Thursday, November 24, 2011

Peppermint French Macarons—12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies

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My Thanksgiving baking is in full swing ahead, but I wanted to share these Peppermint Macarons with you today for the ninth week of 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.  I’ve been wanting to make macarons again since I made Cocoa Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache back in July.  In trying to decide what flavor to make, I ran across these and decided peppermint was the way to go!

French Macarons seem intimidating, but they really are quite simple to make if you follow the instructions.  I may not have them down perfectly yet, but these turned out well and I was pleased.  I made half of them with a peppermint white chocolate ganache and half of them with a chocolate ganache with some almond extract added.  I actually liked the chocolate ones better.  Following the recipe for the white chocolate ganache on the link, it had too much cream with the chocolate, so it didn’t get quite as thick as I would have liked.  It also didn’t have enough peppermint.  I wish I would have added more and will next time—and use less cream as well!

Almond Macarons with Chocolate Ganache 11-23-11

The cookie itself is just the usual macaron made with almond flour.  I think it would also have been good with some peppermint extract.  But the ones I made with the chocolate ganache with some almond extract added were really good.  It was my friend’s birthday Wednesday, so I packed up most of the chocolate ones and gave them to her.

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These would be perfect to give as Christmas gifts.  Who wouldn’t love a gift box full of macarons?  I like that you can make these pretty much any and all colors and flavors you’d like, so you could really kick up the festive holiday look with these.

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I didn’t give my friend any of the ones with the white chocolate peppermint because it just wouldn’t quite stay firm enough and was squishing out of the cookies too much.  They will get eaten here!

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Peppermint Macarons, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Foodness Gracious

1 cup (110 grams) powdered sugar

3/4 cup almond flour

2 large egg whites, room temperature

pinch of cream of tartar

1/4 cup (50 grams) superfine sugar (granulated would be fine)

red food coloring (optional)

Sift the powdered sugar and the almond flour using a fine mesh strainer.  Set aside.

Whisk the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the wire attachment until they become foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat a little more.  Add the superfine sugar gradually while beating on high until stiff peaks form.  Add the red food coloring if doing so. 

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the almond flour/powdered sugar into the egg whites with a spatula, mixing just until all incorporated.  Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe about a quarter size cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Once they are all piped, if any of a point on the top, tap it down gently with a damp finger.   Leave them sitting at room temperature for about 45 minutes, until you see them become dull on top. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  When the oven is ready, put the baking sheets (this made enough to fill about 1 and a half sheets) in an turn the oven down to 325 degrees.  Leave the door open slightly with a wooden spoon holding it open.  Bake for 10 minutes, turning the sheets after five minutes.  Leave to cool for a couple of minutes when they come out of the oven and then gently lift the whole paper sheet from the tray to the counter. 

White Chocolate Peppermint Ganache

5 ounces white chocolate, chopped or you can use chips

1/4 cup heavy cream (my adjusted amount)

3/4 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (or to taste)

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling.  Pour it over the chocolate in another bowl.  Let sit for a couple minutes.  Stir gently with a spatula until smooth.  Add the butter and stir again until smooth and shiny.  Add the extract and stir together.  Let cool and thicken.  Put the ganache in a piping bag (or a plastic zip top bag with a corner snipped off) and pipe a mound of ganache onto one cookie.  Top it with another cookie and continue to finish the remaining ones. 

Dark Chocolate Almond Ganache

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped or you can use chips

3 tablespoons heavy cream

3/4 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or to taste)

Heat the cream to just boiling, pour over the chocolate and let sit for a minute or two.  Gently stir together with a spatula until smooth.  Add the butter and flavoring and stir until smooth and shiny.  Put the ganache in a pipng bag (or a plastic zip top tab with a corner snipped off) and pipe a mound of ganache onto one cookie.  Top it with another cookie.  Continue to fill other cookies. 

DSCF8459 You will probably have some leftover ganache.  I waited until it hardened a little more, then rolled it into balls and tossed it in some crushed peppermint candy for some quick, tasty truffles!  These would also be great for your holiday gifts!  You can roll the balls of ganache in any thing you want—finely chopped nuts, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, colorful sprinkles, etc. 

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This post is also being added to Lisa’s Sweets For A Saturday at Sweet As Sugar Cookies.

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Check out the other 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies blog hoppers!

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11 comments:

Anna said...

Those macarons are beautiful! Wow.

Kayte said...

Those pink macs with the white filling are so gorgeous! I think these are the prettiest things you have ever made. Wonderful photos of all of it...you are such a star! I think you should consider making a cookie book. Seriously.

coconut said...

I really want to try these again, my last ones were perfect except for the fact I forgot to time them, so they dried out, BOOO! I never thought of making truffles out of the left over chocolate, I hate to say it but I actually threw mine out. I know, whats wrong with me?

Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl said...

I've wanted to try making macarons for some time now, but have been too nervous! These look great, though, so I think I'll give them a try. LOVE peppermint, so these are right up my alley. You did a great job!

Trisha said...

Katrina, the macarons look so precious, I think they're perfect. Love the ganache truffles as well! Great job!

Tracey said...

Your macarons are stunning Katrina! Love them - so perfect for the holidays.

Curt said...

Holy smokes, these look delicious. Not to mention the photos are awesome!

Kathleen said...

Oh my gosh! Seriously impressive! they look totally professional! :)

Lisa said...

You're a macaron master! Love them all and the truffles too.

mellissina2 said...

Csodás sütik,nem csak a macaron,hanem a többi is!!!!

Iamonewithmuchope said...

Ahh! I've been dying to make these! Where do you get the almond flour? I can't find it in my store...

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