Happy Holiday Peppermint Sweets

Peppermint Bark Macarons

It’s the time of year to take our favorite desserts on a walk down Candy Cane Lane. These Peppermint Bark Macarons will give you all the minty holiday feels. I dressed these macarons up three different ways and will explain how to execute each decoration along with the recipe.

A traditional French macaron consists of a crisp shell, chewy cookie and melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate ganache. In this version, I swapped the milk chocolate for a rich, dark chocolate to balance the peppermint, added some white chocolate flavored with peppermint oil and sprinkled a bit of crushed candy canes on the top or in the filling.

I learned how to make macarons about 5 years ago.It didn’t take me long to realize macarons are incredibly versatile.;Switching out chocolate ganache for buttercream or adding caramel or fruity centers is as easy as picking what flavors I would like to try.I have even switched the almond flour for hazelnut flour and pistachio flour.;Macarons are a blank slate for creativity with flavors as well as the perfect application for leftover frostings and bonbon fillings.I call that a win-win!

However, macarons can be fussy!Make sure all your equipment is completely dry, you’ve taken your egg whites out a minimum of 2 hours before planning to use them and measure ingredients with a scale for best results.;Also, macarons always have the best taste and texture if you allow the finished macarons to rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.I hope you enjoy this recipe with some of your favorite people this holiday season.

Peppermint Bark Macarons

Peppermint Bark Macarons

Macaron Shells:

85grams almond flour

150grams powdered sugar

2 large egg whites, left on counter at least 2 hours, or covered on counter overnight

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3-4 candy canes (or 10 peppermints), crushed, for topping

3 ounces white chocolate

1/8 teaspoon peppermint oil

red gel food color (optional)

sprinkles (optional)

Chocolate Ganache:

125 grams semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

To make macaron shells:

Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Heat oven to 295 F.

Mix almond flour and powdered sugar. Sift into bowl. In separate bowl, using handheld mixer, beat egg whites at minimum speed until whites begin to foam. Add granulated sugar while mixing and increase mixer speed to medium. Beat egg whites and sugar until compact and glossy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add almond flour mixture to egg whites.

Using silicone spatula, fold batter from bottom to top until batter makes ribbons when spatula is lifted, about 20-30 folds. Avoid overmixing.

Let macarons crust (rest uncovered) on counter, undisturbed, 10 minutes until no longer sticky.

Bake about 18 minutes.

To make chocolate ganache: Place chocolate in heatproof bowl.In microwave or on stove, heat cream to simmer in separate bowl or pot.

Pour hot cream over chocolate pieces. Allow to sit 1-2 minutes.

Using silicone spatula, mix from center to outside. Once ganache comes together, add butter. Continue stirring until combined. Place in pastry bag and refrigerate 15 minutes before using.

While ganache cools, crush candy canes and melt white chocolate.Add peppermint oil to melted white chocolate before decorating macaron shells.

For traditional peppermint bark appearance, dip tops of half the shells in minty white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.For peppermint swirl shells, dip flat bottoms of half the shells into white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.For sprinkled shells, place flavored white chocolate in piping bag and drizzle chocolate over half the shells then add sprinkles.Allow chocolate to set before putting macarons together.

When ganache is cooled, place in piping bag with large round tip.Pipe mound into center of undecorated shell and gently press together with decorated top.If using sprinkle option, add crushed candy canes to top of ganache before topping with decorated macaron shell.

Refrigerate finished macarons in airtight container 24 hours.

Tips: If making peppermint swirl, fit pastry bag with large circular tip.Use paintbrush, bamboo skewer or toothpick to create 5-6 vertical lines of red gel color from tip halfway up interior of pastry bag before adding macaron batter.To achieve best swirl, rotate wrist while piping shells onto prepared sheet.

If not making swirl: Place batter in pastry bag fitted with plain large circle tip. Pipe batter onto prepared cookie sheet holding piping bag vertically. Create 1-1 1/2-inch dots. Firmly tap cookie sheet against countertop, holding parchment paper down.

Allow shells to cool completely before removing from parchment or silicone mats.

Bio final

Hello Fellow Food Lovers! I’m Theresa, known in the social media universe as @meltedkc. In the kitchen, I’m all about desserts, chocolate, and good food. When I’m not crafting in the kitchen, my time is spent with family, books, and keeping myself healthy despite having multiple sclerosis. Sharing recipes and teaching others how to find success in the kitchen adds purpose and direction to my days. I hope you’ll find some helpful tips, tricks, and favorite recipes in my posts.

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” -Dorothy Day

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