French Peppermint Macarons

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Macarons are a delicate, beautiful and tasty french cookie.  I found a picture and recipe on the Facebook page facebook.com/bellenza.  for these beautiful peppermint macarons. I love the peppermint swirl and the gorgeous sparkle. These are perfect holiday cookies. Dainty and festive all in one.

I was a little nervous to make them, but they turned out great. I see many more macarons in my future! The original recipe came from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/sparkly-vanilla-bean-macarons-with-three-christmas-inspired-frostings.html. I did not use that recipe for mine, but was 100% inspired by these to make something similar. I used their step by step “how to” when making the pinwheel design and definitely ordered some of that magical disco dust. Here’s where I found it http://www.amazon.com/American-Red-Disco-Dust-grams/dp/B002GUT6XO

 

Here is the recipe I used and a video from today’s show.

 

Here’s the video-

http://www.wsls.com/story/24231469/food-lion-kitchen-french-peppermint-macarons

 

Here’s the recipe-

Macaron Ingredients
2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 large egg whites at room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
1.    Preheat the oven to 280º and position two racks in the lower section of the oven. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. If you have time, draw 1-inch circles on the back of each sheet, spacing the circles at least 1/2-inch apart.
2.    If your almond meal is very coarse, grind it with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture twice through a mesh sieve. (IMPORTANT STEP!!)
3.    Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and begin to beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Continue to beat the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Gently stir in the vanilla extract. Be careful to not overbeat the meringue (e.g., the meringue takes on a clumpy texture).
4.    Add half of the sifted almond mixture and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle, being careful to not overagitate the meringue and lose too much air. Once the almond mixture is predominantly incorporated, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.
5.    When the almond mixture is just incorporated, you will need to transform the batter into the appropriate texture. Using the flat of the spatula, “punch” down into the center of the batter, then scrape more batter from the sides to the center, and punch again. You will need to repeat this 10-15 times (or more, depending on your arm strength and the beginning texture of your batter) until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula. Think of the consistency of molten lava. For the best results, punch the batter a few times, check the consistency, then punch a few more times, etc. Do not make the batter too runny or the macarons won’t rise as they should, and you could end up with oil stains on the surface.
6.    Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.4-inch tip. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles you drew (remember to draw the circles on the back side of your parchment to avoid ink or pencil stains on your macarons!).
7.    Holding the baking sheet in both hands, rap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This smooths out the tops and helps form the “pied” or frilly foot on the bottoms of the macarons. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. The macarons should form a very thin, smooth crust where, if you tap it lightly with your finger, the batter will not stick to your finger. If after 15 minutes, the batter is still sticky, let it dry longer. This may take up to an hour on humid days.
8.    Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first 2 minutes, open the oven to allow any excess humidity to escape. Halfway through, swap oven racks and rotate the sheets for even baking. The macarons are done when they are baked all the way through and the shells are just hard. Take care to not underbake (insides will still be mushy) or overbake (tops will begin to brown). Remove them from the oven, and cool on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
9.    When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling. The assembled macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Makes about 4 dozen macaron halves (about 2 dozen complete macarons).

macaron

I can see this one was not as smooth as it should be. However, it does have the little edge (feet) that are signature to a macaron.

 

Peppermint Filling

1 package of cream cheese

1/2 cup of ground peppermint sticks (candy canes). I used a food processor

1 tablespoon of butter

1.5-2 cups of powdered sugar

 

peppermint frosting

Pretty and pink!

 

 

Mix all of the above ingredients in  your stand mixer and whip until smooth. Scoop into icing bag with a large tip. The shape of the tip doesn’t matter. You will then pipe a nice even layer on the underside of one of your macarons. Then top with the pre-decorated top. These were so pretty and so delicious!

American wife to this Indian life. I am a right-brained, American woman married to a left-brained Indian man. I love art, design, up-cycling and multiple DIY projects at the same time. He loves simplicity and order. Follow us on this cultural collision as I combine our personalities and cultural differences through art, design, food, and raising kids. When I am not working on a craft or project, I co-host a lifestyle/entertainment show called "Daytime Blue Ridge," on our local NBC affiliate, WSLS 10. www.DaytimeBlueRidge.com

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