December 20, 2020 || By: Hope F
We all have those guilty pleasures during Christmas time: Peppermint Junior Mints, Candy Canes, Peppermint Oreos, you name it! These macarons are exactly that, except if you end up making them correctly then they may be more of a “well deserved pleasure”! From the red and white swirl, to the candy cane crumble on the edges, taking a bite of one of these is surely a delight! They would go great with tea or hot chocolate too.
Recipe: Prep Time – 1 hour, Cook Time – 40 min
- 1 Candy Cane
- 100 grams egg whites 3.5 oz
- 100 grams granulated sugar 3.5 oz
- 105 grams almond flour 3.7 oz
- 105 grams powdered sugar 3.7 oz
- GEL Food Coloring – I used a bit of red to get that nice red swirl
How to make the shell:
- Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together, then set aside. You could also put these in a food processor to make the mixture very fine.
- In a large bowl, start whisking the egg whites. Use a hand mixer to whisk them until they’re white and frothy – adding the granulated sugar intermittently – then bring it up to medium speed until you start to get firm peaks (keep adding sugar). Finally, bring it up to a high speed and mix in the last of the granulated sugar until stiff peaks* are formed. *You can tell if the peaks are stiff by lifting the bowl of meringue upside down and it stays still.
- Sift the powdered sugar/almond flour mix into the meringue and start folding it in. To fold it in: use a spatula and move it in a half circle in the bowl going clockwise, once you reach the halfway point, pull the spatula towards you and then to the left in another circle (think of it as making a J with the spatula). While mixing like this, add in the food coloring. You will know that the batter is ready when you can lift some of it up with the spatula and let it fall and form a figure-eight, the batter should not just fall in clumps or break, it should be smooth and flowing.
- You have to be careful with step 3, because there is such a thing as over-mixing in which case the batter will be too runny. You will probably not get this right away, it took me a full summer of fails to finally get this.
- Now you want to prepare the piping bag before you put the batter in. I put the piping bag into a glass to keep it steady, and then painted 3 or 4 even placed stripes into it.
- The piping bag is ready, so immediately put the batter in, and then put the piping bag filled with batter into a cup while you prepare a baking tray.
- You want to put a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray, or – if you really start getting into macarons – you can get a macaron silicone mat (silpat) that has the outline of a macaron.
- Now that the tray is ready, you can take the piping bag out of the cup and pipe the batter onto the parchment paper or silpat at a 90° angle. Pipe it by applying pressure for a few seconds and then lift it up and twist the bag slightly.
- After piping as many circles as you can, bang the tray against the counter a few times. We do this in order to get rid of all air bubbles and (hopefully) prevent any cracking of the shells. You can also lift up the tray about a foot over the counter and let it drop onto it.
- Next, let the shells sit out for about 30 minutes until they develop a “skin,” which can be described as the shell batter being tacky and having a matte finish (instead of being shiny). Depending on how humid it is, you might have to let the macarons sit for longer than 30 minutes.
- While the shells are sitting out, pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
- Bake the tray for 18-20 minutes, rotating every 4 minutes to make sure the macarons don’t end up lopsided.
- When the macarons are ready, they will have a darker color, will have formed feet and will come off the mat (or paper) easily.
- Let the macarons cool fully before assembling them.
- 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 -1 tablespoon milk if necessary
How to make the buttercream:
- Cream the butter at medium speed for a minute, then add the sugar while on low speed and continue mixing until incorporated, once incorporated, mix on medium speed until fluffy (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Add the peppermint, vanilla, and milk and mix for around a minute. If the mixture is too runny, add in some more sugar. If it’s too stiff, add some milk.
- Once you have the right consistency, you can store the buttercream in a fridge for up to a week.
To Assemble the Macarons:
- This step is optional, but I like the added flare. You can crush up a candy cane into small pieces and then sprinkle it around the edge of the macarons. This means that when you pipe the buttercream, you’ll want to pipe it so that it makes it to the outer edges of the macarons.
- Pipe some buttercream on half of the macaron shells.
- Press another shell lightly on top.
- You can store the macarons in the fridge for up to 5 days, or 1-2 months in the freezer.
- Baking time/temp: this will depend on the humidity level at your house and the temperature of your oven, some experimentation is always good (some oven temperatures vary and it would be a good idea to invest in an oven thermometer to be more accurate).