Makes about 20
- ½ cup large egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
- 1½ cups finely ground blanched almond flour
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract*
- Royal Icing (see Silver Bell Sugar Cookies) optional
- For cookies: Place egg whites in a large bowl, and let stand at room temperature for exactly 3 hours. (Aging egg whites in this manner is essential to creating the perfect macaron.)
- Preheat oven to 225°. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw 2-inch circles 2 inches apart onto parchment; turn parchment over.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, place almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt; pulse 4 times for 3 seconds each, stopping to scrape sides of bowl after each pulse. Sift almond flour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve onto a sheet of parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat granulated sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar at medium speed until combined. Beat in aged egg whites until well combined. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat until glossy, stiff peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a spatula, fold in sifted almond flour mixture until well combined and batter flows of spatula in a ribbon, about 18 folds.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip (Wilton #12) halfway with batter. (Cover remaining batter with plastic wrap.) Pipe batter onto drawn circles on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining batter. Slam pans vigorously on counter 5 to 7 times to release air bubbles.
- Bake until firm to the touch, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Wrap cookies in plastic wrap in groups of 4 to 6, and refrigerate in airtight containers until ready to fill and serve, up to 3 days.
- For filling: In a medium bowl, beat butter with a hand mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until combined. Add milk and peppermint extract, beating until smooth and fluffy. Spread or pipe filling onto flat side of half of cookies. Place remaining cookies, flat side down, on top of filling. Using Royal Icing, pipe a small snowflake design on top of each cookie. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 weeks.
*We used Nielsen-Massey Organic Pure Peppermint Extract.
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