Every one of our flavors has a little story. This little story is about our Gingerbread Ladies.
I, Katy, try to create a new flavor every year to introduce to our line-up. It keeps me (the baker) and Mesdames’ friends happy and excited.
Gingerbread cookies are a holiday favorite, and friends of Mesdames had been asking year-after-year if we had a gingerbread macarons. We didn’t yet.
So what was the hold up?
It was me. Katy. Owner, star baker, etc. of Mesdames des Macarons. See, I have a favorite gingerbread cookie. It’s soft, it’s sweet, it’s thick enough to really sink your teeth into, and it’s made by my dear friend Erin.
You know how certain things are just that extra bit better tasting because someone else made it for you? Sandwiches are notorious for this. Well, part of my love for these cookies is Erin. I didn’t think I could make a gingerbread macaron that would satisfy the same way Erin’s homemade gingerbread cookies could.
But there was a desire for them. Gingerbread cookie macarons were on everyone’s wish list.
So the work began.
I love to deconstruct a recipe. I love to figure out what makes the flavor and the texture unique. I asked Erin for her recipe. Four ingredients became obvious keys to the flavor that I needed to make the best possible gingerbread macarons: ginger, cinnamon, clove and molasses.
If you know how French macarons are made, you might have a pretty good idea how these ingredients have been incorporated into our Gingerbread Ladies. The spices were mixed in the exact ratio to match Erin’s recipe and then mixed in with the sugar, almond, and meringue that makes the iconic macaron shells. The fourth ingredient, molasses, is then mixed in with butter and sugar to make a sticky, sweet filling for the macarons.
The first night I made them, all I could smell and taste was the molasses. I was disappointed, but I have had a fair few experiences where the flavor of the macaron doesn’t really come to life until the next day. So the gingerbread macarons waited.
Next day, they tasted… they tasted like Erin’s cookies! The chewiness was there, the spices were there. The only thing they were missing were faces!
I am not artist, so the design had to be simple and repeatable. There were five or six or maybe seven different faces in the first batch until I fell upon the charming little smile that you see on our Gingerbread Ladies today. They still all come out looking a little different. They’re sisters. They’ve got a lot in common, but they all have their own attitude!