Chocolate Peppermint Macarons are a special holiday treat that will brighten up any dessert table.
My motto for the holiday season this year has been, keep it easy and keep it delicious. Pretty easy to follow right? Make dishes that can be prepared ahead of time or with minimal prep and will allow you to enjoy your party instead of hiding instead the kitchen all night long.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many gatherings I have hosted that I was still cooking an hour or more after my guests had arrived. It wasn’t for a lack of planning, trust me, I blame the lack of kitchen space. Each time you’d think I would learn from my mistakes and I think I’m getting finally getting there.
As much as I’m loving my fuss free holiday meals and treats, I can’t resist at least one showstopper on the table. For some that might be a gorgeous cake but for me French macarons call my name. Are they easy? Not exactly? Delicious? Most definitely and you can still make them ahead of time, so I’m partially keeping with that motto.
Oh yes, you heard me right and let that sink in for a moment.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookie butter. Just imagine a popular chocolate sandwich cookie that’s peppermint flavored and crushed up into a smooth creamy butter. I couldn’t resist taking a spoon and digging right in and then I might have a second spoonful. I did eventually put that spoonful down because that cookie spread was destined to become the filling between two chewy and crackly macaron shells.
I have to say if you weren’t in the holiday spirit before, these will do it. There’s something about the combination of chocolate and peppermint that feels like a holiday celebration. In fact, I suggest making double because these macarons will be flying off your dessert table (and you may just want to sneak a couple off for yourself)!
1 cup chocolate peppermint cookie spread (such as Amoretti)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
Crushed candy canes or candy cane sprinkles for decorating
Line 3-4 baking trays with parchment paper. Set aside
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and granulated sugar on medium low speed until foamy (about 1-2 minutes). Increase the speed to medium and whip for another 1-2 minutes. At this point the egg whites will appear white, foamy and more air will be incorporated into them.
Increase the speed again to high and continue to whip until stiff, dry peaks are formed - about 5-7 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add your food coloring - add a few drops of red at a time until you have the desired color that you want.
In your food processor, pulse the confectioners sugar and almond meal about 10 times.
Transfer to a sifter and sift the dry ingredients over the egg whites.
Using a silicone spatula, fold in the dry ingredients, deflating the egg whites and rotating the bowl. As you fold and rotate, take the spatula with the egg whites and beat it against the side of the bowl.
You want to fold about 40 to 50 times or until the batter looks like the texture of lava.
Transfer the batter to a pipping bag with a round tip.
Pipe the macarons at a 45 degree angle on the prepared baking sheet at your desired size.
Once you are finished pipping, bang the baking sheets agains your counter to remove any air bubbles. Set aside for at least 1 hour to rest. You want the shells to form a skin on top.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Bake one tray at a time for 12 minutes, leaving the oven slightly ajar (I found the best way to insert a wooden spoon as you close the oven door).
Let the macaron shells cool completely before filling.
In the bowl of your clean stand mixer, add the cookie spread, butter and confectioners sugar. Attach the paddle and mix on medium speed, add the heavy cream and increase the speed to medium-high. Mix until the buttercream is light and airy.
Transfer to a pipping bag fitted with a round tip.
Pipe the filling in the center of half of the macaron shells, top with the remaining half, pressing down gently until the filling reaches the edges.
Add crushed candy canes along the edges of the macarons after sandwiching them together if using.
Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight to mature in an airtight container and bring to room temperature before serving.
Macarons will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.