Makes about 20
Adapted from: Annie’s Eats
Originally from December 2014 on my old blog
OKAY, I’ll say it now because you’ve probably already thought the same thing: damn, that’s a really flat, ugly macaron. I KNOW IT IS. I messed up the batter for these, okay? Get off my back! I accidentally added the sugar to the egg white before whipping them meaning flat egg whites. The second I poured the sugar in my mind went blank and all I could think was “I’m on a time crunch, I can’t go back to the store to get more egg whites and start fresh, gotta work with what I have.” So I did. And the result? Macaron shells flat as pancakes. But still very, very tasty.
Although you may be thinking, “How can I trust this girl’s advice on macaron making when she messed these up so bad?” WELL, I made a second batch that turned out great, especially for my very first time making macarons or even just meringues in general. And I just wanted to say that if anyone tells you that macarons are extremely precise and require measurements SO EXACT that you need a SCALE to WEIGH them, you can tell them that Blondie in the Kitchen thinks that’s just what fancy pretentious chefs say to feel good about themselves. Every website I went to told me I needed a scale, but was feeling daring and decided to just use cup/tablespoon conversions because how difficult could it really be? And the batch that I actually mixed correctly (not this batch, haha) turned out perfectly! Take that, pretentious fancy chefs.
For the macaron shells:
- 1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup of egg whites, aged at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for 3-5 days)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pink food coloring (optional)
For the filling:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ – ¾ teaspoon (depends on how minty you want it) peppermint extract
- Pink food coloring (optional)
- Crushed candy canes
- To make the macaron shells, combine the confectioners’ sugar and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are finely ground and the mixture is well blended. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat, gradually adding the granulated sugar. Beat until a stiff, glossy meringue forms (do not over-beat). Add the ground nut mixture to the bowl with the egg whites. Add the food coloring if you’re using it. Fold together with a spatula until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated and the batter is thick and smooth. (This should not take more than 50 strokes.)Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a plain round tip and pipe small rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1½ inches in diameter. OR, if you’re like me and you ain’t got time for no hassle-creating fancy-schmancy pastry bag, and even the plastic bag with a snipped corner method is too tedious for you like it is for me, just take a spoon and spoon out the batter on the parchment paper. Hey, it works. Let the piped rounds sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to harden their shells.
Preheat the oven to 280˚ F. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool 15-20 minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Let cool completely before filling or storing.
To make the frosting, combine the sugar and egg whites in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until a thick and shiny meringue has formed and the bowl is cool to the touch. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low. Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding more. Once all the butter is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until thick and smooth. (The mixture may look soupy or curdled but it will come together eventually – just keep beating!) Blend in the vanilla, peppermint extract, and food coloring if you’re using it.
To assemble the macarons, pair up the shells by size. Add the finished frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe a small round of frosting onto the flat side of one shell from each pair. Sandwich together with the other shell and push gently together so that the frosting reaches the edges of the cookies. Place the crushed candy canes in a shallow dish. Gently roll the assembled macarons in the crushed candy canes so they adhere to the frosting. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.