Bake from Scratch

Chocolate Cookies

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MACARONS

Makes about 24 macarons

Recipe by Mike Johnson

These chocolate macarons are sprinkled with crushed candy canes and sandwiched together with a White Chocolate Peppermint Ganache. They’re perfect for cookie exchanges, holiday gatherings, or alongside a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night.

4 large egg whites (120 grams), room temperature
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (124 grams) granulated sugar
1⅔ cups (200 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1⅓ cups (128 grams) almond flour
2 tablespoons (10 grams) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon (5 grams) black cocoa powder
Crushed peppermint candies* (optional)
White Chocolate Peppermint Ganache (recipe follows)

1. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. If using parchment paper, use a pencil to draw 1½-inch circles 2 inches apart on parchment; turn parchment over.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer firmed with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy and whisk begins leaving visible trails. Gradually add granulated sugar; increase mixer speed to high, and beat until stiff peaks form. (Do not overwhip, or you risk drying out your egg whites.)

3. In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, and cocoas. Using a rubber spatula, fold sugar mixture into egg white mixture from bottom of bowl upward; press flat side of spatula through middle against side of bowl. (The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold.) Continue folding until batter reaches a lavalike consistency. (See PRO TIP.)

4. Transfer batter to a large piping bag firmed with a medium round tip (Wilton No. 2A). Holding piping bag at a 90-degree angle to surface, pipe 1½-inch circles 2 inches apart onto baking mats or pipe batter onto drawn circles if using parchment. Use a wet finger to gently smooth out any peaks. Lift pans to a height of 6 inches above counter, and drop to release any air bubbles. Repeat 3 or 4 times. (If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack your beautiful macaron shells.) Let stand at room temperature until a skin has developed,

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