Sunday, December 4, 2011

Easy Peppermint Macarons & Holiday Decor


 

Hello Friends! Come in, come in! It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here. Our trees are up and the weather is starting to cool down. I'm no stranger to making French Macarons, and as I've said before, they're not hard to make if you follow the right recipe. I just read on Epicurious.com that macarons and other tiny treats are no longer going to be hot in 2012. So make them now! I had a great excuse as my first "room mom" duty of the year for my daughter's preschool called for cookie baking for the holiday sing. Unfortunately (fortunately?) this batch was thrown on the floor by a certain 20 month old, so we were forced to eat them. These peppermint macarons filled with ganache were the best I have ever made. A little peppermint extract does wonders for these delicate little cookies. 

Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share a little of our Christmas decorating...

The Trees
This year the girls have had so much fun decorating and redecorating their tree. The kiddie tree is in our playroom/family room and covered in plastic and wooden brightly colored ornaments. B (4) says she's going with a "Jewelry Box Fairy" theme this year. My "mommy" tree is in the living room and I decided to keep it all silver and white. I'm going with a "woodland fairy" theme, you could say :)
photo tip: for glowing tree pictures check out Unskinny Boppy

The Mantel 
 
I stuck to what I love best - white and naturals. With a hint of glitter. I love my mercury glass, it feels vintage and glamorous at the same time. I added a new grapevine wreath this year and weaved some tiny lights throughout. I love the rustic feel it adds.

A Sweet Table 

So what do you think, are macarons on their way out? Or are they a Parisian classic that will always be on the hot list?

  Peppermint Macarons

printer friendly recipe

*I made some with white chocolate ganache and some with semisweet chocolate ganache. In my opinion the semisweet were way better. The white chocolate made the photos for being more photogenic and not being consumed as rapidly.

1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 
  1. To make the macarons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture and extract until completely incorporated.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
  3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Ganache

9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Melt chocolate and cream together in the bowl of a double boiler, stirring to combine. Cool slightly. Pour in a pastry bag and snip off end. Fill macarons and sandwich together. 

82 comments:

  1. I love the pictures you shared! It all looks beautiful! I have not yet tried making a macaroon, they look amazing and I am sure I would like them.

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  2. Your macarons look quite perfect. I have been on a macaron fest lately trying to make my recipe more consistent and I think I'm getting there, hopefully:) Great job!!

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  3. Oh your mantle is lovely, that's my kind deorationg, I'v opted for white and silver too.

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  4. Oh those do look easy and delicious. Your house- your decor- BEAUTIFUL! Wanna come decorate mine for me? You are the bomb!

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  5. I just love your style, what a pretty house. I also love your macarons, I have yet to ever make any.

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  6. your sweet table is gorgeous..my family would love for me to make a sweet table!
    xo

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  7. Beautiful Marina! Your decor is so clean and stylish. I haven't baked any French Macarons yet. I have made the traditional coconut which I love, but they are not as fun or easy to decorate.

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  8. I love your idea of having a kids tree in their playroom. What fun for them. I can remember the family decorating our trees when my girls were young, and then me staying up rearranging everything after they went to bed!
    I haven't made macaroons yet, they just seem like so much work, but if you say these are the best you've ever made, then I will make them, especially since they'll only be 'in' for another few weeks ;)

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  9. Oh these look delicious! I love this time of year and all its yummy flavors!

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  10. Everything, you post is so posh and lovely just like you!!

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  11. Gorgeous! It's all SO gorgeous! And that recipe looks to die for! Yum!
    Jo-Anna

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  12. una receta hermosa y delicada,me encanta,abrazos hugs.

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  13. Everything looks amazing, you have a great sense of style!

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  14. Macarons are one of my absolute favorites! I haven't tried a Peppermint one yet, though. Sounds heavenly!!

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  15. Sweetums12:53 PM

    Beautiful decorations and photos :)

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  16. What gorgeous photos. Your home looks like it should be in a magazine. Macaron's are one of my favorite cookies, light and danity, there so girly!

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  17. Great style and recipe!!

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  18. Marina they look delicious! I actually JUST tired Martha Stewart's recipe last weekend, and these are so fun to make! Great job!

    http://www.stylesoftamaranicole.blogspot.com

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  19. I definitely have to try these. I would love if you shared this post on my linky at http://eyehearttoday.blogspot.com/2011/12/last-weeks-linky-party-was-success-and.html

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  20. Precious! The cookies, the girls, the photography and the tree.

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  21. I am just finding your beautiful blog and now following. Your girls are adorable and the macaroons sound delicious. Wonderful pictures too!
    Hugs,
    Sherry

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  22. Lovely blog and gourgeous macaroons! Besos

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  23. Beautiful photos, and your mantel is lovely! The macaroons look delicious too! Have a great day.
    -Lynn

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  24. Marina,
    You make everything look (and sound!) easy. I'm terrified to try making macarons. Maybe these...
    Love your decorating. It looks so clean, fresh and festive! xo

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  25. Peppermint macaroons?? Amazing.
    And you house looks so beautiful. Every detail is filled with Christmas spirit!

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  26. I love your style. Your mantel is lovely and the macaroons sound pretty fabulous.

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  27. Everything looks so delightful! I love it all. I am currently craving peppermint. =)

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  28. those look great. and love your mantle!

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  29. I absolutely adore your mantel...so rustic and chic! And the peppermint macarons are calling my name!!

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  30. I'm in LOVE! Simple, elegant with a touch of natural rustic going on. LOVE I tell ya. I will SO be stealing the jars with jute wrap. Got.to.do.it! Thanks for sharing.

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  31. These look delicious! Come link up to my linky party, A Themed Baker's Sunday, where the theme from now until Christmas weekend is Christmas! Come link up all your holiday treats! See you there!
    Cupcake Apothecary
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com/2011/12/themed-bakers-sunday-16.html

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  32. I love your blog! All your pictures are awesome, and your food looks even better.

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  33. Your daughters are precious, and I ♥ your decorations! Oh and of course the macaroons too! YUM!

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  34. good morning...I'm new to your blog and am so enjoying strolling through it...so beautiful...especially love your mantel...nice to meet you and pls come over for a visit...your daughters are so lovely...we are blessed to have daughters too....Mariaelena

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  35. what a special moment hving your daughters decorate the tree. one of my favorite memories growing up. :) you have beautiful photography! the peppermint macs look perfect. sending some #cookielove to you! thanks for joining our #lovebloghop!

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  36. new follower :) i cannot wait to make these. they look absolutely delish! thanks... xxx

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  37. beryl@starband.net1:55 PM

    Laduree has been around f-o-r-e-v-er-! A classic like Chanel...Alexandra (home from Westmont) and I made your pumpkin macaron recipe at Thanksgiving! Scrupmtious! We will try this recipe as well when she comes home for Christmas! Those photos of your baby girls remind me how wonderful a time it was when my girls were that age! Alexandra had and still has her "pink" tree and Arianna has her "blue" tree..the trees get bigger each year as they get to pick out several new ornaments for their "themed" trees..i found a pink macaron ornament this year for Alexandra :) !

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  38. these look so good. thanks for sharing

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  39. These do look amazing. I would love to see a cross-section of one of them to get a glimpse at the inside! And I've never had a peppermint macaron but it sounds so festive!

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  40. Loved ALLLL your pics. And those macaroons looks amazing. <33

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  41. Marina, these macarons are beautiful as is this whole post. These treats will always be in style. Christmas at your house is stunning!

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  42. Anonymous3:40 AM

    nice idea, thanks for sharing...

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  43. Your pics are FABULOUS! WOW! I love it all- your tablescape! the macarons! the glowing tree pics!

    Thanks so much for linking up to the Show your Glow party! Your pictures are beautiful. :)

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  44. When and how did you add the sanding sugar? Do you sprinkle it on while the cookies are still wet? Or after the cookies dry, do you brush on egg white and then the sanding sugar, before baking?

    Thanks.

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  45. Julia, great question. I added a pinch of sprinkles/sugar to the tops of macarons before baking.

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  46. Had to follow you...I'm your newest follower!

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  47. Mmm! Love macarons. I made some peppermint ones a couple weeks ago. Tis the season!

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  48. One day I'm gonna have to try making macarons. Those look fantastic.

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  49. I love the pictures on your website.Simply simple and beautiful. Thanks for coming by and following. I'm following back.

    http://pacifierspumpstheworld.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-review.html

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  50. Your mommy tree is just stunning! Marina, YOUR macarons will always be on the "hot list"! :)

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  51. Thanks for the visit, I follow you back. Both those trees are absolutely beautiful. & so are the decorations on the mantel.
    ♥Jess

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  52. sounds delisious & refreshing & makes a pretty cookie as well
    Helen

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  53. I absolutely love your mantel and would love to have you share this post at my Shabby Shares link party over at Rustic Crafts ~ http://rustic-crafts.com/?p=3603
    Thanks!
    Renee

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  54. YUM. oh my gosh. my mouth is watering.

    love, rach.
    www.so--hi.blogspot.com

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  55. I haven't done a link party in forever, but I'm so glad I did so that I could find your wonderful blog! Your home is beautifully decorated and your macaron recipe is one I will try making next week for a luncheon. I made plain macarons for Thanksgiving, but these sound so much yummier.

    Happy Holiday!

    Kat :)

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  56. Those sounds wonderful, I really want to try to make these again.

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  57. How beautiful! I'm so glad I found your blog!

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  58. Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Just amazing and the beautiful girls take the photos to a whole other level. ;)

    Heather

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  59. Luvly macarons...merry christmas...glad to follow ur blog..

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  60. Oh my Marina, I adore this post!!1 I loved seeing your house so gorgeous and your girls with the xmas tree. so lovely!!! and obviously I;'m a little macaroon fiend so love those too!!!

    xoxox Hanna

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  61. Love your mantel and those macaroons sound wonderful.....

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  62. just found your blog for the first time! it is beautiful. love the recipes you post.

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  63. First time here and I am in love with your blog! Thank you for linking up the mantel will be featured on Tuesday!
    XO
    Kristin

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  64. Everything looks delightful and your pictures are charming!

    Thank you for linking to the Christmas Tree Party at 2805!

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  65. Found your blog at Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. Wow! You've got some great recipes that I have to try. Fantastic photography, as well. I'm now a follower.

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  66. I have to tell you... I'M IN LOVE with your blog!!! New follower :-) your mantel and Christmas decoration are beautiful!
    Etta

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  67. Your Tablescape is BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for the recipe, too! I'm your newest follower and would love for you to come visit and return the "love."

    I'm joining 8 bloggers in hosting Blogging Around the Christmas Tree Party and today’s feature is Christmas Scapes at my place! I’d love to have you join up, the party is just beginning!

    http://www.itsoverflowing.com/2011/12/christmas-blog-link-party-christmas.html

    XO, Aimee from ItsOverflowing.com

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  68. Thanks for linking up girlie! Love your pictures:)

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  69. You know I love your Tablescape! And I'm craving those macarons! Thanks so much for linking up to my party!!!

    XO, Aimee from ItsOverflowing.com

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  70. Gorgeous! I love the little jars on the mantel.

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  71. Lovely photos! I just love macarons, I'm forever buying just a few to share and end up eating them all myself (Laduree are my all time favorite). I've never tried making my own though so will have to give it a try and I've never tried a peppermint flavor one, they sound and look delicious.

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  72. Every facet of this post is truly phenomenal!!!

    And your photography is exquisite!!!! I can't wait to look over all your old posts! I'm thrilled to have found you!

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays,
    Lana

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  73. A recipe AND beautiful holiday decorations!! Great post. Even if macaroons are "out" in 2012, I'm still going to make them. Take that Epicurious!

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  74. Gorgeous photographs, I've got to try this Macaroon recipe!

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  75. Just found your blog from the nester. Your home is simply gorgeous! I'm a new follower, so I'll be coming back soon!

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  76. Your home looks so pretty and festive. Merry Christmas

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  77. Those macaroons are so pretty and sound tasty. I love your mantle and your photography is beautiful.

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  78. Just came across your blog! Your mantle is gorgeous!
    I would love it if you linked this up to my party!
    http://ablondesdiylife.blogspot.com/2011/12/come-party-with-blonde-features.html
    Happy Holidays!

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  79. Beautiful mantle and beautiful sweet table! I love macarons

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  80. My macarons crackedon top do you know why that could of happened?

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    Replies
    1. Hi There, That's such a bummer. Macarons can be finicky.

      Here is a great list of reasons macarons may crack.

      "Cracked shells
      Oven temperature too high. It’s best to bake at a lower temperature (285 to 315°F [140 to 160°C], depending on your oven) for a longer period of time so that the shells rise slowly but consistently. Some ovens have poor air circulation, making the temperature rise excessively, so it may help to keep the oven door slightly open (with the help of a wooden spoon) throughout the cooking process.
      No resting period. The batter should have lost its shine and it shouldn’t stick to your finger when it’s ready to bake. If the weather is rainy or very humid, the resting period may take much longer.
      Batter too thin resulting in delicate shells. See ‘No feet / crown’ for possible causes.
      Batter was overmixed. For batter consistency pointers, see ‘What is the right batter consistency?’).
      Batter was undermixed. If the batter is not mixed enough, too much air remains in the macarons, and the meringue dries out and cracks during the baking process.
      Too much moisture in the batter:
      Larger egg whites (see ‘What size of egg whites should I use?’)
      Use of fresh egg whites. They need to be aged (see ‘What does “aging egg whites” mean?’)
      Use of liquid food coloring (see ‘What type of food coloring should I use?’)


      Taken from here: http://foodnouveau.com/2011/12/destinations/europe/france/a-macaron-troubleshooting-guide-useful-tips-and-advice-to-master-the-french-delicacy/#aesthetic-04-cracked-shells

      Delete

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