Macarons are the top of my list of favorite desserts. i have never met a person who doesn’t like them. They are very easy to personalize and fit any occasion. With that being said, they can also be very intimidating to make. It may take a few tries before you come out with a perfect batch so don’t be discouraged if they don’t come out perfect on the first try.
I experimented with many different recipes and methods for making macarons. From using a sugar syrup to just using plain old powdered sugar I tried them all. After many batches of cookies, I found my perfect technique and recipe. Today I will be sharing my Chocolate Peppermint variation. This recipe is perfect for making during the holidays and putting in “treat bags”. I promise you everyone is going to be super impressed with how you made french bakery style macarons at home. Here are my tips and tricks to perfect macaron making.
First lets talk almond meal. Almond meal is just ground up almonds. If you can’t find almond meal or almond flour or if it’s to expensive, than you can just place almonds into your food processor and blend them into a powder. Make sure you don’t over process them to much or you will end up with almond butter. I find slowly pulsing works best.
The next most important step in macaron making is sifting. Please do not skip this step. I know its annoying, but you will have lumpy cracked cookies if you don’t sift. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together and set aside.
Next we move onto the meringue. I find room temperature egg whites whip up the best.(do not use egg whites in a carton). Whip your egg whites with a hand mixture until frothy. Then SLOWLY add in the sugar. Stop when you get to stiff peaks. I have over mixed my egg whites before and it resulted in hollow cookies.
This next step is the most difficult part. This is when most macaron making goes wrong. Add about a third of your meringue into the flour mixture. Gently fold the meringue do not stir. Do this for the remaining meringue.
Once you have folded the meringue into the flour, continue folding until the batter drips off your rubber spatula and absorbs immediately back into the batter. Now take a deep breath because the hard part is over!
Pipe your macarons onto a baking sheet straight down. I like to place this template under my parchment paper to get even cookies. Now let your piped cookies rest for 15 minutes until they are completely dried out. If you live in a humid climate let them rest for longer. They should be dry to the touch.
Finally place them into a 325 degree pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. You will know that you macarons are done when the easily come off the baking sheet. They should be smooth on the top and have little “feet” around the edges. And you are done! Fill them however you may please! I filled mine with a peppermint chocolate ganache.
Full Recipe and Ganache Recipe down below.
Chocolate Peppermint Macarons
Prep time: 45 minutes Cook time: 21 minutes.
3/4 cup almond flour (sifted)
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons fine sugar
Red gel food coloring
For the ganache:
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (peppermint extract is much stronger than vanilla extract so be careful)
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl sift together almond flour and powdered sugar. In separate bowl whip egg whites on a medium to high speed until frothy. Lower the speed of the mixer, and slowly add in your granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Once your meringue has reached full volume and has stiff peaks stop mixing.
Slowly fold your meringue into the flour mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold until the mixture slides of the spatula and absorbs into itself like quick sand. drop small drops of red gel food coloring into the batter do not mix it in.( We want a candy cane ribbon effect). Gently fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe small circles onto a sheet of parchment paper. Tap the baking sheet against the counter to get rid of air bubbles. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Place the macarons in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Let cookies cool completely before filling.
To prepare the ganache heat up the heavy cream in a small sauce pan. Do not boil. Place your chocolate into a bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Mix in peppermint extract and stir until you have a smooth shiny ganache. If the ganache is runny place it in the fridge to set up a bit.
Fill cookies with ganache and sandwich together. Enjoy!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you guys enjoy recipes from me. I would love to create more for you all! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Talk to ya’ll later!