One way to bring the spirit of the holidays into our homes is with baking and cooking. We are firm believers in this idea. And for us, there are a few recipes for us that really make the holidays feel like Christmas is in the air. One of these is Chocolate Peppermint French Macaron Crumble. The sweet peppermint mixed with savory dark chocolate crumble is a tried and true combination. We love to make:
• Chocolate-dipped Peppermint Pretzels
• Chocolate-dipped Peppermint Sugar Cookies
• And who can get through December without Chocolate-Peppermint hot chocolate?
We are not kidding: we truly do eat this combo all month long. In fact, these Chocolate Pepperminty macs are one of our most requested flavors for the holidays–especially from those who know we are invested in creating mixes of flavors. We adapted Milk Bar’s Chocolate Crumble, and combined it with some flavored American Buttercream for another terrific peppermint-chocolate combo.
This is one of our 3-for-1 posts: we have a recipe for Chocolate Peppermint French Macarons, but we also include ways to separate the chocolate from the peppermint.
Peppermint French Macarons
First: Skip the chocolate crumble. But in all honesty, DON’T skip the crumble. Make it and eat it while you are making the Peppermint French Macaron. Best of both worlds, right Barb? *slow head nod*
Next: add finely crushed peppermint on top of the peppermint flavored buttercream. It truly is the sweetest flavor.
You can also drizzle chocolate over the top of the shell and sprinkle peppermint straight on to the warm chocolate before it dries.
Chocolate French Macarons
Want straight chocolate? You can make the Chocolate Peppermint Crumble, sans peppermint flavoring or crushed peppermint chips. I use this chocolate crumble with a peanut butter buttercream, with Vanilla Latte Buttercream ( by adding some French Vanilla Latte powder) and with a million other flavors. This crumble made with dark chocolate truly is so yummy without being crazy sweet. Color the shells a soft pink or a rich holiday red, pipe in the American Buttercream, and sprinkle the Chocolate Crumble (without the peppermint) in the well, and you’ll have a holiday winner.
So any which way you choose to make it, get your holiday baking season off to a start!
NOTE: Crushed peppermint can be purchased from a store, but in case you have candy canes and need to use them up, here’s another way to do this. Slip the plastic wrappers off the candy canes. Then place them in a zipper-lock plastic bag and crush them with a kitchen mallet, or other hard tool. We also suggest placing a cutting board underneath to protect the counter.
We also really like the Dutch Process Cocoa from Ghirardelli in the crumble recipe.
Chocolate Peppermint French Macarons
- baker's half sheet pans: high quality baking sheets with rimmed edges
- KitchenAid stand mixer
- parchment paper or silpat baking mats (with macaron template)
- oven thermometer
- piping bag
- Wilton Piping Tip #12
- food scale that will measure in grams or ounces
- scribe (a sharp, pointed tool), or a toothpick
- digital minute timer
Ingredients for SweetMacShop Macaron Shells
- 160 grams egg whites room temperature
- 88 grams granulated sugar
- 256 grams powdered sugar
- 205 grams almond flour
- 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
Ingredients for Chocolate Crumble
- 105 grams flour 2/3 cup
- 4 grams cornstarch 1 teaspoon
- 100 grams sugar 1/2 cup
- 65 grams Dutch Process Ghirardelli 100% cocoa powder 2/3 cup
- 4 grams kosher salt 1 teaspoon
- 85 grams butter, melted 6 Tablespoons
- 2-3 Tbls. finely crushed peppermint candy
Ingredients for American Buttercream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter Let sit on counter for 30 minutes.
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- 1/2-1 teaspoon peppermint extract NOT mint
Instructions for SweetMacShop Macaron Shells
- Preheat oven to 285 for steel pans, or 300 for aluminum pans. Preheat for at least 10 minutes.
- Measure out your granulated sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
- Measure powdered sugar and almond flour together, then use a sifter to combine. This will make them smooth and lump-free. Set aside.
- Place your bowl on the surface of your food scale. Hit “tare” button to zero out the weight of the bowl. Now measure the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of your KitchenAid stand mixer.
- Add the clear vanilla extract.
- Place bowl on mixer stand (this recipe is for the KitchenAid mixer), and attach the wire whisk beater. Set timer for one minute. Turn mixer to Speed 4, and slowly add sugar to egg whites, shaking it in a little at a time during that first minute.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 6, and set timer for 2 minutes.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 8, and set timer for 1 and 1/2 minutes (90 seconds). Coloring may be added just before this last mixing. Egg whites should look silky, yet stiff enough to hold the peak.
- Now we’ll make the macaronage: blend in dry ingredients, by moving a flexible spatula around the bowl, then cutting down through the middle, making sure to scrape the bottom for the flour and incorporate it into the meringue. You know you are done when the batter rolls off the spatula in a continuous ribbon. Batter will be thick…but can flow like a ribbon.
- BAKER’S NOTE: I have several videos of making macaronage in my Instagram Highlights.
- Insert Wilton #12 tip into the small opening of your piping bag. Scoop the macaronage into the bag, filling only half-way full, leaving room to twist the top closed in order to keep the batter from spilling out the top. Pipe the macrons by applying pressure until the batter flows out and just reaches the inner rim of the marked circle on your mat. Immediately release pressure and swirl tip to incorporate point back into the center of the cookie. See my tips on Instagram Highlights.
- NOTE: if you will be using parchment paper — search for online — then download a template of circles and place underneath your parchment paper. You’ll remove this before baking.
- Once the full pan is piped, gently (or aggressively–no judgement here) bang the pan down onto the counter to release air bubbles. I usually place a towel on the counter before banging the pan. Use your scribe or toothpick to pop any large bubbles, in order to create smooth shells.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD ONE: Place your parchment paper or Silpat mat on the bottom of an upside-down baker’s half sheet. Pipe your circles. Let rest about 5 minutes, bang (see above) then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD TWO: Place your parchment paper or Silpat mat on the inside of a baker’s half sheet (like normal). Pipe your circles. Let rest until your finger can glide across the top of the mac without stickiness, often up to 30 minutes. Bang (see above), then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, DO NOT — I repeat — do not remove from pan until they are completely cooled.
- This recipe yields 36-42 completed cookies (about 72-84 shells).
Instructions for Chocolate Crumble
- Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, coca powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater. Stir on low speed until mixed.
- Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture starts to form small clusters.
- Spread the clusters out onto a Silpat/parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs will be moist to the touch at that point, but they will dry and harden as they cool.
- When cool, add in the crushed peppermint candy.
- The crumble will keep up to 1 week stored in an airtight container, or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
Instructions for American Buttercream
- Place butter in bowl of mixer, and attach paddle flat beater. Mix on medium speed until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth.
- Add vanilla and salt; mix for 30 seconds until combined.
- Add in heavy whipping cream.
- Measure powdered sugar on scale. Slowly add to the mixer, 1 cup at a time. PRO TIP: Start the mixer speed back up slowly after adding the cup of powdered sugar, otherwise, pull out the mop.
- Once ingredients are all mixed, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for five minutes.
- At this point, color the buttercream to your preference. Add in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, to your taste.