Peppermint Macarons

I have a challenge for you today… a daunting task. To make your own French style macarons. “Holy cow how in the world am I going to be able to do this?!” Take a deep breath. Follow this recipe and I promise you’ll be surprised with yourself. It might take a couple of times of practice to really get it right, but aiming to make these babies perfect is a complete addiction. And who says you need to stop at peppermint flavor? Maybe add some cocoa powder to your frosting instead for some chocolate macarons. YUM! A little tip… it’s better to make them slightly too small than too big. The larger you make them the more likely they are to crack and cook unevenly. Good luck!

1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 egg whites, at room temperature for 2 hours before you start working with them
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tsp milk

About 10 macarons
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

For the Shells:
In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour and powdered sugar. Sift the mixture 3 times and set aside. It is very important to make sure you sift it multiple times so that the macarons are smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites at a high speed using a stand or hand mixer. When they start to get foamy, add the cream of tartar. Keep beating until the eggs have reached a shaving cream consistency then add the granulated sugar. Keep beating the eggs util the whites develop stiff peaks and are shiny.

Start slowly adding the almond flour sugar mixture into the egg whites. Don’t add it all at once! Do it in 3 or 4 parts. The batter will be a bit tough at first but will loosen up as you mix. Be careful to not over mix; only stir enough to fully incorporate the mixture. You’ll know you’re done when the batter is not runny but will still fall from the spatula in a blob.

Transfer the batter into a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag, cutting off one of the corners to make is about a 1/2 inch opening. Pipe the batter onto the casserole dish lined with parchment paper, making small blobs about an inch big. You might need to do these in batches depending on how many will fit in your dish, or put the rest of them on a parchment lined baking sheet. In total, you should have about 20 blobs. If you have less or more, that is totally fine! Just make sure it is an even number, since you need two to create the cookie sandwich.

Once they are all piped, let them sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes until they have developed the trademark “feet” and you can gently touch the top and feel a slight crust. While they are resting, preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake them for about 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and allow the macarons to cool completely before you try to remove them. If they are not completely cool, the bottom will crack and stick.

Peppermint Filling:
Put the room temperature butter into a large bowl and beat it with your stand or hand mixer until it turns pale, around 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each time you add sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, mix in the vanilla and peppermint extract and stir until it is well combined. Add the milk 1 tbsp at a time until you get the desired consistency, just enough to spread it.

Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag; cut a small hole in the corner. Pipe the filling onto one macaron, then put another one on top to make the cookie sandwich. Enjoy!

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