Mint Chocolate Chip Macarons with a Mint Chip Swiss Buttercream (Italian Meringue Recipe)
-150g almond meal/flour (I use Trader Joe's Blanched Slivered Almonds and grind them in a food processor)
-150g powdered sugar
-50g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-2 tsp peppermint extract
-Gel food coloring (optional)
-2 tsp cornstarch (if weather is humid)
-pinch of salt
-Crumbled oreos/chocolate chips for garnish (optional)
-120g granulated sugar
-55g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-Piping bags/large round tip (These give the most perfect results if that's what you're going for)
-Good insulated baking sheets (I use Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet)
-Parchment paper or silpats (I prefer silpats but parchment is nice too)
-Stand mixer (recommended, but it is possible with a hand mixer, just takes longer)
-Rubber Spatula/pastry scraper
1. Process together your almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sift together into a large bowl.
2. Add the 50g egg whites and mix until it becomes a dough-like consistency, and add in your food coloring. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
3. For the meringue, beat your 55g egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer until frothy, then add a pinch of sugar if you'd like to stabilize the egg whites. Beat until soft peaks form, then turn the mixer down to low or 'stir' so that they don't deflate. DO NOT OVERBEAT EGG WHITES AT THIS STAGE. VERY IMPORTANT...if you do, your macarons will be hollow.
4. At the same time, put the water and sugar in a small saucepan over the stove at medium-high heat and attach your candy thermometer. When the mixture gets bubbly with no spots of unboiled sugar or 240 degrees Fahrenheit on your candy thermometer, take the sugar syrup off heat and slowly pour it into the egg whites, while turning up your mixer to medium-high speed. Let it beat until the bowl of the stand mixer is body temperature, and holds a nice 'beak'. The meringue should be stiff, shiny, and smooth.
5. Then add 1/3 of the meringue to the mass just to lighten it up, making it easier to fold into the meringue. Fold with a rubber spatula just a bit until no white spots of meringue are left.
6. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold with a fold, press, and turn the bowl motion (I have a video on my main recipe).
7. Once the batter will fall of the spatula with a thick ribbon-like consistency, you are ready to pipe them. Pipe 1-1.5 inch diameter circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Once you are done piping, drop the sheets a couple times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles and flatten out any peaks on your macarons. Top with crumbled oreos or chocolate chips if desired.
9. Now let them rest for 15-20 minutes, or until the macarons are dry to the touch.
10. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on how solid you want your macarons. I recommend 12.
11. Let them cool completely before taking them off the baking sheets with an offset spatula.
Mint Chip Swiss Meringue Buttercream (makes more than enough for 24 macarons, so freeze the excess for later or divide recipe in half)
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-2 egg whites
-1 1/2-2 sticks of butter, softened
-2 tsp peppermint extract
-1/2 cup finely chopped chocolate chips
-Green food coloring (optional)
2. Add the egg whites and granulated sugar into the smaller bowl, and whisk constantly to prevent mixture from cooking.
3. Once the mixture reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit on your thermometer or if you put your fingers in the mixture and rub them together, no sugar crystals remain, take it off heat.
4. With a hand or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they become thick and white.
5. Now add in your butter a stick at a time (if it is not softened, heat it up in microwave for 8 seconds). Beat for about 2 minutes, or until the buttercream has become a light and fluffy texture. It may look curdled while beating, but keep beating until it becomes smooth.
6. Add in your peppermint extract and chopped chocolate chips, and keep adjusting to your taste. Add in your food coloring if you want.
7. Now sandwich similar sized shells together and store in the fridge for at least 24 hours, so that the flavors meld and it softens up the shell a bit. Serve a room temperature for a better taste experience.