Megan’s Peppermint Mocha French Macarons

11 Dec

Homemade treats have always been hard to resist and can make memorable gifts that are perfect for letting someone know you care. Especially if you’re not the sort to look forward to mall crowds and long lineups, homemade gifts are a thoughtful alternative that even the glitziest store-bought gifts would struggle to match in the charm department. Then there are always those couple of people on your list who hover in that awkward place between “too acquainted to just get a card” and “not familiar enough to buy a gift”—a parcel of baked goodies bedecked in ribbon and cellophane glory is just the perfect solution that says you’re thinking of them, without risking extravagance. Just remember to give yourself plenty of time to make and wrap your treats and you’ll have yourself a great time and sweet gifts that will be popular with all your friends to boot.

photo courtesy of The Journal’s Justin Chin 
These little ganache filled cookie sandwhiches are a classy and tasty gift, perfect for that someone who loves to eat with their eyes! Typically considered a bit of an indulgence, macarons may seem like an ambitious thing to demand from your student housing kitchen, but follow this super easy recipe below and surprise yourself and your friends. This particularly festive colour and flavour combination—green shells and mint chocolate ganache—will be perfect for sharing over tea and lattes this holiday season!
For the shells
  • ¾ cup almond flour (available at bulk barn)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Green food colouring
  • Piping bag or zippy bag
for the filling
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
  • essence of peppermint
  • piping bag or zippy bag
yield: 40 macarons
For the shells
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together almond flour and icing sugar, mix until combined and sift mixture once more to remove lumps. Whisk together egg whites with a hand mixer or manually until soft peaks are formed. On higher speed, add granulated sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form (approximately 5 minutes). Gently fold in flour mix and 3-4 drops of food colouring until mixture looks uniform and shiny. Transfer shell batter to piping bag or a zippy bag with a ½ inch opening snipped into a corner, and pipe onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Lift filled baking sheet and let drop approximately one foot above countertop. This funny maneuver will help form the famous crinkly bottom of macaron shells. Bake for 5 minutes and allow to cool untouched for 5 minutes on wire rack.
for the filling
Heat up whipping cream in a saucepan without bringing to boil. Place chopped semi-sweet chocolate into bowl and pour heated cream over this. Allow mixture to sit for a minute before stirring in approximately 2-4 drops of peppermint essence. Stir until mixture forms a smooth ganache. Allow ganache to cool for about ½ hour in fridge, stir in unsalted butter until well mixed.
Fill piping bag or zip baggy with small hole snipped in a corner, pipe loonie sized dollop of ganache onto a shell, and sandwich with another shell. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before wrapping.
Happy baking!

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