Peppermint Macarons are the sweetest, most melt-in-your-mouth delicious Christmas cookie with a wonderful vanilla peppermint buttercream filling. They fancy up a Christmas cookie platter or Christmas cookie exchange with one of the best flavors of the holiday season!
Disclaimer: Thank you to Sponsor Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors, for providing the prize for #ChristmasCookies Week free of charge. Nielsen-Massey also provided me with product to use for #ChristmasCookies Week. As always, all opinions are my own.
Welcome to Cookie Week 2017! I’ve teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers to bring you Christmas cookies all week long to celebrate the holiday baking season! If you want to follow along on Instagram, check out the hashtag #ChristmasCookies or follow House of Nash Eats on Instagram.
I love the classic Christmas cookies like peanut butter blossoms or soft & chewy gingerbread men, but there are so many cookies to try and so few days of Christmas that each December I like to make at least a couple new cookie recipes. Especially if I’m going to a Christmas cookie exchange party with friends!
And oh boy are these peppermint macarons keepers. I first saw them on a blog called Cook with Manali and knew I had to give them a try.
Peppermint is one of my favorite flavors of the Christmas season, so I was more than happy to try the little bottle of peppermint extra that Cookie Week sponsor Nielsen-Massey sent to me. The vanilla peppermint buttercream that I made for filling the macaron shells is so delicious and perfectly balanced without being overly minty.
Just be sure you use peppermint and not some other kind of mint like wintergreen. Nobody wants to bite into a macaron that tastes like toothpaste.
Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water. So be sure to keep reading past the recipe to enter!
Macarons are my go-to solution when I find myself with extra egg whites on hand. Like during the summer when I make custard-based ice creams and use leftover yolks for Jolly Holiday raspberry rose macarons.
These cute little peppermint macarons are the perfect way to use up all those leftover egg whites that I end up with around Christmastime from making a batch of homemade eggnog or old-fashioned divinity.
I just stored my leftover egg whites in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two and then pulled them out an hour before I wanted to make these peppermint macarons so they could come to temperature since I didn’t want to bake these the same day that I was making eggnog.
But I guess you could always do something healthy with them like make an egg white omelette or something.
Seriously though, please don’t be intimidated by macarons! Even imperfect macarons taste amazing. And they really aren’t as difficult as you might think!
I’m no expert at macarons by any means and I shun fussy notions like weighing ingredients unless absolutely necessary, opting instead to just use the good old measuring cups that I’m used to. And so far, I’m unconvinced that using a scale to measure out almond flour and egg whites is absolutely necessary.
Which means I’ll never be accepted into the world of macaron connoisseurs. And I may have a batch here and there that doesn’t turn out perfect little “feet” (those ruffly delicate bottoms that are a hallmark of a quality macaron).
But I’m okay with that. And so were my friends who lived in France for years and declared these at least as good as the authentic macarons they enjoyed there. They were probably just being nice, but hey, I’ll take that kind of flattery any day!
Tips for Making Macarons
Instead of a lengthy explanation of macaron theory and troubleshooting (which I find intimidating and overwhelming), I’m going to focus on the 3 things that I think are most important to know when making macarons.
- Make sure you use room temperature egg whites.
- Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together well before folding them into the egg whites by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Let the macaron shells dry for 30-45 minutes before baking.
That’s it! Seeing as how I’m definitely not a macaron expert, I’m not going to mess around with a tutorial or claims of perfect macarons every time. If you are worried and want to read more about making macarons, this post by Food Nouveau answers pretty much everything you can think of when it comes to macarons.
But honestly after one bite of these sweet, peppermint macarons, I don’t think anybody is going to care about macaron perfection. Feet or no feet.
Don’t forget to keep reading after the recipe to enter the giveaway that I’m doing along with other food blogging friends participating in Cookie Week! We’ll be sharing Christmas cookie recipes all week long and I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks and weeks!
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Red gel food coloring
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons cream or milk
- 4-5 candy canes, crushed (optional)
- Combine the almond flour and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Using a sifter, sift mixture 3-4 times, until thoroughly combined.
- Separate egg whites from yolks and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they begin to froth. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the egg whites begin thicken and resemble shaving cream. Add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form when you lift the whisk attachment from the bowl.
- Add the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar to the egg whites in three additions, mixing by hand using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after each addition until combined. The batter will be thick at first but as it comes together it will loosen up. I use a folding motion and mix until the batter falls off the spatula in a blob but isn't runny. It might take making macarons a time or two to get the feel for it, but you want to try not to undermix or overmix.
- Prepare a pastry bag or large ziploc bag with the tip snipped off with a round tip. Add a few stripes of red gel food coloring up the insides of the bag before filling with macaron batter if you want the red and white swirl effect on your finished macarons.
- Pipe into 1-inch circles on parchment lined baking sheets using a swirl motion. Rap each pan against the counter 2-3 times to remove bubbles, then let the macarons sit uncovered at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
- Heat oven to 300 degrees, then bake macarons for 15-18 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the parchment paper.
- Beat the butter in a mixer until pale, smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well between additions.
- Add peppermint and vanilla, then add cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach a spreadable, but still thick, consistency.
- Pipe frosting onto the bottom of one macaron shell, then top with a second shell. Roll edges of each filled macaron in crushed candy cane, if desired.
- Technically, you are supposed to wait to eat the macarons until the next day because they taste even better then, but they are super hard to resist!
Recipe adapted from Cook with Manali.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122 Saturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 35mg Carbohydrates: 17g Sugar: 16g Protein: 1g
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Here are all of the other Christmas cookie recipes submitted by some of my favorite food blogging friends who are also participating in Cookie Week this year! Which one do you want to try first?
- Alfajores (dulce de leche sandwich cookies) by Caroline’s Cooking
- Candy Cane Tassies by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Dutch Speculaas Cookies by Palatable Pastime
- Easy Sugar Cookies by Bear & Bug Eats
- Empire Cookies by Red Cottage Chronicles
- Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies by Making Miracles
- Gingerbread Men Cookies by The Freshman Cook
- Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies by Books n Cooks
- Holiday Sugar Sprinkle Butter Cookies by Family Around the Table
- Italian Rainbow Cookies by Everyday Eileen
- Loaded Festive Chocolate Chip Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes
- Makrut Macaroons by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Mocha filled Sandwich Cookies by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Oatmeal Raisin Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Pecan Caramel Turtle Bars by Tip Garden
- Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies) by The Redhead Baker
- Peppermint Candy Canes by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Peppermint Crinkle Cookies by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookies by Cooking with Carlee
- Peppermint Shortbreads by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pistachio Wedding Cookies by Soulfully Made
- Raspberry Filled Coconut Snowflakes by Making The Most of Naptime
- Raspberry Thumbprint cookies by Simple And Savory
- Rum Logs by Corn, Beans Pigs and Kids
- Vanilla Bean Pizzelles by Love and Confections
- White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies by Kate’s Recipe Box
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