The Twelve Cookies of Christmas: Chocolate Peppermint Macarons

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Jena’s Tiny Kitchen gave to you Peppermint Macarons, Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches, Peppermint Tim Tams, Red Velvet Cookies, Pumpkin Spice Madelines, Italian Crescent Cookies, Booze-free Brandy Snaps, Florentines, Coconut Macaroons, Peppermint Pinwheels, Rice Krispie Treats and Snickerdoodle cookies.

I have so much fun doing The Twelve Cookies of Christmas with you! I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the delicious cookies that have been shared. Please do let me know if you ever make them!

I’ve never made macarons before, but they’ve been on my baking to-do list for a VERY long time. I finally got round to making them, as I wanted them to be the final cookie for the Twelve Cookies of Christmas!

I have to give Displaced Housewife and her Cookie Book all the credit to making me feel comfortable with making these babies. I’ve adapted her recipe, to use the flavours and ingredients I wanted to, but it was definitely her book that helped with the confidence.

The biggest things you need to focus on are a clean bowl when you whip your egg whites, making sure that your egg whites are stiff, and ensuring that your macarons form a film over them before you put them in the oven. The film is what helps to give them their signature “feet” and keep them from cracking at the top.

Ingredients

210 grams icing sugar
125 grams ground almonds/almond meal
130 grams egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
105 grams caster sugar
20 grams unsweeetened cocoa powder
113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
360 grams icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 drops red food colouring

  1. Cover baking trays with baking paper. Prepare a piping bag with a round piping tip in the bottom, and place the bag in a large glass or jar for easy filling.
  2. Add 110 grams of icing sugar to a food processor. Then all add all of the almond meal and another 100 grams of icing sugar. Blitz until no more almond meal is visible.
  3. In a free-standing mixer, with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium. When the eggs are frothy, add in the caster sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk until shiny and glossy, and the mixture makes stiff peaks.
  4. Carefully sift one third of the almond meal mixture into the meringue mixture, and fold in gently. Turn the bowl a quarter turn after each fold, and make sure you scrap from the bottom. Repeat with another third of the almond meal mixture, and fold until fully combined. Repeat again with remaining almond meal mixture. Make sure everything is well mixed.
  5. Scrap the mixture up the sides of the bowl, if it doesn’t start to run down the sides on its own, fold a few more times. Once the mixture starts to gently glide back down the sides of the bowl, it is ready.
  6. Add the mixture to your piping bag. Holding the piping bag perpendicular to your lined baking tray, gently squeeze the piping bag and make a circle of batter the size of a US quarter (or HK$1 coin). Make sure you leave enough space for the macarons to spread, so keep at least 3 cm between each one. Make sure you make an even number of cookies.
  7. Tap the pan gently on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles, and let the macarons sit for up to 45 minutes, until a film is formed whereby the batter does not transfer to your fingers if gently touched.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160°C and bake the macarons for 11 – 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the baking paper.
  9. Once the macarons are cooled, prepare the filling. Beat the unsalted butter in a free-standing mixer on medium until creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, until fully combined. Then add the peppermint extract, salt and food colouring. Beat until food colouring is evenly distributed. Fill a piping bag with the filling, and pipe onto the flat side of half of the macarons. Sandwich the other halves on top.
  10. Store in the fridge, in an air-tight container for up to a week.

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