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People, I did it. I finally crossed a recipe off of my bucket list. I made French macarons! Honestly, I'm pretty impressed with how well they turned out, especially after hearing all the ways they could possibly go wrong. Even better than how they look, the flavors in this Peppermint Mocha variety are just amazing! Not to toot my own horn, but the filling I came up with is chocolatey, minty, and tastes exactly like the holidays. I plan to make them again for my upcoming fall and winter baking parties, and I hope you try them out too!
Need more convincing before trying out the recipe? There's nothing like a fresh macaron with the crisp outer shell and chewy center. Here's a secret... even if they end up a bit cracked (yes, they didn't all turn out perfect), they still taste great. For the shell, I decided to leave it pretty normal in flavor, but I did add some red food coloring to make it a peppermint-y color. I could have added some peppermint extract, but I knew the filling would stand out as it is. I nearly made a buttercream filling, but I wanted to complement the peppermint flavor with even more chocolate. I had a bit of leftover after the macarons... and let's just say not a single bit went to waste. :)
My recipe was inspired by the Peppermint Mocha flavor of International Delight Creamer because it feels exactly like the holidays to me. Once fall hits, I crave anything fall related. In fact, all of the other flavors (Pumpkin Pie Spice, Frosted Sugar Cookie, and White Chocolate Raspberry) are just wonderful! If you want to try them out for yourself, see if your local Walmart will have a tasting demo on this list. That would be a yummy trip!
I found my Peppermint Mocha creamer in a center display in the Dairy area. It's only $2.98 for an entire quart! Imagine how many macarons you could make with allll that... :) Also, I made sure to pick up the Caramel Macchiato individual creamers located in the Tea & Coffee aisle for a quick morning cup of coffee on the go. It's a lovely accompaniment to all those macarons you're about to make!
Now, let's get to the recipe!
Peppermint Mocha Macarons
A Vintage Zest original
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 5 drops red food coloring, optional
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup International Delight Creamer, Peppermint Mocha flavor
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
1. Sift almond flour and powdered sugar together. Set aside.
2. Beat egg whites until foamy.
3. Add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar and beat for an additional 8 - 10 mins, until stiff peaks are achieved.
4. Add food coloring to slightly darker than desired shade as the color will fade as it bakes.
5. Fold the almond flour and sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. Try not to under or overmix, some swear that 65-75 turns of the spatula is just right. I went with 70 for my first try!
6. Transfer batter to a pastry bag.
7. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Tap the pan hard at least 2 - 3 times to release the air bubbles.
9. Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
10. Let the macarons sit out for 20 minutes to an hour to allow for drying.
11. After drying, bake at 300ºF for 20 minutes.
Diane's note: For my first try, I'm pretty happy that more than half of my shells didn't crack!
Diane's note (continued): They even had "feet" on them! Feet are the little indent between the top of the shell and the bottom, which shows that it rose. Yay!
12. For filling, melt chocolate.
13. Whip the butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
14. Add the creamer, then slowly add the melted chocolate. Whip until combined.
15. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip.
16. Match the cookie shells up by size.
Diane's note: I experimented with three different sizes, which you can see in this picture. Giant, mini, and regular!
17. Pipe a small mound of filling on one cookie shell, then top with another cookie.
18. Enjoy your macaron!
The final recipe makes about 24 sandwich cookies, most of which did not make it into the picture below, because honestly... I ate a bunch. Like I said, the slightly imperfect cookies taste just as good as the pretty ones! I'm almost glad that a couple cracked, so I could taste test a few before packaging up the rest for my friends and family. :p
Next time, I'm going to go for 100% success rate, so I can gift as many cookies as possible. It's the season of giving, right? In fact, International Delight is having their Spirit of the Season contest, in which you have the chance to win a $5,000 brunch simply by sharing how you celebrate the holidays!
Honestly, for my first time ever making macarons, I am pretty pleased! After all the anticipation, I am so happy that I took the plunge and it resulted in a delicious cookie. I plan to make these year round, because even though they really, really remind me of the holidays, they are just delicious.
I would love to find out what you think of this recipe, and if you have made macarons before how your first baking experience went. Both #humblebrags and #macaronfails are welcome. :p