Peppermint Macarons

Rich almond macarons are filled with peppermint-white chocolate ganache and topped with a festive red-and-white-peppermint crumble.

Peppermint Macarons

These bright macarons are both festive and dainty: a light, crisp and chewy confection for your holiday dessert display.

Follow this step-by-step to create your own peppermint macarons. For the ingredient list, go to the Peppermint Macarons recipe.

Prepare Your Materials

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Double up two baking sheets and line the top one with a silicone mat.

If your eggs are not at room temperature, let them sit in a bowl of warm water before separating them. Warm eggs are easier to whip.

Combine Ingredients

In a food processor, pulse together the confectioners' sugar and almond meal until it is powdery. This usually takes about four 10-second pulses.

Sift the almond meal and confectioners' sugar; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks. They should still be glossy and smooth.

Gently fold the almond meal mixture into the egg whites.

Once the whites and almond meal are combined, the batter will still be too stiff to pipe. You will know it is right when you lift the rubber spatula out of the mixture and it runs off like a lava flow.

Add Food Coloring

You want to add food coloring at this stiff stage. Use a thick paste or gel so that you get intense color without adding too much liquid.

Once you have reached the right consistency, you are ready to pipe.

Pipe Cookies Onto Mat

Set up an 18-inch piping bag with a large round tip. Fill the bag about 1/3 full. Holding the bag straight up and down and about 1/4 inch above the silicone mat, squeeze until there is a dime-size mound of batter. The batter should spread slightly and not form a stiff peak. If it is not spreading well, squeeze it out of the bag and mix it for another few seconds, then refill the bag and try again.

Once you have the mounds piped out, lift the tray about 4 inches off the counter and slam it down. This is meant to take out the air bubbles and flatten the tops of your macarons. Repeat three or four times, until they are smooth.

Double Cookie Trays Before Baking

Double up the baking tray or the bottom of your macarons will darken and get too hard. Bake at 200 degrees F for 15 minutes. Rotate the tray and turn up the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. They are done when they have puffed and the sides are set firm but not hard. Take them out of the oven and cool completely. They can be frozen for up to a month before filling them.

Prepare Peppermint Topping and Ganache

Crush or chop unwrapped peppermint candies with a knife, or break still-packaged candies by using the edge of a can. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream over low heat, just until simmering. Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate and butter. Swirl the pan to make sure the chocolate is submerged in the cream, allow to sit for 3 minutes and then gently stir to combine. Add the peppermint extract. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate until set.

Fill Macarons With Ganache

Use a piping bag to fill the cooled macarons with a thin layer of peppermint ganache. Then pipe a small dot of the ganache on top to act as glue for the crushed peppermint candies to stick to.

The creamy meringue binds the cookie together, which is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. The richness of the almond meal is matched by the white chocolate mint ganache. Serve your macarons in a clear dish that shows off their pink peppermint beauty, or...

...You can also wrap these delicate sweets and deliver them to friends and family. They will keep in their refrigerator for several days.