Peppermint Cheesecake Macarons – all the taste of a classic cheesecake in macaron-form kicked up a notch with a festive peppermint flavor!
This post is sponsored by Eggland’s Best Eggs. All opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for continuing to support the brands that help make ‘Mike Bakes NYC’ possible!
I love classic Christmas cookies like peanut butter blossoms or chewy gingerbread cookies, but nothing beats a festive macaron flavor... and these peppermint cheesecake macarons might just be my new favorite!
I made these macarons using Eggland's Best cage-free eggs. Eggland’s Best doesn't just have the best-tasting eggs - they are also nutritionally superior compared to ordinary eggs! They are the #1 branded egg in the U.S. and an excellent source of vitamins D, B12, E, B5, and riboflavin. They have six times more vitamin D, more than double the Omega-3s, 10 times more vitamin E, and 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs.
By using high-quality ingredients, like Eggland’s Best eggs, you and your loved ones are getting a better taste, less saturated fat, and more vitamins. Indulge in some delicious desserts, like these peppermint cheesecake macarons, this holiday season, and use a more nutritious egg with Eggland’s Best. I can honestly say I use Eggland's Best eggs for all of my baking!
Peppermint Cheesecake Macarons
Let's talk about these glorious peppermint cheesecake macarons real quick.
This recipe starts with my basic macaron shell recipe. The key is making sure you get your meringue just right (which requires good eggs like Eggland's Best) and sifting your dry ingredients together extremely well (sifting them twice even can really make a difference)! I chose to not flavor the shell, but for all you peppermint lovers out there, feel free to add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract once your meringue has formed (before adding the dry ingredients) to really amp up the peppermint flavor!
Sandwiched between the macaron shells? Peppermint cream cheese frosting, of course. Creamy, minty, luxurious cream cheese goodness. And then they’re topped off with a drizzle of white chocolate and graham cracker crumbs for good measure. The entire macaron, the delicate graham cracker-covered shells and creamy peppermint cream cheese filling, will just melt in your mouth.
Ingredients for Peppermint Cheesecake Macarons
Macarons require ingredients that you might not always have on hand already, so it’s best to double check before getting started! Here’s what you’ll need to make these festive Peppermint Cheesecake Macarons:
- Almond flour: This is a must for macaron making; make sure your almond flour is “super-fine”.
- Powdered sugar: The powdered sugar in the batter helps the macarons to develop their signature feet by allowing the batter to dry and form a shell. You'll also need it for the filling!
- Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar is essential to help stabilize the egg whites in the meringue.
- Eggland's Best egg whites: Eggland’s Best’s hens are fed a strictly controlled, proprietary, high-quality all-vegetarian diet, which results in a better-tasting, more nutritious egg that stays fresher longer. Note, pasteurized carton egg whites do not work.
- Gel food coloring: Macarons don't require food coloring, but if you do decide to use it, make sure it's gel! To obtain the peppermint-esque look, I simply applied a few streaks of red gel coloring to the inside of my piping bag before adding the macaron batter.
- Cream cheese & unsalted butter: Used for the delicious peppermint cheesecake filling.
- Milk: This helps give the filling the most perfect texture.
- Peppermint extract: Be careful with this stuff; too much and your filling will taste like toothpaste… no one wants that.
Can I Use Cream of Tartar For the Macaron Shells?
Cream of tartar helps to stabilize the egg whites when you whip them up. It’s not necessary but can help you on a humid day! I would recommend adding 1/4 of a teaspoon if you decide to use it.
Do I Have to Age My Egg Whites?
Fresh egg whites are my go-to for macarons. You may encounter some recipes that call for “aging” your egg whites by leaving them in a covered bowl for a day. Using aged egg whites seems to produce a drier batter, making it harder to over-mix, however, it is not an essential part of making macarons. If you do choose to age your egg whites, it’ll act as extra insurance against failed baking attempts.
How Do I Store Macarons?
There are several different ways to store macarons, pick what works best for you:
- Refrigerate the fully assembled macaron: Fully assembled macarons usually stay fresh 2-4 days after they’re made.
- Refrigerate the shells only: Macaron shells usually stay fresh 4-6 days after they’re made. Assemble and serve before this date is up. After filling, they can stay fresh for another 2-4 days.
- Freeze the fully assembled macaron: After filling the macaron, let it mature for 12-24 hours and then freeze. They'll last in the freezer for 2-3 months. On the day before serving, thaw macarons a few hours in advance. From this point on, they will stay fresh for another 2-4 days.
- Freeze the shells only: After baking and cooling off, the shells can be frozen in an airtight container and will last for about 3 months. On the day of assembly, transfer them from the freezer to the fridge a few hours in advance. Once thawed, they can be assembled as usual. From this point on, they will stay fresh for 2-4 days.
Peppermint Cheesecake Macarons
For the Macaron Shells:
- 120 g Eggland's Best egg whites (approx. 4 large EB eggs), room temperature
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 200 g powdered sugar
- 120 g almond flour
- gel food coloring of choice (do NOT use liquid coloring)
For the Peppermint Cheesecake Filling:
- 140 g cream cheese softened
- 30 g unsalted butter softened
- 360 g powdered sugar
- 15 g milk
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
For the Garnish:
- 85 g white chocolate melted (optional)
- graham cracker crumbs (optional)
- Make the macarons: In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar, then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the Eggland's Best egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Continue to beat until your whisk begins leaving visible trails in the foamy egg whites.
- Once you can see trails, gradually add the granulated sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue forms. Add gel food coloring, if using, then continue beating on high until stiff peaks form. (Be sure not to over-whip your egg whites otherwise you risk drying them out.)
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the meringue, and fold with a rubber spatula from the bottom of the bowl upward then press the flat side of your spatula through the middle against the side of the bowl. (The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold.) Continue folding until the batter gets to a lava-like consistency.Pro Tip: The figure 8 test is a great way to check your batter’s consistency; pick up the batter with your spatula and let it flow down into the bowl while drawing the figure “8”. If it can do that without the batter breaking, immediately stop folding.
- Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag with a medium-sized round tip.
- Holding the piping bag at a 90 ̊ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Feel free to print out a macaron template if you’re worried about size/uniformity).
- Holding the baking sheet with both hands, carefully bang the sheet firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. (If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack your macaron shells.) Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all the batter (usually about three sheet pans worth.)
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 30 minutes or until a skin has developed; on a humid day, it might take an hour or more. To see if they're ready to be baked, lightly touch one. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. (Don’t forget to remove the macaron templates, if using, before baking!)
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C) and position the oven rack in the center of the oven with an empty sheet pan preheating inside.
- Bake the macarons on top of the preheated sheet pan one tray at a time for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through the cooking process.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and cooling completely on a wire rack. (If the bottoms are a tiny bit sticky, keep them on the tray to cool off for an additional 10-15 minutes. If, however, the bottoms are already brown, they peel off cleanly, or they appear over-baked, then carefully take them off the tray immediately to cool down.) Repeat the baking process with the remaining sheet pans.Pro Tip: It’s always better to over- rather than under-bake your macarons as the maturation process can typically salvage ones that are over-baked.
- Make the peppermint cheesecake filling: Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract and beat until well combined, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high.
- Transfer the peppermint cheesecake filling into a pastry bag. Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size and then fill the macarons, gently sandwiching together.
- Drizzle the filled macarons with the melted white chocolate and then immediately sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs, if using. Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and bring back to room temperature before enjoying.
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