Cranberry flavored desserts are some of our favorites during the holidays, but let’s not forget about peppermint! From hot chocolate to cakes, this festive mint is one of the most sought after flavors of the season. Probably because it tastes amazing paired with almost anything, including French macarons. Of all the years I’ve been sharing macaron recipes, this is the first peppermint macaron to hit the blog, but the timing is great because it’s Christmas Eve and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with mini chocolate peppermint macarons!
MINI DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MACARONS
A step by step recipe for mini chocolate peppermint Italian macarons, filled with a quick and easy dark chocolate peppermint ganache. Dairy & Gluten Free
Let’s be honest, mastering macarons takes time and patience, but this is a great place to start! This recipe for Italian Meringue macarons has been my go-to for several years. Although I also use the French meringue method at times, I prefer Italian macarons for the consistent results.
Some consider Italian macaron shells to be a tad bit sweeter, because of the Italian meringue, but this can easily be balanced out in the filling. For instance, pairing the the macaron shells with a slightly bitter dark chocolate and peppermint, evens out the flavors for a well rounded French macaron. Chewy, chocolatey, minty and full of delicious holiday flavor.
DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MACARON INGREDIENTS LIST
Macarons require quite a lengthy ingredient list, but it’s important to have everything prepped prior to baking for moving through the steps with ease.
You will need:
- Stand mixer (preferred) fitted with whisk attachment
- cooking scale that measures in grams
- candy thermometer
- oven thermometer (optional)
- 1 piping bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton 12) for macaron batter.
- 1-2 silpat mats or parchment lined baking sheets
- 1 tipless piping bag for chocolate peppermint ganache
- premium dairy free dark chocolate and peppermints
HOW TO MAKE DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MACARONS
Be sure to have a look at my go-to Italian macaron tutorial, paired with the instructions below.
Italian meringue macarons have a sturdier and denser shell, therefore resulting in an easier and more forgiving batter to work with.
Once you’ve measured all ingredients, create the base of the macaron: almond flour + powdered sugar, mixed with 41 grams of measured egg whites. Fold these ingredients together until it forms a thick paste, then mix in pink gel food coloring until desired color is achieved. It is important to only use gel or powdered food coloring, as water based colors will thin out the macaron batter. Once paste is fully combined, set aside and begin working on the sugar syrup, which is the base of the Italian meringue.
Heat sugar and water together on medium low with a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot. Once thermometer reaches approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit, pour 45 grams of egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until foamy. Pour in a dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice then continue whisking on medium (6-8) until softish peaks form. When sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees, pour into the whisked medium egg whites and whisk on (8) until medium – stiff peaks form.
FOLDING THE BATTER
Pour meringue into the almond flour and powdered sugar paste in thirds. Folding the meringue into the mixture until each third is fully combined. I’ve discovered over time that it takes me less time to fold Italian macaron batter to the right consistency. Perhaps this is because the meringue is a little softer. Continue folding batter, going around the edges of the bowl and and once through the center until thick ribbons of batter slide off the rubber spatula. Do not over mix.
PIPING MINI MERINGUES
Piping mini macarons is simple. Just decrease the amount of batter piped onto the silpat (from 2″ to 1.5″) to achieve a smaller size. Tap the bottom of the pan of piped macarons until air bubbles release.
Quickly pop any air bubbles that rise to the surface then set aside to dry. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
This recipe requires drying time. Not drying the macarons before baking causes cracked, exploding shells. The piped batter must form a skin prior to baking, which takes anywhere from 15-25 minutes. When the batter is dry to touch (even in the center) the macarons are ready to bake.
It’s important to know an accurate temperature on your oven before baking macarons. Ovens can have hot spots and often do not read accurately so knowing the exact temp of your oven will allow for consistent baking results. You can lower the temp of your oven a few degrees or adjust as needed. Just be sure to increase baking time if lowering.
Baking at 300 degrees Fahrenheit takes approximately 13-17 minutes. Longer for larger shells. You’ll know the macaron shells are ready when they no longer wiggle on the baking mat.
Fill fully cooled shells with chocolate peppermint ganache. See recipe below!
A step by step recipe for mini dark chocolate peppermint Italian macarons, filled with a quick and easy dark chocolate peppermint ganache.
FOR THE MINI MACARON SHELLS:
- 106 grams of almond meal
- 106 grams powdered sugar
- 41 and 45 grams of egg whites divided
- 115 grams of granulated sugar
- 79 grams of water
- dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice for stabilizing
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp pink gel food coloring
FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT GANACHE:
- 8 oz dairy free dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- premium peppermint extract
FOR THE MINI MACARONS:
- Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any built up residue. This will ensure that the egg whites whisk up properly.
- Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
- Prep a piping bag with a round tip. I use Wilton tip 12.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silpat (or parchment).
- Combine measured almond meal & powdered sugar together in a bowl. Sift one time to remove any lumps, discarding of them, then mix together to break up clumps.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the 41 grams of measured egg whites into the center of the dry mixture. Fold together until blended then add gel food coloring and mix well until fully incorporated. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
- For the sugar syrup:
- Heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side. **Be careful to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot**.
- Once the thermometer’s temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F, place the 45 grams of measured egg whites in the stand mixer and whisk on medium speed, to soft peaks.
- Add a drop of lemon juice or dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, THEN continue whisking.
- If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 F, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving.
- Watch the sugar syrup closely.
- As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
- Quickly increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
- THEN increase the mixing speed to high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and medium peaks form and the meringue has cooled.
- Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in thirds, making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
- Continue to fold the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl, then once through the center. Repeat these steps until smooth and thick ribbons of batter run off the spatula.
- **Be careful not to over-mix**
- You want the batter to be slightly thick, but not so thin that it does not hold the ribbon shape. Err on the side of caution.
- Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag(s).
- Pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds about one inch apart on the lined baking sheet.
- Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds. Continue to pipe until you’ve filled an entire baking sheet.
- *Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
- *Pop any air bubbles that come to the surface, using a scribe or even a toothpick.
- Before placing the macs in the oven, let them rest until a proper skin forms on the outside of the shell. This can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Test by touching the piped rounds to make sure they’re dry to touch and that no batter comes off on fingers.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Once dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
- Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
- Bake for 13-17 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before attempting to remove the shells from the silpat/parchment paper.
- Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from parchment paper/silpat.
- Repeat same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter.
- They’re ready to fill.
For the Ganache:
- Heat coconut milk in saucepan until simmering.
- Pour simmering coconut milk and peppermint extract into the dark chocolate until smooth and completely combined.
- Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a piping bag to fill the macarons.
- Evenly pipe rounds of ganache into the center of the bottom of each macaron shell. Top with second shell to create a sandwich.
- Transfer the finished macarons into the fridge and allow at least two hours to mature. 12 hours or overnight preferred.
- Serve and enjoy!
Place macarons in an airtight container until filled. They will keep for 3 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.
Keywords: how to make mini macarons, French macarons peppermint macarons, Christmas macaron recipes, Italian meringue
These mini peppermint macarons are pop-able and addictive in the prettiest shade of pink! Use them to top a variety of holiday desserts from cupcakes and cakes, or just enjoy them one by one.
They also make the sweetest homemade gift.s Fill a box with mini macarons and peppermints and deliver to friends and family for a sweet and festive surprise!
Merry Christmas Eve!
This post titled Mini Dark Chocolate Peppermint Macarons was seen first on Posh Little Designs. All Rights Reserved. 2020.