This is the recipe I developed as a St. Patrick’s Day treat for The Oregonian. Originally, I made these as a dessert for my friend’s birthday but as that celebration was hit by a random Portland snowstorm no one except my family got to try them.
You’re all probably thinking, “Bryony, macarons are French not Irish, how are these a St. Patrick’s Day treat?!” Well my friends, I used some food colouring and made the filling green. Now, I realize the Irish have their own desserts that are delicious. Most of them have some kind of Irish whiskey or Bailey’s in them and I (along with the lovely folks at The Oregonian) want the recipes I create to be kids and family friendly so this recipe seemed perfect.
Macarons look intimidating to make; I’ll admit the first time I made them – a couple of years ago for a dinner with my friends – they did not turn out looking like macarons at all. They didn’t have “feet” (the cute little ridges at the bottom of each cookie) and didn’t have the crunchy outside/soft inside texture. This was probably the result of under-whipping the eggs. The key to perfect macarons is making sure the egg whites have stiff peaks and that you don’t over or under mix the batter when combining the egg whites with the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture. When combining the two, you want to add the sugar/flour mixture to the egg whites in 2-3 batches and only mix until the two are combined and there are no streaks.
Once piped onto the lined baking sheets I recommend you bang the baking sheets on a counter top 3-4 times, releasing any air bubbles in the macarons. Some recipes for these pretty treats have you let them sit for a while before you put them in the oven and some have you bake them right away. I’ve had the most success when I let them sit out for at least 30 minutes so that’s what I do in this recipe. I haven’t tried baking them right away, but if you want to go ahead – let me know how they turn out!
This recipe does make enough ganache for multiple batches. If you’re only making one batch you can either cut down the recipe or freeze the leftover ganache for later use in more macarons/cakes/cupcakes etc.
Chocolate Macarons with White Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
Makes 20-25 sandwiches
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond meal (flour)
- 3 tbsp. cocoa powder (dark or regular)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 10 oz. good-quality white chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- Few drops green food colouring
- Line two baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Fit a large pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip. Set aside.
- Place powdered sugar, almond meal, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times then process until fine, about 30 seconds. Sift into a large bowl.
- Place egg whites in bowl of stand mixer fixed with whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy and opaque. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium high until egg whites turn white. Slowly add sugar until combined and egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Using a flat rubber spatula, fold dry mixture into egg whites in 2-3 batches until mixture is just combined. It should have a cake batter-like consistency.
- Transfer batter to pastry bag and pipe onto prepared baking sheets, 1-inch round, 1-inch apart. Bang baking sheets against countertops 3-4 times. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350°F and bake, one sheet at a time, for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Heat cream in a pot until just boiling. Place chocolate chips in another bowl and pour cream on top. Let sit for 2-3 minutes then stir until smooth. Add butter & peppermint extract and stir again until smooth. Add food colouring, stirring to combine. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
- Pair macarons and pipe ganache onto one half of each pair. Gently sandwich together.