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March 16, 2020
Andes Mints, with their lovely green foil wrapping, are a classic and festive addition to any candy dish for St. Patrick’s Day. What if we said we at All City Candy can take those chocolaty, minty flavors up a notch? Try these delicious Andes Chocolate Mint Macarons for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day get-together, or just to enjoy with your friends and family in time for the season!
So, what are macarons? They are an oh-so-scrumptious, gluten free, French sandwich cookie, based off egg-white sweet meringue. While they are incredibly tasty, macarons require a great amount of detail; by the time you finish baking these delicious treats, you may consider a career change to pastry chef because conquering a macaron is an epic, finicky, and detail-oriented affair! For these macarons specifically, we will be making the confection in the Italian style. Yes, that does mean we are making a French macaron, with influences from Italy, for an Irish holiday; a true world-traveled treat if we’ve ever heard of one!
Most importantly, if you are an Andes Creme de Menthe Thins fan, you are going to be adding this ganache filling to absolutely everything, and we do mean everything – including, but not limited to, ice cream, donuts, cakes, fruit dips, cracker spreads, breakfast toast, and just about anything else you can put in your mouth!
A few details before we start...
You will want to make the Andes Mint ganache first, so it has time to chill in the refrigerator. If you’re in need of a restock of these classic minty candies, you can find Andes Creme de Menthe Thins online or in our candy store in Richmond Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland.
Also, please note the macaron ingredients are measured in grams, so a food scale is needed. Precision makes perfection when it comes to these French delicacies. Now, on to the recipes!
Ingredients1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream35 (6 oz) Andes Creme de Menthe Thins1/4 cup (1.5 oz) Milk or Dark Melting Chocolate Wafers
1. Chop the melting wafers and Andes Mints into small, split-pea to rice-sized pieces and put them into a heatproof bowl. The pieces need to be very tiny for the cream to melt them.
2. Heat the heavy whipping cream to near boiling. If doing this on a stove, you will start to see bubbles form at the edge of the pan. If doing this in a microwave, it takes about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes; watch the cream, and if you see bubbles start to form, it is warm enough.
3. Pour the hot cream into the chopped Andes Mint and melting chocolate mixture. Make sure all the chocolate is covered and let it sit for 5 minutes.
4. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth. This may take 2-3 minutes. If there are lumps that are not melting, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and dissolve the remainder of the chocolate chunks by whisking continuously. This will be your ganache!
5. Place the ganache into the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes until cool and semi-solid.
6. Remove ganache from the fridge and, using an electric hand mixer, whip the ganache for 5 minutes on high until it doubles in volume. Put the whipped ganache into a piping bag fitted with your favorite large piping tip.
(Makes 15 regular-sized Macarons)
Ingredients2 Egg Whites, separated 102 grams Powdered Sugar 95 grams Almond Flour 95 grams Granulated Sugar 30 grams Water Green Gel Food Coloring
1. Combine the powdered sugar and almond flour into the hopper of a food processor. Blitz 15 times; this helps mix the almond flour and powdered sugar, as well as to make the almond flour a bit finer.
2. Pour the almond and sugar mixture into a sieve and shake into a large bowl. This will help get rid of the larger almond pieces that will make the macarons look chunky and deformed.
3. Add in one of the egg whites to the almond sugar mixture. Stir until a paste is formed.
4. Pour in your gel food coloring and give it a few more turns of the spatula. It will look dark at this point, but when the egg whites are added, it will lighten up a bit. Cover with plastic wrap or a moist towel and set aside.
NOTE: The next steps will start the process for an Italian meringue; this can be a little tricky to make but will make the macaron batter more stable.
5. In a pan, combine the water and granulated sugar, and place over medium-high heat. The temperature we are aiming for is 244 degrees or the "soft ball stage." At this point, do not stir the sugar and water mixture; it will lead to crystallization.
6. While the water and sugar mixture is heating, add the remaining egg white to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the water and granulated sugar mixture hits about 220 degrees, turn on the stand mixer.
7. Once the water and granulated sugar mixture reaches 244 degrees, remove from the heat and pour it slowly down the side of the stand mixer bowl. NOTE: BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL - this sugar will be very hot and may burn. Make sure you pour down the side and not directly on the whisk, as this may result in batter flying out of the bowl.
8. After all the sugar syrup has been added to the egg white in the stand mixer, crank up the speed to high and whip for 5 minutes.
9. Bring back your almond and sugar paste mixture, add in 1/3 of the Italian meringue, and stir until it is combined. This helps lighten up the paste so the remainder of the meringue can be folded into the paste.
10. Fold in the remainder of the meringue. You will know your macaron batter is done when it ribbons off the spatula; if it plops, keep folding. This will take about 3 minutes.
11. Put your macaron batter into a piping bag. On a parchment or silicone-lined baking tray, pipe dots roughly the same size. These will be the outside shells for your macarons.
Unsure how big to make the dots? We have you covered; here's a template for the perfect-sized macarons.
PRO TIP: Tape a strip of paper to the side of the template. Place template underneath your parchment paper. When you're finished piping, use the strips of paper to carefully pull the template off your baking sheet before baking!
12. With piping completed, tap the trays on the counter 4-5 times to help remove air bubbles (you might have to use a toothpick to pop any stubborn ones) and bake at 325 degrees for 14-15 minutes.
Assembling your Macarons:
Once the macaron shells are cool, flip half of them over and pipe on your Andes Mint Chocolate Ganache. Top with the remaining shells to make your cookie sandwich.
If you want to add even more Andes mint flavor, now’s the chance! We chopped up more of the candy and dipped the middles of the cookies into the candy and sprinkled the chopped Andes Mints over the top of our macaron pile. If you love mint and chocolate like we do, it’s a perfect way to finish off these amazing treats!
There you have it: incredible Andes Chocolate Mint Macarons for St. Patrick's Day! We would love to see your takes on this amazing confection. Be sure to tag us on social media:
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