(Print Friendly Recipe)
Makes 25-30 filled cookies
For the shells:
100 grams egg whites ( use aged egg whites, left egg white in the fridge for about 3 days and then at room temperature for 24-36 hours)*
200 grams powdered sugar
25 grams granulated sugar
110 gr almonds ( blanched and ground )**
1/2-1tsp Peppermint extract
red food color
*Aging Egg Whites is really a crucial point when making French Macarons, You can get more air into old egg whites. In France, macaron pastry chefs never use brand-new eggs. Eggs are kept at room temperature; they keep them out for ...three days, also aged egg whites whip up much more stiffly that way and hold their shape better while baking.
**HOW TO BLANCH ALMONDS
( one time I made a big mistake of leaving the almonds in the water too long and they absorbed too much liquid and basically I ruined them. If you feel that your almonds are little too wet, I suggest placing them in the oven a very low temperature to dry them)
Prepare Almond Flour
1. I don't have a food processor so I used my blender to ground my almonds, work in batches not all at once, once ground, using a fine mesh strainer, sift the almond mixture, reserving the fine crumb almond flour and processing second time what ever you get in the strainer. Work until you have enough flour for your macarons, I make more than I need and then I store it in the freezer. If you are using already made almond flour that you stored in the freezer, make sure to bring the almond flour to room temperature before using.
One you have your almond flour, process it again in the food processor or blender with powdered sugar, just to make sure we get rid of any lumps.
2. Using your stand mixer or hand mixer, fitter with whisk attachment, whip egg whites to foam, and then gradually add granulated sugar, and whip until you get glossy meringue, with stiff peaks, but not over beat or your meringue will be too dry.
3. Add the almond mixture into to the meringue, give it a fairly quick fold to break some of the air and then gently fold the mass until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. What you want to do is give several quick strokes at first to break the mass and then gradually slow down.When you are about 25 strokes add your food coloring and peppermint extract.
This whole process should not take more than 50 - 55 strokes.
I recommend testing a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip, and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 1 hour to harden their shells a bit. To test this, gently touch the top of the shell, if it smooth and your finger comes off clean, you are ready to bake the shells, if after gently touching the top of the shell your finger is wet, leave them dry for a little more time.
5. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 300 F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. I bake my macarons with crack open oven, I use wooden spoon for this.
Let cool. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge or in the freezer.