Fun fact about me, I had my first macaron on my twenty-first birthday and that’s when I discovered that there had been a small macaron shaped hole in my life.
All kidding aside, macarons have never been something I have been exposed to, they must not be a New England thing. I had never ever really seen them until watching things like the British Bake Of, and Zumbo’s Just Desserts.
They soon became something I had to conquer, I mean what kind of baker am I? Something in me felt like I needed this to prove to myself that I’m actually a good baker, like sure I can make a good chocolate cake, but can I make tiny little meringue sandwich cookie? So, after watching lots of Youtube videos, and reading a bunch of articles, I set aside a whole day and set about my new adventure.
After a couple failed attempts I finally got two good batches, and have made them again since with no problems.
2 Drops Pink Gel Food Coloring, I use Wilton
Peppermint Butter Cream
- Sift the almond flour, powdered sugar, and half teaspoon of salt through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl( I put it through the sieve twice to make sure it was as smooth as possible)
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a mixer until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form, you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without anything falling out.
- Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the food coloring and beat until just combined.
- Add about 1/3 of the sifted almond flour mixture at a time to the beaten egg whites and use a spatula to gently fold until combined. After the flour is combined, continue to fold until you can swirl the batter in figure eight shapes without the batter breaking.
- Transfer the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- Place 4 dots of the batter in each corner of a rimmed baking sheet, and place a piece of parchment paper over it, using the batter to help adhere the parchment to the baking sheet.
- Pipe the macarons onto the parchment paper in 1 1/2 inch circle, spacing at least 1-inch apart. I was in a bit of a rush so eyeballed it this time which made them a little unevenly sized I would recommend marking your paper so you get them all the same size and distance apart.
- Tap the baking sheet on a flat surface five or six times to release any air bubbles.
- Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until dry to the touch.
- Preheat the oven to 300˚F.
- Bake the macarons for 17 minutes, until the feet are well-risen and the macarons no longer stick to the parchment paper.
- Place the macarons to a wire rack to cool completely before filling them.
Pepper Mint Butter Cream.
- In a medium-sized bowl beat the butter with the peppermint extract until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar a little at a time mixing on a low speed.
- Add the heavy cream to the butter mixture, you may want more or less depending on the thickness you like your buttercream.
- Add the pink food coloring one drop at a time until you get just the right shade of pink.
- Place the buttercream into an icing bag with a large round tip.
- Once the cookies are completely cool start filling them.
- Pipe a dollop of buttercream on one of the cookies, and sandwich the two cookies together. Leave enough room for the buttercream to spread as you sandwich the two together if it does come out over the edges just wipe away the excess with your fingers.
- The final step is to roll the macarons in the crushed peppermints.
There you have it! Pretty, delicate little cookies that make you feel instantly more sophisticated by eating them, especially when accompanied by espresso.
The basic cookie recipe is very versatile, you can change it up with different extracts and colors, and the choice of fillings is endless, but I do highly recommend the peppermint for a sweet holiday treat.