Although in Florida it hasn’t been looking a lot like Christmas (hello 87 degree heat with 100% humidity)…I thought it would be fun to share with you all a Christmas macaron recipe!
I went solo on this one! I know what you must be thinking, “SOLO! How dare you leave your baking buddy behind!” I know I know, it was hard without the constant support, help, piping skills, and joy my buddy Sarah brings to baking. However, I traversed through the recipe alone and I want to share it with you!
Before beginning, I sought the advice of the world wide web and came across this amazing person! There is a blog out there called BraveTart and wow! This person gives away some FANTASTIC advice for baking. What I loved most of all was the honesty and clarity about the ever complicated but delicious: macarons (http://bravetart.com/recipes/Macarons). I stuck with Sarah & I’s vanilla shell recipe (taken from Ladurée), but added some peppermint extra in replace of the vanilla 🙂 For the filling the true and tried chocolate ganache with peppermint extract to liven it up a bit!
So here’s the recipe for Peppermint Dark Chocolate Macarons!
- Kitchen Aid mixer (with whisk attachment)
- 2 silicon baking mats or parchment paper
- 2 cookie sheets
- kitchen scale
- mixing bowls
- piping bags & 3/4″ circle tip
- 260g almond flour (Bob’s Redmill)*
- 250g confectioners sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 210g granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp meringue powder (we use this because it is SO HUMID here in FL! It isn’t entirely necessary)
- **I used Bob’s Redmill Almond Flour and I’m thinking they changed the recipe. It looked like they did not blanch the almonds. The little speckles in my batter, yep that is from the flour! Sad sad sad!
- First things first, I did not age our egg whites. I separated them and let them sit out for about 45 minutes.
- While the egg whites sit, sift the powdered sugar and the almond flour separately. Mix them together, then sift the mixture once more. I sift the powdered sugar and almond flour each 3x before I sift them together one more time. Sifting is important!
- Beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy (speed 4) then slowly add granulated sugar 1 tbsp at a time. If you are using the powder meringue, now is the time to add it in. Continue beating egg whites on high speed.
- Beat until hard peaks form. When you see hard peaks forming stop the mixer and add your food coloring and extract! Then whip it up until the peaks are at their peak level!
- A good tip to see if its done is to flip the bowl upside down. (Hopefully your meringue doesn’t fall out!!) It will take at least 8 minutes, usually 10 minutes. Finished meringue should look glossy and fluffy (Like marshmallow fluff).
- Now fold in the dry ingredients! Add half the batter and begin folding. It will look like it will never incorporate, but keep going. When you hit 25-30 turns the batter should be almost fully incorporated. Here is when you add in the other half of the batter and repeat the process. The batter should look like a lava consistency. If it runs off the spoon too much then you have over-mixed. If it sits stiff then it is under mixed. Find the sweet spot and make sure it looks like molten lava (at this point singing the soundtrack for Moana is totally acceptable).
- Put the batter into a ready piping bag with 3/4″ tip. Pipe 1.5″ circles onto the silicon mats or parchment paper. Piping templates are your best friend! Sarah is pro so she does not even need the templates. I used templates but printed them out way too small so let us just say, my piping ability is frightening. It’s love that counts right?Let the batter rest for 30-45 minutes. Feet will begin at this stage.
- Now is the time to make that yummy filling! See below.
- Set the oven…we found it best to not turn the oven on until the batter is done resting. You don’t want the oven to be too hot!! This time we set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the shells are in the oven, set the timer for 15 minutes. If you have 2 trays in one oven it may be best to leave them in for a couple more minutes.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven. DO NOT REMOVE THE SHELLS FROM THE TRAYS RIGHT AWAY! RESIST THE TEMPTATION!! We like to gently pull the mats/paper off of the tray to let them cool down completely.
- Now the best part… Find their soul mates!! Give that macaron shell its perfect half! Ours came out so well we had no mismatches left! Just one little guy because we ended up with an odd number? I don’t know how that happened though… We had an even number… So it seems we have a thief amongst us.
- Fill a piping bag, with the same tip used for the shell batter. Pipe the ganache onto one of the halves and behold your macaron!
- 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
Put the cream in a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a medium bowl in 3 parts. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Gradually add in small pieces of the butter until it is blended and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Peace, love, and baking,
In other confectionary news! I tried Starbuck’s Fruitcake Frapp! It is a thing this year! Not many people know about it which makes you seem all that more ‘in the cool people loop’ when you order it. I got mine with almond milk (did not know Starbs started using almond milk!!) and wow it was quite amazing! It had pieces of dried fruit in it and a hazelnut creme swirl with matcha powder spread over the top! It is a flavor to get used to but by the last sip I was wanting more! It is here until Christmas day so run run Rudolph and go grab that fruitcake (that won’t disappoint)!