Are these just not the prettiest little things you’ve ever seen? Ok. That’s dramatic. I know probably not that you have EVER seen.. because lets be honest. I’m no pro, but I do love them and I do think they are just so darling! If you’ve visited Tried and Tasty recently you know that I’m on a french macaroon kick. Like majorly. Like borderline obsessed. Like actually obsessed. If you haven’t been around, I’ll catch you up to speed: I first experimented with French Macaroons with my Pumpkin Buttercream French Macaroons and then at the beginning of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies I posted my Hot Chocolate French Macaroons with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting. Both are fantastic recipes. So here I am again. And I can’t promise it will be the last of the macaroons that you’ll see from me. These little buggers are addicting. I think I get some sort of a rush after all the hard work that goes in to the batter in seeing if in fact I will get the little “feet” that makes a signature french macaroon. When I see those little feet I get an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
Holiday French Macaroons with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
- Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
- Sift together almond flour and powdered sugar; removing the larger lumps of almond pieces. Discard those, you want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.
- Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 6-10 mins. Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Then add the food coloring.
- Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. Be careful, if you under mix your macaroons they will be lumpy and cracked when they bake and they won't have feet. If you over mix, your macaroons will be flat and won't have feet (the mark of a well-made macaroon). A good measure is 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding. Transfer batter to a pastry bag. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.
- Let them sit out for 20-30 mins, or even up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macaroons develop feet! When they dry out they can't spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up, which is what creates the feet!
- Bake for 20 mins. Whatever you do: DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray. You will also want to avoid opening the oven door while baking.
- Meanwhile mix the buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat softened butter & cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add vanilla & peppermint extract. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
- Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ ” in diameter) Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell and you have your French Macaroon! If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.
- [My 2 Cents]
- This is one of those recipes you really need to plan around. You want to be prepared. Have all of your ingredients out and ready to go before starting so that things will run smoothly. If you forget to take your eggs out of the oven, it’s ok! There’s a way to quickly create room temperature eggs in a pinch! All you have to do is submerge your refrigerated eggs in warm water for 5 mins. I watched many youtube videos (and I would highly recommend watching Beth’s Entertaining because her tutorial is excellent) to help me stay ahead of the game in macaroon making. Another thing I learned is that the color does fade a little as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.
- [More of My 2 Cents]
- When thinking of my peppermint frosting, I had a brain malfunction and completely forgot about peppermint extract. Instead I went on the hunt at a speciality cooking store and bought peppermint oil - which is insanely more concentrated. It wasn't until after, that I realized that I should have just used the extract because my frosting was REALLY pepperminty with the oil (plus I used more than I should have I suppose). But I got the thumbs-up from my taste testers at work that it was still tasty so I went with it. But for you - you'll save an arm and a leg, and you'll get exactly what you need from plain and simple extract. Learn from my mistake :)