I'm turning a favorite holiday drink into the most festive and decadent peppermint mocha macarons for the holidays.
Silky and rich chocolate ganache sandwiched between mocha macaron shells, drizzled with melted chocolate and crushed peppermint pieces, these macarons are melt in your mouth delicious.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- They're perfectly balanced with the flavors of chocolate, espresso and peppermint.
- Perfect for holiday and Christmas cookie gifting.
- Easy to follow recipe with step by step instructions and photos.
- No need to age egg whites or mature the shells. These can be made and enjoyed all in the same day.
- Both the macaron shells and peppermint ganache can be made in advance.
Macaron Shell Ingredients
Egg whites - room temperature
Granulated sugar - granulated, super fine or castor sugar
Cream of tartar - helps to create a stable meringue
Fine sea salt
Almond flour - finely ground
Cocoa powder - Dutch processed
Instant coffee or espresso
Peppermint Ganache Ingredients
Semi sweet chocolate - chopped or chips
Unsalted butter - makes the ganache more creamy and rich, also helps it shine
Fine sea Salt
Instant Coffee or Espresso
Crushed peppermint pieces - you can used packaged pieces, or crushed up candy canes
- Make the mocha shells. Let the egg whites come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Room temperature egg whites are easier to whip up.
- Line two sheet pans with macaron mats or parchment paper. Macaron guide templates can be found online. Print them off and place them underneath the parchment paper to act as a guide so the macaron shells are the same size.
- Whisk together granulated sugar, cream of tartar and salt.
- Combine confectioners' sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, and instant espresso.
- Sift the almond/cocoa mix through a fine mesh sieve. If a lot of almond is left behind in the sieve, process in a food processor and pass through the sieve again. It's ok if there are some almond pieces left behind.
- Beat the egg whites to foamy.
- Beat in the granulated sugar mixture and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the almond flour/confectioners' sugar mixture into the egg whites.
- The batter is ready when you can make an "8" with the batter falling off of a spatula in a steady stream, without the batter breaking. This usually takes around 65-70 folds. Starting checking the batter every 10-15 folds.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (Wilton 1A or 2A, Ateco 808) with macaron batter.
- Pipe 1 ½" rounds on the prepared mats/parchment paper. Firmly tap the pans on the counter a few times. This helps to remove air bubbles. Lit them sit for 30 minutes to dry.
- The macarons are ready to bake when you can gently touch them, and they barely tacky. The batter should not stick to your finger. Bake for 20 minutes, then cool.
- Make the peppermint ganache. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and butter.
- In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, instant espresso powder and salt. Heat until just simmering (bubbles around the edges of the pan). Do not boil.
- Whisk in the peppermint extract. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and butter. Let sit for 1 minute.
- Whisk together the cream and chocolate until melted and smooth.
- Let the ganache rest until thickened, until it resembles peanut butter, or frosting, about 30-45 minutes.
- Fill the macarons. Fit a piping bag with medium round tip, like a Wilton #12. Fill the piping bag with ganache.
- Flip over half of the shells so they are flat side up. Pipe a 1" mound in the center of the flipped shells. Place the other half of the shells (without filling) onto the ganache, gently pressing the cookies together until the ganache just reaches the edges.
- Decorate the macarons. Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave until smooth and melted. Fill a piping bag with melted chocolate and snip off the very end of the bag. Drizzle the macarons with melted chocolate and sprinkle with crushed peppermint pieces.
Storage and Freezing
Macarons can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They can be frozen for up to one month. Defrost the macarons and store in the refrigerator.
Unfilled macaron shells can be made up to 4-5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The shells can be frozen for up to one month. Defrost the shells in the refrigerator.
Tips for Perfect Macarons
- Using a scale will give you the best results. I haven’t written this recipe in cups for a good reason. Using a scale creates consistency, and exact measurements every time.
- Don't skip letting the macaron shells rest for at least 30 minutes. This is required so that they set and are able to form feet, or the little ruffled edges around the bottoms of the cookies. You should be able to touch the dried macarons without batter sticking to your finger.
- Templates are good to use when piping macarons. You can buy the silicone mats with the shapes printed on them, or you can find templates online and print them off. Slide them under parchment paper so you can see the template outline.
Variations and Substitutions
Omit the coffee from the shell batter, and omit the peppermint extract from the ganache for chocolate macarons.
Replace the chocolate ganache for white chocolate to make peppermint bark macarons.
They can be. Humidity can ruin all the hard work of making macaron shells. I do not recommend making macarons shells with humidity over 60%. You can see the humidity for your area on a weather app.
Following the instructions and taking your time will help you bake perfect macarons every time.
Because macarons can be tricky, it's important the the ingredients are precise, so they must be weighed. This ensures consistent results every time.
Over mixing the batter will result in spreading. Folding the batter slowly and checking after every 10-15 folds for doneness (the figure 8) will help to prevent over mixing.
You can use a hand mixer, but plan on mixing for almost double the time it takes to whip the whites in a stand mixer. I do not recommend whipping the whites by hand.
If you make these peppermint mocha macarons, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes and creations.
For more macaron recipes, check out these posts:
Peppermint Mocha Macarons
Mocha Macaron Shells
- 3 large egg whites
- 60 grams granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 150 grams confectioners' sugar
- 120 grams almond flour, finely ground
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch
- ¾ teaspoon instant espresso or coffee
- ⅔ cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- pinch of fine sea salt
- ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
- 2 tablespoons crushed peppermint pieces
Mocha Macaron Shells
- Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.3 large egg whites
- Meanwhile, in medium size bowl, sift together the sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Discard any large pieces of sugar left. Set bowl aside.60 grams granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a separate large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder and instant espresso. Process the remaining large pieces in a food processor to pulverize them, then sift. Set the bowl aside.150 grams confectioners' sugar, 120 grams almond flour, finely ground, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch, ¾ teaspoon instant espresso or coffee
- Line half baking sheets with parchment paper, or macaron guide silicone mats. Or place macaron templates under the parchment, if using.
- Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
- Beat in the granulated sugar, cream of tartar and salt mixture.
- Whip the egg white mixture until stiff peaks form. The meringue will stand up straight when the whisk is removed. The egg white mixture will be thick and glossy.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the almond flour mixture. The egg whites will deflate a bit and that is ok. The batter is ready when it "ribbons", when falls off the spatula in a steady stream. You should be able to make a "8" with the batter falling off the spatula. This means the batter is ready. You're looking for about 65-75 folds. Check for the ribboning after every 10-15 folds.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton 1A or 2A) and pipe 1 ½" rounds on the parchment paper.
- Firmly tap the pans on the counter 2-3 times to remove air bubbles. Let the macarons sit until just slightly tacky, but no batter comes off on your fingers, about 30-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 300F. Bake the macarons for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. Cool completely.
Peppermint Chocolate Ganache
- Place the chopped chocolate and butter into a medium size bowl. Set aside.⅔ cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped or chips, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine the heavy cream, instant coffee and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to form little bubbles around the edge of the pan.½ cup heavy cream, ½ teaspoon espresso powder, pinch of fine sea salt
- Whisk in the peppermint extract.¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a minute to allow the chocolate to melt. Gently whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth.
- Let the ganache cool to a pipeable consistency, like peanut butter, about 45 minutes.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton #12) with the peppermint ganache.
- Flip half of the macaron shells over, flat side up. Pipe a mound of the filling in the centers of the flipped shells.
- Place the remaining macaron shells on top of the cookies with filling and press gently, until the filling just reaches the edges.
- Melt the ¼ cup chopped chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir after every increment until the mixture is smooth and melted.¼ cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
- Fill a piping with the melted chocolate. Cut the tip off of the bag.
- Drizzle the macarons with melted chocolate. Sprinkle crushed peppermint over the drizzled chocolate.2 tablespoons crushed peppermint pieces