Cozy up with this oversized hot cocoa inspired Macaron filled with two kinds of chocolate filling and topped with a mound of mini marshmallows and dusted with peppermint. A Disneyland-inspired recipe.
For the macarons:
- 85g (1 cup minus one tablespoon) almond flour
- 120g (1 cup) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (8g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 70g egg whites, from about 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 40g (3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
For the chocolate ganache:
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the milk chocolate buttercream (adapted from Epicurious):
- 1/3 whole milk, or milk substitute (this worked with almond milk)
- 2 whole egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1–1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
For the topping:
- 1 ounce white chocolate
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1 candy cane, crushed
For the macarons:
- First sift the almond flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt back and forth four times between two bowls using a mesh strainer. Alternatively you can also pulse in a food processor 7-8 times. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a pencil, trace six 3″ circles using the cutter as a guide leaving at least an 1″ between shapes. Flip parchment over so that you can still see outlines, but the graphite will not transfer to macarons. Alternatively, place the free downloadable template (see notes above recipe for download) under the sheet of parchment. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add in the egg white and whisk on medium-low until slightly foamy, about 30 seconds. Add in the cream of tartar and whisk on medium until soft peaks appear. Then slowly pour in the sugar. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the entire dry mixture into the egg whites. Fold them until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and no egg whites remain. Egg whites will deflate and mixture should be the consistency of cake batter when they are ready. See notes below.
- Add batter into a piping bag. Cut the tip off about 1/2″, and pipe shapes onto the parchment lined baking sheet keeping the tip in the center and squeezing out until about 1/4″ before the outside of the circle. Then, pick up trays about 2″ from counter and let them fall down. Repeat. This helps to remove air bubbles from the batter. Let the batter sit about 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°f about 15 minutes before the rest time is finished. Place cookies in oven to bake, and then lower the temperature to 300°f. Cook for 18-20 minutes.
- Let the macarons cool at least 20-30 minutes before decorating.
For the ganache:
- In a small sauce pan, heat the heavy cream until hot (about 181°f). Turn off the heat and add in the chocolate and stir to combine.
- Next, add in the butter and continue to stir until everything is incorporated and smooth.
- Transfer to a heat proof bowl and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).
For the milk chocolate buttercream:
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over moderate heat until hot. Whisk together yolks, flour, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then add hot milk in a stream, whisking. Transfer custard to saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat while continually whisking (about 30 seconds to one minute). Reduce heat and simmer, whisking, until mixture becomes very thick, about 30 seconds more, then transfer to a medium sized bowl. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap and cool completely, about 45 minutes.
- Add vanilla and remaining confectioners sugar to custard and beat at medium speed until combined well, then increase speed to medium-high and beat in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until smooth. Buttercream will look broken when mixing in butter but keep mixing and it will come together eventually!
- Scrape down bowl. Add chocolates and beat until combined well.
- Using a #100 disher or melon baller, scoop out small circle of ganache and place in the center of the macron bottom. Repeat with remaining macarons. See notes below for storing leftover ganache.
- Fill a piping bag 1/2 with frosting, cut about 1/2″ from the tip of the bag, and pipe circles of frosting around in a spiral until you hit the ganache center. Repeat with remaining macarons. See notes below for storing leftover frosting.
- Place macaron tops gently to form cookies sandwiches. Set aside.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave inside a microwave safe bowl, like glass, for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for an additional 30 seconds. Keep stirring and microwaving in short bursts of 15-20 seconds until melted and smooth. Spoon a small mound in the center top of each macaron. Place the mini marshmallows on top to set. Drizzle a small amount of the white chocolate on top and then sprinkle crushed peppermint on the tops of each macaron.
- Wait about 10 minutes for the chocolate to set and then enjoy!
Bonus! Making the white flames:
- Any left over melted white chocolate can be thinly spread on a sheet of parchment in the shape of a flame. Refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes to set. Remove from refrigerator and gently remove from the parchment. These can be placed on top of the macarons to resemble the decorations at DCA.
- Sifting the almond flour and powdered sugar together is necessary for the absorption of oils and to prevent clumping of batter.
- When mixing the macaron batter, you want to push the batter against the side of the bowl to help mix and deflate the egg whites. The cocoa powder will dry out the mixture and you will want to keep mixing more than a normal batch of macarons.
- Do not pipe all the way to the edge of the circle as the batter will spread a bit while resting.
- If you want a smooth top to the macaron, besides dropping the sheet pan to get out air bubbles, how you pipe is also important. Position your piping bag over the center of the circle and continually squeeze out batter until you fill 3/4 of the circle. If you pipe in a spiral, you will have noticeable lines on the top. You can use a damp, not wet, finger to push down any batter that sticks up. See below.
- Any additional air bubbles that are not removed from the drop onto the counter can be poked with a scribe or toothpick before resting.
- Any left over macaron batter can be piped into smaller cookies and baked off for 15 minutes.
- If you are having any technical issues still with your macarons, I highly suggest looking up some tutorial videos on YouTube (that is until we have some of our own up!).
- Leftover buttercream can be stored in the fridge up to one week, brought to room temperature, and whipped before using. It can also be stored in the freezer up to 3 months.
- Leftover ganache can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
- Macarons can be stored in the refrigerator up to one week. Let them sit 10-15 minutes to come to room temp before enjoying.
Keywords: treat, macaron, cookie, chocolate, peppermint, buttercream, ganache, marshmallows