Looking for festive holiday macarons? Look no further! These Peppermint Mocha Macarons are just what you need!
This post is sponsored by JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER, Inc., McNeil Nutritionals, LLC Subsidiary the makers of LACTAID®. All opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for continuing to support the brands that help make ‘Mike Bakes NYC’ possible!
Introducing these perfectly festive and insanely delicious Peppermint Mocha Macarons.
I partnered with my friends over at LACTAID® to bring you guys these holiday macarons. The shell is a standard chocolate flavor, and I used LACTAID® Whole Milk to make a ganache-like peppermint mocha filling. LACTAID® is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. This means that using this milk in baking still yields the same moist and creamy results; and it allows anyone who suffers from lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity to enjoy their favorite foods. Talk about a serious win-win! You can find LACTAID® Whole Milk at most retailers, however, here’s a nifty little store locator tool!
Peppermint Mocha Macarons
This recipe starts with my basic chocolate macaron recipe. Make sure you use a good quality cocoa powder; you can use either natural or dutch process, just PLEASE make sure it’s the good stuff. The better the quality, the more rich the chocolate flavor will be!
Sandwiched between the chocolate macaron shells? Whipped peppermint mocha ganache, of course. And then they’re topped off with a drizzle of chocolate and crushed peppermints (or candy canes) for good measure. The entire macaron, the delicate peppermint-covered chocolate shells and creamy peppermint mocha filling, will just melt in your mouth.
Ingredients for Peppermint Mocha 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 Mocha 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.
- Granulated sugar: The granulated sugar is essential to help stabilize the egg whites in the meringue.
- Egg whites: Note, pasteurized carton egg whites do not work.
- Cocoa powder: Used for the chocolate shells; I like to go with a Dutch-processed cocoa.
- Dark chocolate: Used for the delicious peppermint mocha filling.
- LACTAID® Whole Milk: This helps give the filling the most perfect texture; close to a chocolate ganache.
- Unsalted butter: The added fat helps achieve a ganache-like texture
- Peppermint extract: Be careful with this stuff; too much and your filling will taste like toothpaste... no one wants that.
- Espresso powder: These are peppermint mocha macarons after all! You can find espresso powder in some grocery stores if you’re lucky, or do what I do & order it on Amazon.
Peppermint Mocha Macarons Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
An extensive list of macaron tips and troubleshooting can be found at the bottom of my Ultimate French Macaron Guide. (Click ‘jump to recipe’ and scroll up).
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MACARON AND A MACAROON?
A macaron (say: mac-a-ron) is what you see throughout this post. A tiny, round, dainty little sweet sandwich cookie that you will soon learn to master.
A macaroon (say: mac-a-roon) is a large, blob-like, coconut-based cookie.
CAN I USE CREAM OF TARTAR WHEN MAKING 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 ¼ of a teaspoon.
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 air-tight 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 Mocha Macarons
For the Macaron Shells:
- 120 g egg whites (approx. 4 large eggs)
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 200 g powdered sugar
- 130 g almond flour
- 15 g cocoa powder
For the Peppermint Mocha Filling:
- 225 g 70% cacao dark chocolate finely chopped
- 120 g LACTAID® Whole Milk
- 60 g unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp espresso powder
For the Garnish:
- 85 g 70% cacao dark chocolate melted (optional)
- crushed peppermint candy (optional)
- Make the macarons: In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the 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 stiff peaks. (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 mocha filling: Add the dark chocolate and espresso powder to a heatproof bowl. Heat the LACTAID® Whole Milk and butter up until just starting to come to a simmer then pour it over the chocolate and espresso powder. Let the milk and chocolate mixture sit for 3 minutes.
- Add the peppermint extract, then whisk the mixture together in one direction until combined and smooth.
- Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap pressed on the top of the ganache and place in the refrigerator to let it cool until it firms up, about 1 hour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the ganache until it’s a light & fluffy frosting consistency.
- Transfer the peppermint mocha 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 chocolate and then immediately sprinkle with crushed peppermints, 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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