These peppermint macarons will become an instant holiday classic. Have fun piping out the mezmerizing meringue cookies and filling them with a rich chocolate ganache. And for a little extra flair, roll them in crushed candy canes.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (175 g)
½ cup heavy cream (120 mL)
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar (210 g)
1 cup finely ground almond flour (95 g)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 large egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar (50 g)
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
red gel food coloring
8 candy canes, crushed
How to Make It
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.
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.
Roll the edges of the macarons in the crushed candy canes.
If desired, place the macarons in an airtight container for 24 hours to “bloom” before serving, or serve immediately.