Pink Peppermint Bark Macarons.
This is a huge day!
Because I successfully made macarons without
1. having a myocardial infarction
2. getting divorced
3. throwing my <insert kitchen appliance here> out the window
and, better yet, they are fantastic.
Okay, so the reason I had to go with peppermint bark is because I am downright obsessed with these peppermint bark covered cookies. I have tried the cheaper dupes and NOTHING is as good as these ones. And I desperately want to make them, but I’m afraid they still won’t be as good.
Also, I should add, that this is all Max’s fault.
My little snuggabubs the the BEST SHOPPER. Seriously. My mom and I can have marathon shopping days (think six or eight hours) and Max has been coming along since he was born. These days, he is so much more active that he just wants to get out of the stroller and run, and even though we take a bunch of play breaks, by the seventh hour a few weeks ago he wanted to be a wild man. We were in Williams Sonoma and he grabbed a tube of these cookies from in the stroller and proceeded to chew on the can.
I couldn’t NOT buy the cookies after my one year old chewed the can for twenty minutes.
So I coughed up the $25 (eeeeek) and opened them on the spot because we were starving.
Serious love at first bite. I like mint with my chocolate, but it wasn’t until this bite that I become obsessed with all things pepperminy barky.
It wasn’t that moment that made me try out these macs. I had been planning a peppermint brownie macaron of some sort for the season and started… let’s call it “practicing”… in OCTOBER. That’s one heck of a recipe.
I’ve never made macarons before. It only took me about 436 tries to get a recipe to work too. Stay tuned for 2015 recipe disasters, the macaron version.
Fortunately, I’ve eaten TONS of macarons. I don’t care how trendy they may be. Not only do they taste wonderful, but if you’re a texture freak like me then you straight up lose it over the soft yet slightly crunchy outside and fluffy filling inside.
Dreams dreams dreams.
Sidenote: Eddie didn’t think he liked macarons. Who knows why? Probably because he confused them with macarOOns, and since he can’t take the texture of coconut, figured I was trying to trick him.
Um, whyyyyyy would I ever do that.
Anyhoo, when we were in NYC a few months ago he went to Bouchon and said “just give me two of every flavor of macaron that you have.”
Is this man serious?
He had no choice but to get hooked (or waste all the macarons). It would be fitting though that the first macarons I successfully made were ones he wouldn’t touch, since he swears that eating minty chocolate is like having toothpaste for dessert.
Oh well! More for us.
Pink Peppermint Bark Macarons
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup finely ground almond meal
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
a drop of pink food coloring, if you wish
for the ganache(s):
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped (I find that Lindt works best for white)
peppermints or candy canes, crushed
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees using the convection setting. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
Whisk the powdered sugar and almond meal together in a bowl. Sift it thoroughly into another large bowl - you may have a few tablespoons of coarse almond meal left which is fine - discard it. This will take a few minutes! Set the bowl aside.
Add the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt to the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on low speed until frothy. Add in the sugar gradually, very slowly, while increasing the speed to medium high. Continue to beat the egg whites for a few minutes until they are shiny and stiff. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts, along with the pink food coloring.
Transfer the egg whites into the bowl with the sifted sugar and almond flour. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, dragging the spatula through the center and folding the bottom of the batter over. You don't want to overmix! Mix until just combined. Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip - mine was 1/2 inch wide.
Take the pastry bag and pipe 1 inch (or so) circles, leaving about 2 inches between each. Once you've filled up the baking sheets, tap them against the counter to release any air bubbles. Let sit for at least 15 minutes (or longer, if more humid) until the tops are no longer sticky. Place another baking sheet underneath the one with the macarons (this prevents the macs from getting too much heat) and stick the sheets in the oven. Bake one sheet at a time, for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops are set and you can see the "feet" underneath. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
To fill, take two macaron shells and top one with chocolate ganache and the other with white chocolate. Sprinkle crushed peppermints over top of both, then stick the shells together to create your cookie.
for the ganache(s):
To make the ganache, add each chopped chocolate to a separate bowl. Heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it's just hot and the edges are bubbling, then pour 1/3 cup over the dark chocolate and 1/4 cup over the white. (I find that white needs less liquid, feel free to add more after stirring if necessary.) Let sit for 1 minute, then stir continuously until the chocolate melts and you have a smooch ganache.
[macaron base from food network]
Oh oh! And pink. Because why not?