Crunchy, gooey French macarons are a perfect match with the peppermint white chocolate and the dark chocolate mocha filling. These peppermint mocha macarons are delicious little Christmas macarons that would also be a great edible gift!
Christmas is all about peppermint. I saw some pink macarons the other day and it made me think of making peppermint macarons for Christmas! These macarons are crunchy on the outside with a gooey, yummy inside with a sweet peppermint and slightly bitter mocha center.
More peppermint recipes I hope you will try are these peppermint marshmallows, cozy peppermint mocha, peppermint filled dark chocolates, peppermint patties and peppermint cream cheese filled truffles.
What are French macarons?
French macarons are a meringue-based cookie sandwich made of almond flour, powdered sugar, egg whites and granulated sugar. They are often filled with buttercream, jams, caramel, fruit curds, chocolates or cream cheese filling like in this recipe.
The consistency of a perfect French macaron is slightly crunchy with a crispy exterior, but a soft, moist and chewy interior. They are naturally gluten-free and very easily customizable with various fillings.
What is the difference between macarons and macaroons?
As mentioned, a macaron is a French meringue-based cookie sandwich, but a macaroon is a coconut-based drop cookie. Some macaroon recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, but the classic Norwegian Christmas macaroons are not - only butter, egg, sugar, coconut, a tiny bit flour (which can be substituted) and salt. Let me know if this is a cookie you would want to see me make!
What went wrong with my macarons?
I just want to put it out there, macarons are finicky and sometimes you don't know why it didn't work out. I often make a batch and they don't turn out perfectly, but almost always very delicious. So even though you may encounter some of the problems mentioned below, don't fret too much - eat them and learn from your mistakes.
Truth be told, my tastiest macarons ever where ones without ruffled feet! They were so delicate, soft and chewy interior with smooth shiny top. Don't worry too much, although it's super satisfying when you get them just right!
- Un-even grainy top with peaks - dry ingredients weren't sifted well enough or batter is under-mixed.
- Cracked, hollow top - batter is over-mixed
- Too crispy interior - the shells are baked for too long
- Flat shells that spread out too much - batter is over-mixed and/or baked at a too high temperature
- Browned shells - baked too high temperature
- Hollow interior - the meringue is over-beaten (it will look dry and lumpy)
- No ruffled feet - batter is over-mixed, shells didn't rest long enough before baking, baked at low temperature
- Soft, wrinkly shell - too much liquid in the batter or the meringue is under-beaten
- Macarons stick to the parchment paper - they haven't baked for long enough or not cooled enough before trying to remove them
How to Make French Macarons
As seen above, macarons can be a little tricky to get right. The first things you should do is to clean several glass bowls and the bowl of your stand mixer thoroughly. Any trace of fat and you will have a hard time beating the perfect meringue.
Separate the egg white from the yolk and make sure there is completely no trace of yolk in your bowl of egg whites. Let the egg whites sit in room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes but a day is better. 'Old' egg whites are easier to whip.
The dry ingredients need to be super fine
The first step is to make sure there are no lumps in your almond flour and powdered sugar. Mix these in the food processor, you don't need much, around 20-30 seconds. After that, you should sift the dry ingredients into another bowl. Set aside.
The perfect gooey meringue
There are several ways of making this meringue, but I prefer to use the French method. The French method is uncooked, and I think it's just easier. In my Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes, I use a Swiss meringue, in case you want to check it out. In my Summer Berry Pavlova I also state the differences between French, Swiss and Italian meringue.
Mix the egg whites on low until frothy in your clean stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Add in 1 tablespoon of sugar at the time and gradually increase the speed. Let this beat until you get a shiny and gooey meringue with soft peaks, a pointed beak in the meringue that droops back on itself. Increase speed to medium high and add in the gel food coloring and beat until stiff peaks that does not droop back. This process takes about 5-6 minutes.
What is macaronage?
Macaronage is a French pâtisserie technique of mixing the dry ingredients with the meringue to get a smooth, shiny and flowing batter. Using a spatula, you should fold until it looks smooth, shiny and is flowing when you lift your spatula.
Fold and drag the almond flour into the meringue while cutting down the center. You may also need to press the batter into the bowl with your spatula to get rid of excess air in the batter. This folding takes approximately 4-5 minutes, but don't look at the clock, look at the batter.
A test you can do is to make ribbons or a figure 8 out of the batter, and the ribbons or figure 8 should sink into the batter after about 10 seconds. See this macaronage visual if needed. Once it's ready, add the batter to a piping bag with a round tip.
Pipe and let them rest
On a parchment lined baking sheet, pipe the macaron batter into small circles. Let the tip of the piping bag stand straight and just pipe without moving the tip. Continue with the rest of the macarons.
You can draw circles on a parchment paper to keep underneath the parchment paper you are going to use. This way you can see how much to pipe for each macaron shell. This circled parchment paper can be re-used.
Take the tray and carefully drop it onto the tabletop to release any air bubbles. You should do this a couple of times. Let the unbaked macarons rest for about 30-60 minutes to get a dry film on top of the macarons. This way they will be forced up and not out and get a crispy shell and those beautiful ruffled feet we want. Pre-heat oven to 302F (150C).
Bake for about 18 minutes and let them cool completely on the tray. Meanwhile, get your fillings ready.
Peppermint White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
That's a handful of a title. But it pretty much sums up why this filling is so great. And it is crazy simple. Melt the white chocolate chunks in the microwave on 30 seconds intervals, stir in between each interval. Then mix with all the other ingredients.
Be careful with the peppermint extract as it can be overpowering. Start with just a little, and then work your way up to your desired peppermint level. Pour this into a piping bag with a round tip and leave it in the refrigerator to firm up.
Dark Chocolate Mocha Filling
To combat the sweetness, I like to use a slightly bitter mocha filling. Melt the dark chocolate with 1 teaspoon coffee and 1 teaspoon of coffee liqueur and a little cream. Once smooth, add to a piping bag with a round or star tip. Let it cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Same macaron but a slight raspberry difference
Another fabulous version of these macarons is by using raspberry! I feel like the macaron is so similar to this one that I can't justify another recipe with this option, so I'm including it here. I like to use homemade raspberry jam instead of the mocha filling. You can also omit the peppermint in the white chocolate and the macarons will be perfect all year round!
Assemble the Peppermint Mocha Macarons
We got our macarons, our peppermint filling and our mocha filling (or raspberry), and it's time to assemble! Take two similar sized macarons, and pipe a tiny bit of mocha filling onto the center of one of them. Take your peppermint filling and pipe around the mocha filling. Press the other macaron on top of the filling to spread it evenly in the macaron. Leave it the refrigerator to blend the flavors together.
You've got yourself Christmas in a French macaron! These Peppermint Mocha Macarons are so delicious, I'm contemplating if it's too soon to make another batch... Scroll down to find a printable recipe card. Enjoy!
Did you like these Peppermint Mocha Macarons? Here's more edible Christmas gifts I think you will like:
- Saffron Buns
- Norwegian Christmas Men
- Norwegian Gingerbread Cookies
- Dasher's Creamy Eggnog
- Vixen's Eggnog Cookies with Maple Frosting
- Fudgy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Coffee Truffles
- 4-Ingredient Almond Crunch Milk Chocolates (Krokanrull)
- Salted Caramel Macarons
Check out this index for all the Christmas food on my site!
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year.
In order to keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.
This recipe was originally published on Dec 13th 2017, but updated on Nov 2nd 2020 for better photos and content.