Asheville Eats Candy Cane Macaroons
Posted On Monday, December 14, 2015
Christmas cookies are perhaps one of the most anticipated desserts of the year. In my house every year my mother goes through an extensively long decision process over what cookies to make. Phone calls are made, approximately 86% of conversations revolve around it, polls are taken and then she usually just makes the list herself. It's an intense process. Just in case you're family is as neurotic as mine about Christmas cookies, we have found one that will satisfy everyone's sweet tooth as well as any gluten allergies you may have in your family. That's right, fellow gluten rejectors, Candy Cane Macaroons are GLUTEN FREE!
Peppermint is the flavor of the season and while we think of candy cane cookies, bark, and milkshakes, among other things, macaroons are not usually associated with this time of year, and therefore for also not with candy canes. For a special holiday treat that will dazzle everyone you entertain this year and for years to come, try your hand at these delightful and festive french pastries! the key to candy cane macaroons is precision. For the exact metric measurements for these ingredients check out the recipe, but for those of use who don't have a counter scale in our kitchen, the printable included does measurements as accurate possible. Also, another thing not commonly associated with this time of year is butter cream frosting for the center of your macaroons. To wrap up your luxuriously festive delights we have also let you in on a little family secret, my sister's signature hot chocolate, that is a year-round favorite. It's always nice to have some insider suggestions from seasoned veterans when you're trying a recipe for the first time, so here are a couple tips included in our infographic and a few that aren't.
- There are two 1/3 cups of egg whites required for different portions of the recipe.
- One goes in the (almond) flour and powdered sugar mixture up front, and the second 1/3 cup is used for meringue later.
- Speaking of quirky conversions, 1/3 cup is about 2 egg whites.
- The sugar syrup must be pulled off at 230° and NOT A DEGREE MORE. It can take a while to get there, so just sit and watch the thermometer on the last 10 ° or so.
- When you're pouring the two halves of the almond-powdered sugar mix into the meringue, be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure you have absolutely all of it into the meringue.
- If you over mix the halves of almond-powdered sugar into the meringue it will produce cracked, "pancake" like cookies.
- Line your cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper to ensure your cookie halves come up as perfectly as possible.
- Rap the cookie sheet on the counter to help the cookies separate just a little from the sheet, just enough to produce a "foot/pie" like bottom.
- Baking them as instructed for 11 minutes at 355° will produce slightly chewy cookies, which is traditional without browning the shell at all.
- If you'd like them done slightly more, you can bake them at 300° for 20-25 minutes.
- If the shells are sticking to the parchment paper, you can spray water between the paper and the hot cookie sheet and the steam will help release the cookies.
- You can set egg whites aside to age slightly for 2-3 days.
- You can set baked Macaroon shells aside for 3-4 days on the counter before they start to get stale.
- For smooth flavor consistency through this holiday treat, use peppermint extract in the Butter Cream Frosting.