Oh, Wow! These are just heavenly and so fun to make. A wonderful project for a cold day! They simply take a little more time than your average cookie, but are worth every moment. Beautiful and tasty…they are small works of art in and of themselves.
For our family, not only are these a real treat, but an opportunity to use our fresh hen’s eggs. We then deliver both to the neighbors with bows on top! We hope you too enjoy the process…and the sweet reward. Happy Holidays! – Jill Tran
OUR TIP: Read all of the instructions first and learn our personal tips to make your Macarons…magnificent!
Makes about 12-15 macarons
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup finely ground almond flour – health food section of your store
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- red and pink gel food coloring – we prefer an intense pink, as red is pretty severe
- 1 large candy cane, crushed – or several small
- Make the ganache filling: In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted and smooth, about 1 minute total. Set aside to cool for at least 1 hour.
- Make the macarons: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Process on low speed until very finely ground. Sift the almond flour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the granulated sugar 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 about ⅓ of the sifted almond flour mixture at a time to the beaten egg whites and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until combined. After the last addition of almond flour, add the peppermint extract. Continue to fold slowly until the batter falls into ribbons and you can make a figure 8 while holding the spatula up. OUR TIP: Don’t over stir or the batter will become thin and not hold their round shape.
- Set a piping bag or zip-top bag fitted with a round tip in a tall drinking glass. Dip a skewer or toothpick in the red gel food coloring and paint 2 stripes on opposite sides of the inside of the piping bag. Transfer the macaron batter to the bag.
- Pipe 4 small dollops of batter in each corner of a rimmed baking sheet, then lay 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 2-inch (5-cm) circles, spacing at least 1-inch (2.5-cm) apart.
- Tap the baking sheet on a flat surface 5 times to release any air bubbles. If there are any points on the top of the macarons, let sit for 5 minutes after tapping the pan, then, with a slightly moistened finger, lightly pat down the peaks.
- Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30–60 minutes, until dry to the touch.
- Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C).
- Bake the macarons for 20 minutes, until the feet are well risen and the macarons don’t stick to the parchment paper. Transfer the macarons to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
- Transfer the cooled ganache to a piping bag or zip-top bag fitted with a round tip.
- Pipe a dollop of ganache onto a macaron shell. Top with another macaron shell to create a sandwich. Repeat with remaining macarons and ganache. OUR TIP: Use a little less ganache than you think you need. The cap spreads it a bit, and rolling it in the peppermint will smudge any too close to the outside edges. Build one entire macaron from start to finish to learn how your ganache will “behave.”
- Roll the edges of the macarons in the crushed candy canes. OUR TIP: We think larger peppermint chunks are prettier and tastier… a coarse powder. If the candy canes are crushed too much, they lose some of their look and tasty pop!
- Share with those you love (and keep some for yourself!)
Happy Holidays from Tran + Thomas Design Studio!
About Tran + Thomas
Built on the foundation of a 30-year, family-owned Interior Design business, Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas opened Tran + Thomas Design Studio in 2011 bringing a combined 36 years of experience to their projects. They work on both residential and commercial projects across several styles. Interested in their services? Call (913) 268-9595 or schedule a consultation below.