Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!
I love this time of year, don’t you? Sure, the hustle and bustle can be stressful. I hate the to-do lists, the lines at the post office, and the absolute chaos in all store parking lots.
Thankfully, I am done with all that. Everything on my list is crossed off and now I just get to sit back and enjoy the next few days. Hopefully you can to (and to those of you who still have to brave the crowds, good luck!).
Can I just take a moment and vent about how much I hate the quality of light coming through my kitchen windows this time of year? Ugh, my photos just aren’t living up to my standards. Spring, are you coming soon?
Anyway, back to much more happy thoughts. I hope that your holiday weekend is full of wonderful food and delicious goodies, like these candy cane macarons. They’re plain macarons sprinkled with crushed candy canes and filled with peppermint white chocolate ganache. Aren’t they pretty? They’re yummy too.
This year I gave away a lot of baked goods as gifts (including these macarons), which was fun, but also left me a little burned out. Tomorrow I think I’ll bake a pie. After I sleep in, of course. Maybe I’ll also catch some of “A Christmas Story” on TBS during their 24 hour marathon.
One thing I’m definitely going to do? Spend time with some really great family and friends.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Candy Cane French Macarons
Adapted from Helen Dujardin
Makes 24 macarons
3 egg whites, aged*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond flour
Crushed candy canes.
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Combine the powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor and pulse until combined and no clumps remain.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the granulated sugar gradually and continue to whip until you obtain a glossy stiff meringue.
Fold the meringue with the almond and sugar mixture. Fold quickly at first, then slow down as it comes together. Do not fold too much, or the egg whites will be too deflated. Test a small amount by placing a dollop on a flat surface. If the top flattens on its own quickly, it is ready.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small 1-2 inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 inch space between them. Sprinkle half of the macarons with crushed candy canes (these will be the tops). Allow the piped macarons to sit out at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake macarons for 10-12 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Sandwich together with Peppermint White Chocolate Ganache.
Peppermint White Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 cup white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red food coloring, if desired
Heat cream until hot in a saucepan over medium low heat. Remove from heat and add the chocolate to the cream and let sit for a few minutes. Stir until smooth. Add the extract and food coloring. Let cool until firm enough to pipe or spoon onto macarons.
*Age the egg whites by putting them in a glass or other container and cover tightly with a paper towel. Store them in the coldest part of your kitchen (not your refrigerator) for 2 to 3 days. Doing this reduces the water content in the egg whites and helps create the puffy look of the french macaron.
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