Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Cinnamon Smacaroons – #BakeItForward

Biscuits, Gifts | 4th December 2014 | By


When I arrived back from London last week, I found a box of Waitrose #BakeItForward decorating goodies waiting for me. All of them looked perfect for upcoming Christmas merriment and I have to confess to just a little bit of excited festive hopping around. I was most interested in Heston’s chocolate coated popping candy and some edible gold glitter and these are what I decided to try first.

Now how, I wondered, was I going to use it. I’ve never tried baking with popping candy before or decorating with it. I mused that as this particular candy was covered in chocolate it might work in a dryish biscuity bake. I’d read somewhere that popping candy loses it’s fizz if it comes into contact with moisture. Chocolate macaroons with their nutty chewy centres are a good bake for this time of year and with a bit of popping candy to liven them up, CT reckoned that smacaroons would be an appropriate name for them.

In the run up to Christmas, Waitrose is celebrating home bakes in its #BakeItForward campaign. All you have to do to take part is bake something for a friend, take a picture of it, share on social media using the hashtag #BakeItForward and nominate them to do the same. Every day until 23rd December, randomly selected participants will be rewarded with treats including hampers and bottles of champagne.

I am overrun with ideas as to how to use the contents of the box of delights I was sent and most of them involve Christmas biscuits, so watch this space. Most of these will be shared with various friends, family and neighbours, but as CT is particularly fond of nutty biscuits, these macaroons are made for him.

As you can probably tell from the picture, these are the British version and are not meant to be the fancy French macarons that have become all the rage. I have adapted this recipe from Jill Norman’s The Complete Book of Spices. Made with dark chocolate and flavoured with cinnamon, they are substantial, chewy and very nutty.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Cinnamon Smacaroons

  • Placed 125g caster sugar in a bowl together with 150g ground almonds, ¾ tsp cinnamon and 75g of Mortimer’s 70% West African chocolate powder (could use finely grated or melted chocolate instead).
  • Whisked together to ensure there were no lumps, then added 2 tbsp popping candy.
  • Stirred in 2 duck egg whites (large hen’s eggs).
  • Gathered spoonfuls into my hands and rolled into walnut sized balls. Flattened out into discs and laid on a lined baking tray.
  • Baked at 180℃ for 12 minutes.
Chocolate Macaroons

As it happened, my hopes for the popping candy working in the macaroons went unrealised. Whether this was because the candy came into contact with moisture or because it couldn’t take the heat remains a mystery, but there was no pop to be had. Not being prepared to lose the name smacaroons, I quickly rethought my strategy. I made up a little water icing and drizzled this over the smacaroons. Popping candy was scattered over the top and then given a dusting of edible glitter.

I’m sending these off to Helen of Casa Costello for her Bake of the Week. Do take a look at her fabulous Christmas Tree cupcakes with concealed star.

I am also sending this off to Kat at The Baking Explorer for Treate Petite where the theme this month is – ta da – Christmas. You can see last month’s thankful round-up over at CakeyBoi.

Thanks to Waitrose for the beautifully wrapped parcel of baking goodies and voucher received in exchange for letting my readers know about the campaign. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tags: ,


  1. Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    4th December 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Ohhh, I have a few things I want to bake with the kiddoes so I would love to receive one of these parcels form Waitrose. Love the smacaroons C.

    • Choclette Blogger

      4th December 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks Bintu – I have lots of ideas I’m keen to get going with too.

  2. Lou, Eat Your Veg

    4th December 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I’ve seen quite a few Bake It Forward recipes and snaps over the net this last week, what a lovely idea! Your Choccie Smacaroons look the biz too, loving their popping candy topping! What fun.

    • Choclette Blogger

      4th December 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Lou. I think it’s a fab idea and a good way to get people involved and appreciated too.

  3. Jen Price

    4th December 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Ooh these look like they’d make a great gift and popping candy is so much fun, especially when paired with chocolate. I’d not actually seen the Bake It Forward thing (clearly been living under a rock) so will be looking out for it now.

    • Choclette Blogger

      4th December 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks Jen. As you can tell, this was my first experience of using popping candy and I’ve just a little bit excited by it 😉

  4. celery and cupcakes

    4th December 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Cinnamon is perfect at this time of year. My favourite Christmas spice.

  5. Nayna Kanabar

    4th December 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Well done , these look so delicious I love this waitrose campaign. such a lovely way to get people baking and sharing.

    • Choclette Blogger

      6th December 2014 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you Nayna. It is indeed a good one, not that I really need much excuse for baking 😉


    4th December 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Your smacaroons look just the business. My girls love popping candy so I think I might have to give these a go as a special treat for them…

    • Choclette Blogger

      6th December 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Thanks Vanesther. Annoyingly the popping candy didn’t work baked inside the macaroons, but sprinkled on top, they were brilliant.

  7. belleau kitchen

    5th December 2014 at 8:31 am

    oh these look gorgeous!… I love the combo of sugar and ground almonds and cinnamon.. great idea!

    • Choclette Blogger

      6th December 2014 at 8:55 pm

      They are really quite similar to your cinnamon balls which we all know and love so well Dom 🙂

  8. Kate Glutenfreealchemist

    6th December 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Mmmmm…. love the addition of cinnamon. They sound delicious and very festive. They are gluten free too!

    • Choclette Blogger

      8th December 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Kate. Thankfully, there are some delicious treats that are naturally gluten free.

  9. Kat BakingExplorer

    10th December 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Such cute little treats! Popping candy is super tricky to work with, I’m glad you found a way around it. Thanks for entering into Treat Petite!

  10. Helen at Casa Costello

    4th January 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Mmm these sound lovely – Glad you got the popping candy saga sorted! Thanks for your kind words about the star cupcakes and for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek New linky open tomorrow. Hope your NY has been wonderful so far x


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *