This post is sponsored by Ghirardelli, but all opinions are my own.
It’s true! Great things come in small packages and this year your holidays will be just a little sweeter when you present your friends and family with a tiny package of deliciousness in the form of Ghirardelli Drizzled Peppermint Macarons.
The traditional Christmas flavors of frosty peppermint candy canes and rich Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers combine in these delectable Parisian treats that feature a creamy cheesecake filling. You’ll be the star of the season when you make these special macarons your holiday gifting treat.
Master the Macaron Technique
I know, I know. You’re saying to yourself, “But making macarons is really hard.” And I admit the process is a little fussy, but anyone can make these delectable cookies when you learn a few simple tricks of the process. Plus, the beauty of mastering basic macarons is that you can then use those fundamental techniques to go wild with all kinds of imaginative flavor combinations.
Our family’s obsession with macarons started during the first pandemic lock-down when my eldest daughter decided she wanted to learn how to make them. She conned my mom (who’s kind of a dessert whisperer) into helping her try out recipes. After a little trial and error, they perfected the delicacies and started experimenting with flavor combos. Last Christmas, these pink peppermint, cheesecake-filled delights drizzled with dark chocolate ganache were a fan favorite. And everyone was astonished that they had been invented and baked by a 13-year-old!
Use the Best Ingredients
Holiday baking deserves the best ingredients. That’s just one of the reasons I am so glad I discovered Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers, which are available at Sam’s Club. I had often struggled with making silky ganache that has that beautiful glossy shine. Using the melting wafers eliminates all the stress of overheating or tempering.
A Few Important Hints
Before we get to the recipe, there are a couple of fundamental techniques I need to explain.
1) Age your egg whites!! It is absolutely crucial to separate the egg whites and let them rest, covered, in the refrigerator 24-hours in advance.
2) Meringue (beaten egg whites) will “break” (lose their ability to stiffen) if they come in contact with any fat. Therefore, it is imperative that you use very clean beaters, bowls, and spatulas. My mom wipes down everything with lemon juice before she starts making the meringue. Check out this great Meringue How To by Mimi for a tutorial on making the perfect meringue.
3) Don’t try and rush the process. In order to achieve that classic “crunchy then chewy” texture the cookies have to air dry for a while until they form a crust. If you live in a humid climate as I do, it might take up to two hours. In the early days of our experimentation, my dad actually rigged up a “resting station” out of a cardboard box and a small oscillating fan. Eventually, Aubrey figured out that just letting them rest a little longer than the recommended ½ hour did the trick.
4) Finally, you need to use a food scale. It’s much more accurate. If you think about it, egg sizes vary widely, and since they are the key ingredient their measurement must be precise.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled (and you will probably want to since folks are going to be clamoring for them.)
As I said before, these Drizzled Peppermint Macarons are so divine that you’ll want to gift them to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I found special macaron boxes online and just added a pretty bow and the FREE printable Sweet Holiday gift tag. However, you can use holiday cookie tins, little buckets, or just a cute plate. Regardless, recipients will be delighted to receive such a decadent, elegant treat.