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Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas

Are you more trick or treat? These Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas have been creeping up on me with the weather changing around Paris, the nights suddenly drawing in and clocks changing this weekend.

From black liquorice macarons to fun, surprise flavours or simply spooky – take your pick and join the party.

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas Liquorice

Liquorice macarons from ‘Mad About Macarons’

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas

Create a one-eyed monster’s bloodshot look using black and pink edible pens.

Smarties are great for making quick and easy edible eyes. Stick them on with a dab of melted chocolate – see bottom photograph of the Witch’s Hat Macaron Tower, as even too much chocolate ‘glue’ can make them look like black eyes!

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas Green Eye

If you’re not into spooky and prefer to enjoy seasonal Autumnal flavours, then check out the recipe for these Pumpkin Spice Macarons with Roasted Red Kuri Squash (potimarron).

Unlike the macarons in my books, this filling recipe can be eaten the day they are made. Many pumpkin macarons just use pumpkin spice but these ones actually contain delicious roasted pumpkin – with a good hint of spice too. If you’re looking for pumpkin recipes, there are plenty here, including these Pumpkin, Sage and Parmesan Financiers – great with Hallowe’en party drinks.

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas pumpkin spice

Last week when I was visiting Julie in London (yes, she has flown the nest to study there), I couldn’t resist popping into Fortnum and Mason’s to check out the macaron display (do you really believe I go in there JUST for macarons?). They have some Hallowe’en treats with names like Pick your Poison.

These skeleton faces, done using a stencil for large quantities, are fabulous. However, for smaller quantities at home it’s just as easy to draw them on by hand.

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas skeletons

Create your own simple spooky faces using a jet black edible pen – available in all good specialist cake shops. For a list of stockists, see the annexes in my books or here on the FAQ page.

Incidentally, if you have any of your favourite stores with good quality products, leave me a comment below and I’ll update the stockists page here for you.

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas

I’m not much of an artist but if you are, then I’m sure you can do more elaborate Hallowe’en decorations on your macarons.

These macarons are to die for: Pistachio, Coconut and Wasabi Macarons.  The recipe is in Mad About Macarons.

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas - spicy wasabi

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas with Pistachio, Coconut and Wasabi Macarons

Although it looks like a whopping load of wasabi in the ganache recipe, the right dosage of white chocolate, coconut cream, vanilla and pistachio makes a perfect Hallowe’en concoction. The surprising mixture cuts out the fire just leaving the hint of wasabi behind on the tongue (I should have made the smartie tongues green, I know! You’ll do a better job.)

If you haven’t tried them yet, then what are you waiting for?

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas Glitter

Brush on some edible glitter (lustre) – such as bronze or deep pink – to make your macarons extra shiny. They’re particularly good on salted caramel, rose and chocolate macarons.

Element of Halloween Macaron Surprise

Add some extra exploding sugar (sucre pétillant) to top these already fizzy Orangina or Fanta macarons. The recipe is in Teatime in Paris and is easily adaptable to make Coca-Cola macarons too, making it a spookily black filling!

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas

Savoury Macarons: Witch One?

Mini savoury macarons create a real element of surprise (found in a whole chapter in Mad About Macarons). Have you tried the curry tikka mac’sala mini macs with curried cauliflower soup, for example? Curry macarons are great fun served with drinks – partnered with a Gin & Tonic for an adult Hallowe’en party!

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas Savoury

Mini Savoury Macarons – Witch one is it?

The Colour Purple

Replace orange carrots with purple carrots (I talk about them here in this purple carrot cake) in this (Purple) Carrot, Parsnip and Coriander Soup (believe me, it’s delicious but the colour is VERY deep purple; I should have showed it last Hallowe’en on Instagram, as it shocked some people in February!) and serve with mini beetroot and horseradish macarons, also good with a fun and fiery beet risotto.

Beet and horseradish risotto with red wine and a savoury macaron

There are also Bloody Mary macarons or Thai Green or Red curry macarons to choose from for a real trick AND treat.

Meanwhile, back to the sweet side, these spider macarons are far from creepy. Just cut up some liquorice shoe-lace or coils (do they have a proper name in English?) and stick them into the ganache before placing the macaron shell on top. Marzipan stuck with melted chocolate also helps make Mummie macarons.

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas

How to make a macaron tower, from ‘Teatime in Paris’.

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog, my books, or fancy sharing any of these Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas?  Please leave a comment below or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram or Facebook.

A Hallowe’en Macaron Birthday Party!

Did you know that Mad About Macarons is heading for its 10th reprint? What a thrilling way to celebrate its 8th birthday, so THANK YOU with all my heart for your support: for following, for liking, for taking the time to comment and for leaving a review. It means so much. So, cheers to you for joining the party – I love to see you enjoying the recipes!

Top 10 Halloween Macaron Ideas

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Breakfast Oat Cookies with Hazelnut & Cranberry

Rushing out the door in the mornings, we enjoy a bowl of maple oat granola with almond milk and a large bowl of coffee, sipped slowly cupped in our hands, French style. However, we also love these quick, soft and crumbly healthy Breakfast oat cookies too.

Breakfast oat cookies

Breakfast Oat Cookies

My daughter, Lucie loves cookies with an abundance of chocolate in them. Happiness to her is with these  chocolate hazelnut cookies I developed using a recipe from Le Pecq Chocolaterie in our neighbourhood (best suited for a goûter or afternoon snack). So, when I make cookies WITHOUT CHOCOLATE, adding oats and dried fruits instead, then the eyebrows say it all. Thankfully, these breakfast oat cookies passed the test with flying cranberries – the hazelnuts give them that extra punch of flavour and they’re LOW IN SUGAR too – perfect for breakfast.

Try this recipe and you’ll find it’s so versatile: in Winter, we love adding some vibrant orange zest.  Would you believe I’m so behind on le blog, that I realised I hadn’t posted this recipe since January 2017, when I took the photos in preparation for this.  Ahem – I have some online cleaning to do!  Thanks to my good Scottish friend, Sandra, for asking for the recipe! Enjoy.

Breakfast oat cookies

If you prefer your cookies with chocolate, then simply omit the cranberries and replace with good quality bitter dark chocolate chips which also match so well with the hazelnuts and orange. However, do try these first, just like Lucie! Cookies don’t always need chocolate – do they?

Breakfast oat cookies

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog, my books, or fancy making these breakfast oat cookies?  Please take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram or Facebook or simply share the recipe with your friends and tell them to join me on le blog! Thanks for popping in.

Breakfast Oat Cookies

5 from 3 votes
Breakfast oat cookies
Breakfast Oat Cookies
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Breakfast oat cookies with ground hazelnuts and cranberries (plus also good with orange). A deliciously healthy start to the day with reduced sugar, plus a perfect quick teatime snack to tide you over until dinner without the guilt

Course: Breakfast, teatime
Cuisine: American, British, French
Servings: 12
Calories: 163 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 80 g (3oz) butter softened
  • 50 g (1.75oz) brown cane sugar (Cassonade)
  • 70 g (2.5oz) ground hazelnuts
  • 30 g (1oz) oatmeal
  • 50 g (1.75oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt fleur de sel
  • 1 egg organic
  • 100 g (3.5oz) dried (but moist) cranberries
  • zest of an organic (unwaxed) orange (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas 4.

  2. Whisk together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until a mousse forms.

  3. Add all the other ingredients and ensure they're mixed together.

  4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or with a silicone mat.  Form little balls using a couple of dessert spoons, spacing them quite apart (as they expand slightly during cooking) then lightly tap them down to flatten.

  5. Book the cookies for about 15 minutes until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe Notes

Best eaten on the day they're made, even better slightly warm from the oven.  However, if you make them the night before, they're good the next morning if stored under a cake bell or in aluminium foil once cooled.

If the cranberries are not very moist, soak them in a little orange juice for 15 minutes, then drain off the juice before starting the recipe.  The orange is delicious over winter but the cookies are also just as good without it.  You'll see - it's a very versatile cookie recipe!

 

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

French Crème Caramel

I was scared to make this classic French Crème Caramel for many years after my arrival in France in 1992. Instead, I sat back and let my French mother-in-law make her delectable family-sized crème caramel each time we visited them in their pretty Provençal village of Saignon.  Back in Paris, I’d order it hands down each time on dessert menus in brasseries, bistros or in Parisian cafés.

French Crème Caramel

French Crème Caramel – a classic favourite!

No Packet Mixes!

Somehow that pristine dark caramel reflecting our wide, greedy eyes looked so perfect yet was so light that I thought it was a no-go to make. French Crème Caramel – known as flan in other parts of the world – seemed so simple but it was totally out of my comfort zone.

Growing up in Scotland, we made ours using a green-boxed packet mix: my job was to squeeze out each sachet of caramel into each dish and excitingly, the whole thing worked just beautifully. Many years on, I cringe at packet mixes but then it’s an entirely different era; now we prefer to make dishes from scratch – as we know exactly what’s in it, can lower sugar levels and add our own creative twists (see below for flavour ideas).

French crème caramel recipe

French Crème Caramel Flavour Variations

This classic French dessert can easily take on many flavour variations – as the likes of teas, herbs, and floral infusions work well while infusing in the milk.

Give a Crème Caramel a twist by infusing tea or herbs into it – the following are crème caramel flavour ideas:

  • Jasmine tea;
  • Lavender (infuse 1/2 tsp of dried lavender flowers);
  • Earl Grey or Matcha Green tea;
  • Fresh or dried lemon verbena (incidentally, have you tried this lemon verbena ice cream?).

The Lightest, Silkiest Classic French Crème Caramel Recipe

All tea and herbal variations are delicious for that extra je ne sais quoi – but I keep referring back to the good old classic vanilla.  There’s something so nostalgic about it, isn’t there? Fresh berries or exotic fruits on the side are enough for me. Simple yet effective.

Over the years, I prefer this version, as I’ve experimented making Crème Caramel with cream, milk and cream, milk and eggs. In the end, this is by far my favourite: just with milk but the addition of 3 egg yolks gives it that creamy, silky, melt-in-the-mouth feel, keeping it perfectly light.

Not long after launching this blog, I was fortunate to have my Japanese friend, Nami, from Just One Cookbook guest post before she hit super stardom.  Here is her recipe for Japanese Purin, a no-bake version using gelatine.

This French Crème Caramel recipe below does look long making it home from scratch – but it’s the opposite: I’ve given detailed recipe steps below to explain how easy it is.  Et voilà !

 

French Creme Caramel Recipe

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog (from my books, too) or fancy making this classic French Crème Caramel?  Please leave some comment love below, take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram and Facebook – or simply tell family and friends about le blog! Thanks so much for sharing.

5 from 8 votes
French Crème Caramel
French Crème Caramel
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 

An easy, step by step recipe for the classic French Crème Caramel. No cream but made with egg yolks for a light, melt-in-the-mouth perfect end to any meal.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 245 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
Caramel:
  • 100 g / 3.5oz granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
Custard Cream:
  • 500 ml / 17 fl oz milk (whole milk)
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean (or pinch of vanilla powder/1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 medium eggs (organic)
  • 3 egg yolks (organic)
  • 70 g / 2.5oz sugar
Instructions
Make the caramel:
  1. Put the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir using a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar in the water. Over a low-medium heat , then leave the caramel to form without stirring. This should take about 10 minutes (don't multitask and leave the pan - keep your eye on it). It should start to smell like caramel when light brown. Swirl it around a bit and wait until the caramel is medium to dark brown (too light and it will just be too sweet; too dark, it will be bitter).

  2. Pour the caramel into 5 ramekin dishes (or one big one), ensuring that it coats completely the base.  Set aside to cool so that the caramel sets and immediately put the saucepan in the sink and soak in water, making it easier to clean later.

Make the custard cream:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F/150°C fan/Gas 3.  Split the vanilla pod down the middle if using. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan, adding the vanilla (or other infusions if using) and just allow the milk to heat to simmering point (not boiling). Take off the heat and remove the vanilla pod (scraping out the seeds and adding to the hot milk).

  2. Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in the hot vanilla milk and whisk constantly. Place the ramekins into a large roasting tin. Pour the hot milk over the caramel in each ramekin. Place the roasting tin in the middle of the oven and pour in warm water around the ramekins so that it comes to about 2/3 of the way up.

  3. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set (they're not cooked properly if there's a dip in the middle). Remove from the oven carefully, and gradually remove the ramekins onto a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours - or overnight.

Recipe Notes

Serve with fresh berries or slices of exotic fruits, depending on the season.

To serve, many Parisian brasseries serve crème caramel directly in their ramekins. If you like to see them upturned as shown in the photos above, slice a cross in the middle of each ramekin with a thin sharp knife and loosen the creams by running the knife also around the sides. Turn upside down directly on to the serving plates. 

Best served at room temperature.

With the leftover whites, why not make macarons or financiers from my books - or try these quick almond tuiles

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

French-Creme-Caramel-Recipe

 

Pure Vegetable Soup

Why have I hesitated to share this Pure Vegetable Soup? It’s pure and simple fresh vegetable genius; chunky, healthy and low in calories.

Moreover, this isn’t a recipe I’ve developed myself. Apart from a few different vegetables, there’s no need to change anything from Raymond Blanc’s original recipe in my favourite cookbook, “Mange“. When I first received a signed copy of it as an Engagement present in 1996, I was secretly terrified: the French gourmet recipes for guests all looked complicated. Surely it was too difficult for me to try?

Years later, however, I realised with a little bit of confidence, the gourmet French recipes were much easier than they looked – and this pure vegetable soup can’t be any easier!

Pure Vegetable Soup

Chunky Pure Vegetable Soup

These days, I normally blend soups to a smooth velouté or chowder consistency (see pumpkin & leek, mushroom cappuccino, smoked garlic and arugula (rocket), curried cauliflower with scallops, or sweetcorn and red pepper soups, for example), so that serving this chunky almost seems daring.
Is this life in the fast lane, darlings?

I served this to my French (Corsican) parents-in-law last week, as they’re total soup addicts like myself. Madeleine gave it a confirmed nod of approval, but she seemed surprised: they had soup with chunks in it growing up in Corsica. You know what? Me too! I remember the chunky Scotch Broth (Janice has a good recipe at Farmersgirl Kitchen) with lamb and good old Lentil Soup (Christina has another good recipe with barley at Christina’s Cucina) with a large ham shank, when I was growing up in Scotland.

Somehow, going back to the “bits in it” is somehow satisfying and, while not a thick, hearty soup, the freshness of the herbs makes this a welcome starter at only 55 calories a bowl. That’s before we add ripped off hunks of crispy French baguettes and lightly salted Normandy butter.

Pure Vegetable Soup

Fresh Vegetable Soup without the Stock

The secret to this recipe is the freshest of vegetables and respecting the short cooking time of just 15 minutes.

I know it’s tempting to use up these veggies at the bottom of the fridge that may be starting to wilt – but please don’t!

Honestly, if you use extra fresh, there’s no need for any vegetable or chicken stock – just the butter gives that added French touch and brings out the taste of the herbs, just thrown in at the end of cooking. Chervil is best if you can find it, otherwise flat-leafed parsley is good.

5 from 2 votes
pure vegetable soup
Pure Vegetable Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

A quick, chunky and healthy soup recipe that's perfect for any time of year, using the freshest seasonal vegetables and herbs

Course: Soup
Cuisine: British, French
Servings: 6
Calories: 55 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 20 g / 0.75oz Butter unsalted
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots finely sliced
  • 2 medium leeks outer leaves discarded, finely sliced
  • 1 small turnip (French navet) finely chopped into cubes
  • 2 ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1 litre / 1.75 pints water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper according to taste
  • bunch fresh parsley or chervil roughly chopped (stalks removed)
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, gently melt the butter over a medium heat (don't allow it to brown). Sweat the peeled onion, carrots, and leeks gently for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the water, the turnip, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities (foam) then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for up to 15 minutes until the vegetables are softened.  Add the tomatoes and chopped fresh herbs, cooking for another minute. 

Recipe Notes

Inspired by Raymond Blanc's Fresh Vegetable Soup with Chervil recipe in his book, Mange. If you prefer your soups smooth, then liquidise with a hand blender or food processor.

As I personally don't like celery, I have replaced one stalk of it with an extra leek - and adapt the vegetables according to season.  You could also use vegetable or chicken stock in place of the water but I find it's not necessary when using the fresh herbs.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

Pure Vegetable Soup

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Do you need a quick and easy solution sometimes? Mine is often a batch of almost brownie-like, intense dark Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies – especially after making chocolate macarons.

Why? Surely seeing a batch of finished, sandwiched macarons together, there’s no problem, right?

chocolate chip hazelnut cookies

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies – BEFORE …

Sit down with a cup of tea and imagine the scene: there’s this large batch of dark chocolate and hazelnut macarons sitting sandwiched together with gooey ganache on a baking tray and their incredible aromas are snake-drifting around the house. Suddenly, a numbed expectant devouring silence hits the air, as my chocolate-loving teenagers and husband remember… they are NOT ready to eat just yet.

They’ve learned over time not to pinch one. Instead, it’s totally worth the wait for macarons to mature to their ultimate, crispy and fondant perfection. So, as the heavy macaron-laden box disappears in the fridge for a couple of days to perform their magic, my favourite nutty cookies come to the rescue.

Why haven’t I posted my favourite cookie recipe yet? Perhaps because, paradoxically, I make them so often. Or perhaps it has been my safely guarded secret, passed to me by our local chocolate factory.  Yes, one of our neighbours a couple of blocks away was the Chocolaterie du Pecq. Alas, I say ‘was’, as they are permanently shut down following a fire that took place a couple of years ago.

Every December, they would open their doors for a few hours to the public. Us locals would queue, unusually for the French – even if it was more sideways than a normal straight British-style queue – on our allotted early morning Saturday slot. As we were tasting their latest magic (another reason for going sideways and becoming high on cacao), we’d complete our order forms for bulk packs of the most exquisite dark chocolate chips, praline, unsweetened cocoa powder and ballotins of our favourite filled chocolates.

chocolate chip hazelnut cookies

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies – AFTER …

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies – with Toasted Nuts & Salt!

Thankfully, the chocolate factory’s recipes go on – and this is one of them. Over the years, I’ve used their original recipe, cutting down on the sugar (if it’s too sweet, how can you appreciate all the flavours in there?) but if you have a few more minutes (that’s all), take the cookies to the NEXT LEVEL and toast some hazelnuts and add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s all in the recipe below!

Have you put dark chocolate and good quality salt (fleur de sel from Brittany) together? The chocolate becomes even more intense in flavour. If you’ve never tried this before, then I urge you to give it a go.  Added to these cookies, it makes them even more addictive.  And speaking of salty cookies, have you tried these palets bretons, the deliciously salty butter biscuits from Brittany?

chocolate chip hazelnut cookies

Gooey and intense in dark chocolate with toasted hazelnuts and a hint of fleur de sel salt

Next time you make a batch of chocolate macarons, just remember this quick and easy cookie recipe – and, if you have extra whites left over, then make some crunchy Tuiles or delicious buttery Financiers from my book, Teatime in Paris!

I can sense that this will be seen as “just another cookie recipe post”. Am I right? Prove me wrong and try the recipe. If you do, please tell me and rate the recipe below!

5 from 4 votes
chocolate chip hazelnut cookies
Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
17 mins
Total Time
37 mins
 

Perfectly gooey, crumbly and intense in dark chocolate, these toasted hazelnut cookies are addictive with a touch of French fleur de sel salt to add that extra oh-la-la factor while waiting for your chocolate macarons to mature.

Course: Breakfast, Snack, teatime
Cuisine: American, French
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 158 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 80 g (3oz) unsalted Butter softened, nearly melted
  • 50 g (1.75oz) cane Sugar or Cassonade French sugar
  • 50 g (1.75oz) ground hazelnuts hazelnut flour*
  • 80 g (3oz) plain flour all-purpose
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Van Houten) OPTIONAL
  • 1 egg (organic) at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt fleur de sel
  • 100 g (3.5oz) dark chocolate chips (good quality)
  • 40 g (1.5oz) hazelnuts OPTIONAL
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas4.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until it's a creamy, mousse-like mixture

  2. (Optional - If using, dry fry the hazelnuts for about 5 minutes over a high heat until toasted.)

  3. Add all the other ingredients and mix together using a spatula or spoon. If adding the extra toasted hazelnuts, chop them roughly or break them up in a mortar & pestle or crush them in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin. 

  4. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or a silicone mat. Using a dessert spoon or ice cream scoop, form about 10-12 balls well spaced apart. You may need a second baking sheet, depending on the size of yours. 

  5. Bake them for 15-17 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per 40g serving (makes 12 cookies): 158 Calories; 3g protein; lipids 10g; glucides 14g.

Best eaten on the day but store in a cookie jar and eat within 24 hours so they're at their best.

The optional step of adding the extra toasted hazelnuts perhaps sounds complicated, but it's worth it!

*If you can't find hazelnut flour, finely ground whole hazelnuts or use ground almonds (almond flour)

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

chocolate chip hazelnut cookies

 

Moist Banana Chestnut Loaf

A rustic Corsican-inspired banana bread recipe using chestnut flour- ideal for teatime or breakfast.