Saturday, March 19, 2016

Mint Macarons

Mint macarons are so delicious and very refreshing.

My absolute favorite way to enjoy them is with a mug of steaming hot chocolate. The cool mint/hot chocolate combination is heavenly — Imagine eating a deconstructed Girl Scout Thin Mint, but homemade, more sophisticated and much better. Serve that at your next dinner party and I guarantee, your guests will be impressed.

The mint filling for these is so simple and quick to make. It's just unsalted butter, powdered sugar and mint extract whipped until light and creamy.

Here's the recipe:

Mint Macarons
180g ground almonds, sifted
270g powdered sugar, sifted
150g egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
100g granulated sugar
Teal food coloring

Line four heavy baking sheets with good quality parchment paper and set aside. Also, set aside two pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.

Sift together your ground almonds with the powdered sugar and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the granulated sugar gradually in four parts.  Towards the end of mixing, add the food coloring and tint the batter as desired.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites using a large rubber scraper.  Mix well. 
Fold the mixture with the rubber scraper by pulling down the sides and flipping the mixture over. Do this until you have a smooth mixture that falls like a “ribbon” off the scraper.

Transfer the mixture into the two piping bags. Use rubber bands to close the piping bags. Clip the tip of the bags, one at a time, and pipe small quarter sized rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set.

Leave to set for about 30 minutes or until the top has formed a crust and is not sticky to the touch. 
The piped macarons before baking.
While they are setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. A convection oven is preferable. 

Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.

Leave on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife to help lift them off.

This shows how the color fades after baking. Be sure to tint your macaron batter darker than you want it to turn out.

Sort into pairs and fill with Mint Buttercream. Store the macarons covered in refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.

Mint Buttercream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high speed until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. This takes about 5 minutes.

Filling the macarons.

So cute!

A batch of mint macarons. These are going to the Green Day Alternative Liturgy at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

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