These triple chocolate peppermint macarons are as adorable as they are delicious. Dunked or drizzled in melted chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes, these festive cookies are the perfect holiday treat!
100 grams finely ground almond flour
100 grams confectioner’s sugar
10 grams (2 TBSP) Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
100 grams egg whites, room temperature (from about 3 large eggs)
105 grams granulated sugar
brown gel food coloring if desired (will make the macarons darker)
FOR CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BUTTERCREAM
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 TBSP Dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
pinch of salt
2–3 TBSP heavy cream or whole milk
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (or sub vanilla extract for less peppermint flavor)
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
crushed peppermint candy canes
Line two baking sheets with non stick silpat mats with macaron templates. Alternatively, line with parchment paper traced with 1 1/2 inch circles spaced 2 inches apart. Set aside.
Into a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and cocoa powder through a fine mesh sieve four times. Discard any large pieces of almond that do not sift through the sieve.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the egg whites on medium high speed until light an foamy, about 1 minute. Slowly add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whisk on medium high. Wait 10-15 seconds between each addition to be sure sugar is incorporated.
After all of the sugar has been added, continue to beat the eggs whites on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. If adding gel food coloring, do so just before mixing is complete so as not to over mix the egg whites. The egg whites should be thick and fluffy and hold their shape when the whisk is turned upright. Continue mixing if the peaks fall over. Be careful not to over mix.
Once the meringue is ready, add 1/2 of the sifted almond flour and sugar mixture to the egg whites and use a spatula to fold together. Do not “stir” the mixture but rather “fold” the ingredients together using broad, sweeping motions. Scrape from the bottom of the bowl and up and over the top of the mixture. Before incorporating fully, add the other 1/2 of the dry ingredients and continue the folding motion. Pause to press the batter firmly against the sides of the bowl every now and then to smooth the batter. Continue folding until the batter begins to flow like lava and you can lift the spatula making a figure 8 without the mixture breaking off. If it falls off, continue mixing for three or four folds at a time. Test again. The mixture is ready when the ribbon of batter melts back into itself in about 10 seconds. Do not over mix as your batter will become runny and the macarons will not bake properly.
Scoop the batter into a pasty bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain piping tip. Or use a thick ziploc bag fitted with the tip. Pipe the macaron batter onto the prepared templates. Circles should measure about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 inches. When piping, hold the tip perpendicular to the silpat mat and apply pressure to the top of the piping bag to keep a continuous flow of batter through the tip. Release the pressure and use a small flick of the hand to end the flow of batter and leave a smooth top on the macaron.
Repeat with remaining macarons. Tap each cookie sheet firmly on the countertop three times to release air bubbles.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Allow the macarons to rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are dry to the touch. Depending on the weather, this can take over an hour. Do not skip this step or the macarons will not bake properly.
Once dry, place a single sheet of macarons in the lower center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes. Bake one sheet at a time and rotate half way through the baking time. The macarons are done when the tops are firm and remain attached to the “feet” when touched.
Cool completely on the silicon mats for 6-8 minutes before carefully removing the macarons.
Set aside while you assemble the filling.
FOR PEPPERMINT BUTTERCREAM
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy. About 4 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder. Add the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder slowly to the creamed butter, continuing to mix on low speed at first until the sugar is incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix for one minute.
Add the salt, peppermint extract and 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream or milk. Mix on medium speed until combined and then increase to high speed. Mix for 2 minutes.
If buttercream is too thick, add more heavy cream one tablespoon at a time. If too thin, add more confectioners sugar. The buttercream should be on the thick side so that it holds its form when piped onto the macarons.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. To assemble the macarons, pipe the buttercream in a circle onto the flat side of a macaron. Top with a second macaron and gently press together just slightly to join the cookies to the buttercream.
Drizzle tops with melted chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
For best results, store assembled macarons in the refrigerator.