After wanting to make these for a long time, Donna and I finally worked up the courage.....and they were fabulous! Equal parts light, crunchy and sweet, these delicate treats are magnifique!
- 1 2/3 cup almond flour
- 1 cups powdered sugar
- 4 egg whites, divided in 2 small bowls
- 1 cup regular sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out
- Red food coloring (optional)
- Crushed Candy Canes or Peppermint candies
- Buttercream Recipe
- 8 ounces butter, room temperature (I like Kerrygold for it’s richness)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons of whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
Heat oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit.
Separate egg whites ensuring there is absolutely no egg yolk.
Measure out egg whites into two small containers with 2 egg whites in each dish.
Put almond flour and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processer and pulse a few times. Once the sugar and almond flour is a fine texture, sift the mixture 2 times. To make this step a little easier, set the sifter over a large bowl. Sift the mixture into the bowl. Set a piece of parchment paper on your counter. Set the sifter on top of the parchment and pour sifted mixture back into the sifter. Sift again back into the bowl and add any remnants on the parchment to the bowl.
This multiple sifting creates an extra fine flour/sugar mixture, which helps make the Macarons extra light.
Add the vanilla seed scrapings, and 2 egg whites, mix gently and set aside.
Cook sugar with water in a pot over medium heat with candy thermometer. Gently swirl the water and sugar a few times so it cooks evenly. When the temperature reaches 230F take the pot off the oven.
While sugar is cooking, add the other 2 egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer, and begin to beat on the medium setting. When the eggs are in a soft peak, drizzle the hot sugar syrup down the bowl in a thin stream and continue beating until you get a firm, shiny meringue. IMPORTANT: Make sure to drizzle the hot sugar syrup down against the bowl of the mixer. It should run down the inside of the bowl before meeting up with the eggs. This will ensure you don’t wind up with scrambled eggs.
Once the shiny meringue has formed, pour half of the almond/powered sugar ingredients into meringue and stir ensuring you scrape the sides and bottom. Add the second half and stir. IMPORTANT: DO NOT OVER STIR. You want the batter to look like thick molten lava. The more you stir the more it will lose its thickness, which will result in flat, cracked cookies. If you want a swirled look to the cookies, add a drop or two of red food coloring to the batter and gently stir it a couple of times.
Place parchment on a cookie sheet and trace 1 inch circles on the parchment then flip the parchment as you do not want pen marks on the cookie. You can also use a Macaron set like this one.Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a plain round tip, with the batter and pipe out circles on your parchment. Once you have your circles piped, firmly hold the cookie sheet and rap the sheet against a counter a couple times. This is done to help form the foot/pied bottom of the Macaron.
Let the dough sit for 15-30 minutes to form a soft non-sticky shell.
Place in oven for 11 minutes and put a wooden spoon in the door to let some heat escape. This will produce a slightly chewy Macaron, which is traditional, without browning the cookie.
Once cookies are done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool. Do not remove from parchment until cool as they may stick. Pull up the corner and gently peel parchment from the Macaron or use a metal spatula to gently remove shells.
While the cookies are cooling, make the buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add a couple tablespoons of milk and the peppermint extract. Mix to incorporate and taste. If you want it a bit creamier, add another tablespoon of buttercream.
To assemble the Macarons, spoon a large dollop of icing onto macaron shell and gently press the two sides together. You want there to be enough icing that it extends a little bit beyond the cookie, or the crushed candies won’t stick.
Roll the cookie into crushed candy canes or peppermint candies.
Lightly adapted from Studio DIY/Stacy Able Photography