Tis the season for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and I’m so glad I participated this year. I was very upset with myself when I missed last year’s deadline. Not only does the swap connect bloggers from all over the globe, but it also raises money for Cookies For Kids’ Cancer. This event has become well known, and this year over $7000 was raised! That’s a lotta cookies!
Since I’ve become rather good at macarons, I wanted to make some for the swap. I went with a seasonal flavor – peppermint shells with a chocolate ganache filling. And since I have the baking mats with a bear shape already printed on them, why not go for a wintry polar bear theme as well? The trick to making them look like polar bears is to make the ears small, and more on the side of the head than on top. I scoured pictures of polar bears (real and drawn) to figure this out.
The chocolate peppermint combination of the cookies was delicious! It was like eating a peppermint patty. I used an edible food marker to draw the faces onto the shells. I couldn’t help smiling every time I glanced down as I worked – those faces were just so darn cute!
Unfortunately, my macs did not fare well on the voyage through the mail. So, if anyone has any recommendations for shipping macarons, please let me know. I am open to all suggestions.
- For the macaron shells: make shells according to instructions. Substitute 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract for the vanilla bean. Pipe small circles on either side of each circle to form the ears for the polar bear.
- Once the shells are cool, draw a face on half the shells.
- For the ganache: break chocolate up into small chunks. Place in a heat-proof bowl.
- Warm up the cream over medium heat. Watch it carefully. Heat until small bubble start to form around the edge and it feels very warm when you dip your finger in. Do not let the cream boil.
- Pour the heavy cream into the bowl with the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then slowly stir until mixture is combined and smooth. Let the ganache cool to room temperature before spreading over the half of the shells without a polar bear face. Top with a face-drawn shell.