christmas this year, will be my first time so wish me luck because I’ve been reading it’s difficult to get the right firmness…

  8. Bria says:

    Beautiful macarons. They look so elegant. The recipe I have had the most success with is yours, so I will be trying it out again until I perfect them!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    beautiful idea for a Xmas present.
    Just a question:
    what if I don’t have egg white powder?

    Muchas Gracias
    Paola

  10. Aran says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words!

    Paola- the egg white powder adds solid to the meringue making it more stable. then you should really make sure that your whites are aged. meaning, separate them days before and even leave them at room temperature overnight the day before using them. but the powder makes a difference.

  11. Susan says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Susan

    http://www.car-insurance-choices.com

  12. VeggieGirl says:

    Beautiful memories and beautiful macaroons :-)

  13. Rita says:

    Torrones! My family also likes them. They stick to your theeth though… Nice photos

  14. mycookinghut says:

    Wow.. very pretty! I love nougat! The link you provided is for chocolate nougat. Do you have one recipe that’s for plain nougat?

  15. Aran says:

    Leemei- There are two links one for the word ‘several” and the other for “times”. I know, a little confusion. The second link takes you to the plain nougat recipe. Thanks!

  16. Bridget says:

    These look scrumptious, Aran! I can just picture those bags and bags of almonds…what a neat memory!

  17. Jescel says:

    hmmn.. this sounds yummy.. i will try your macaroons in the hope that it’ll come out as pretty as you did them! huh! wish me luck!

  18. Simone says:

    I really don’t want to repeat myself, but Aran, I just love your posts – every single one of it. Those macarons look simply divine (again: as always). I managed to finish my book this weekend and my blog is now up and running (finally!). Sx

  19. Hilda says:

    I have been visiting your blog for a while but haven’t posted any comments because everything is too beautiful pour pouvoir s’exprimer dessus. Nougat and buttercream are two things I can’t eat at the moment because I’m pregnant, but as soon as possible, I will be trying these. Your blog is totally inspiring.

  20. Turron is my absolute favorite candy. It would not be Christmas without it. And I fell in love with macaroons while visiting Paris. To combine the two must be heavenly. Thank you for sharing your recipe and your beautiful and always inspiring photography.

  21. wow i didn’t even know what turron was (what would we do without wikipedia eh? hehe. thanks)but ahhh it’s nougat! my favorite nougat in france was frozen nougat with whip cream…mmmmmmm…and gluten free!

    i can’t beleive you grew up in a family owned pastry shop, incredible! i am so jealous! and your family still owns it? ahhhh!!! i can’t wait to visit!!!

  22. Esti says:

    A mí me encantaban los turrones de cría. Ahora me cuesta más, aunque siempre pruebo un poco… ¿Cómo celebras las navidades allí? ¿Cambian mucho las tradiciones?

  23. Cakespy says:

    Turron? As the commercial used to say, “I’ve never met you but I love you”. This is a wonderful new discovery!

  24. Aran says:

    Hilda- congrats on your pregnancy! how exciting!

    Mallory- yes, it was great growing up in a pastry shop. my grandfather opened it in 1949. now my three uncles and cousins are the pastry chefs and aunts work in the front of the house. my mom retired last year. you should definitely visit! small but so good.

    Esti- bastante diferente. Mucho enfasis en regalos, luces, fiestas… Bastante mas que ahi. Eso si, aqui poca gente le da importancia a la comida como nosotros. A que precio estan las angulas este anno? Ene ama!!!

    Thanks everyone!

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Turron always reminds me of when I lived in Spain. I had never heard of it before then, but all of a sudden the holidays arrived and it was absolutley everywhere!

  26. cindy* says:

    what special traditions aran, and how perfect are those macarons? the flavors are right up my alley.

  27. veron says:

    Such perfect macarons, Aran! And the turron buttercream sounds fantastic!

  28. Carolyn Jung says:

    I LOVE turron. I LOVE macaroons. The two together? Wow!

  29. Wow, very clever way to infuse flavor into the macaroons. It’s it funny how the holidays bring back vivid flavours from childhood?

    I’m a big fan of anything nougat, so I can just imagine how tasty these must be:-)

  30. Cynthia says:

    Me has echo llorar de nostalgia!! Not a chance I can find turron here in Phoenix, I’ve looked everywhere! It was my favorite part of Christmas, along with el Lechon and the pastelitos de carne. But around here it’s not like back home when it comes to holidays, you are right, less emphasis on food. Send me some turron!!! Alicante is my favorite, even if my teeth are no longer in a condition to bite into them.

  31. Heavens!
    Or rather I should say heavenly…
    I used to design shoes in Alicante, but all I remember is the gazillion kinds of Paella…
    Looks divine!

  32. leaca says:

    Those look so good. I have never had one yet.

  33. Tartelette says:

    You know how I feel about nougat and macs so you must know how I feel about these…Yum Nummi :)

  34. Mrs.French says:

    because you share your memories through food I feel like I was there..weird, but true…love this post! xo t

  35. Zoe Francois says:

    So lovely and tasty! It is the time of year for so many memories!

  36. simplesong says:

    amazing! and love the story behind it … makes it that much more special. thanks for sharing. xo.

  37. Claudia says:

    Turron buttercream in a turron macaron, I tell you something girl, sounds wonderful and you are just fantastic. I love turron but we call them ‘torrones’ that is probably how they call it in Galizia too.

    Bom Natal,

    C.

  38. Your a dessert angel. Love everything you create. When I retire in 20 years I will try making some of these.

  39. this is the one..my perfect food–how i wish i could peel some almonds if the prize were this…can i order some from you? (wait..i’m serious!)

  40. Mercotte says:

    Turon cream is a very good idea, and the way to ùmake it original !! I keep it !! thanks !

  41. nadia says:

    the memories of your families pastry shop are like little movie clips as you speak of them. these are gorgeous-perfect.

  42. Kim says:

    These are delightful macarons to go with a delightful story of growning up and memories. This is one of my daughters favorite candies and she loves macarons so I am going to try them using your method of macaron making. What powdered coloring did you use? Do you make your almond meal or are you grinding your almonds?

  43. Aran says:

    Thank you everyone!

    Kim- I buy Bob’s Red Mill “almond meal”. You can make your own too and grind the sugar and almonds together. For this I added a couple of drops of titanium oxide food coloring. It was the first time I ever used it and I don’t think that was enough. You can barely notice and the macarons did change color so I didn’t even include it in the recipe.

  44. You are a pastry magician Aran…can just visualize litle hands peeling almonds in the pastry shop many years ago. This is a dreamy, wistfully beautiful post….

  45. That looks sooooo incredibly good, I think I’m hungry now LoL

  46. Camila says:

    I didn’t know that turron was a Christmas tradition. Talking about Christmas, do you know how to make Bread Pudding? I can’t find a good recipe, I don’t like wetty, sticky bread puddings… I’m looking for a bradstick kind of bread pudding, you know?

  47. Aran says:

    Camilla- For bread pudding, the simplest thing you can do is make a basic custard of 1 liter of milk and about 6 eggs with about 100 grams sugar and then add the flavorings you like (vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, etc). Then pour this over any day old, sliced bread (brioche, croissants, plain white bread…). This is simple but delicious. You can even add dried fruits… very versatile.

  48. Julia says:

    What a memory to have! I can just imagine the gorgeous smell in the kitchen~

  49. Liska says:

    Absolutely perfect! I love to come here. It’s always a wonderful surprise for all senses. Thank you :)

  50. Camila says:

    Thank you, Aran, I’ll try it. Do you know Applebee’s Crispy Bread Pudding? It was my favourite, but they don’t make it anymore…

  51. PheMom says:

    Beautiful memories and beautiful macarons! I’m sure you’re building wonderful memories for your family here as well.

  52. cherie says:

    A new Christmas tradition is born!

  53. awesome as always. these look great . Turron is great :)

  54. Buba Cooks says:

    Qué preciosidad de macarons! A mi nunca me salen tan bonitos, cuál debe ser el truco??
    Qué imagen tan navideña y tan tierna toda la familia pelando almendras para los turrones!Me ha llegado al alma…
    Espero que pases unas felices navidades! Un abrazo

  55. mycookinghut says:

    Aran,
    Is egg white powder a compulsory ingredient?

  56. ana dane says:

    i can’t imagine peeling all those almonds by hand- what patience and dedication to the pastry arts!

  57. The flavor of turron buttercream sounds fantastic. Your cookies are so beautiful and such an elegant color.

  58. Aran says:

    Leemei- The egg white powder really gives this meringue good body and although it can be made without it, I would recommend adding it. You can also age the whites in the refrigerator for several days to evaporate some moisture from them and make them more acidic.

  59. mycookinghut says:

    Aran,
    Thanks for the info. :)

  60. jill says:

    Love this delicate version of turron, I will try it this xmas, thank you!

    Greetings from Madrid

  61. If those macarons could talk they say “Aren’t we pretty?”

  62. Chef Chuck says:

    They look so airy and light. Yum
    Thanks for sharing, Chuck

  63. lola says:

    Where does one find turon paste. And if one does not find it, is there a substitute?

    Love your blog! All your photos and recipes are really inspiring!

  64. Gis says:

    oh my!! it looks so yummy!!!

  65. Jaime says:

    Ah, Aran,
    Once again I come to your site and find . . . transcendence. You amaze me, every time.

  66. Al says:

    Hi,

    Great blog!

    I was wondering if you can cut the sugar levels down, because I find the macaroons a bit sweet or will that mess up the chemical process.

  67. Aran says:

    Al- yes it will definitely alter the structure of the macarons. sorry.

  68. Al says:

    Thanks for the answer, but no need to be sorry! Sugar must be responsible for the chewy texture.

  69. Hi Aran.

    Whenever you make macarons, when do you know that you need egg white powder and when it’s not needed?

    Thanks

  70. Me encanta esta receta ! y las fotos mucho mas. Te quería preguntar que color de colorante utilizaste para que quede ese tono tostado claro. Y los hacés a mano o con algún molde para que queden todos iguales?

    Gracias!

    • Aran says:

      No me acuerdo si use colorante o no. Creo que no porque los macarons al cocerse se vuelven un tono tostado. Y no se usa molde. Es solo con manga y boquilla pastelera. Gracias.

  71. Gracias!!! Lo voy a intentar. Después te cuento como me fue.

  72. […] are probably the plumpest macarons I’ve ever […]

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