I enjoy most holidays. I mean, who can argue with an extra reason to decorate, bake, and celebrate? But St. Patrick’s Day just doesn’t do much for me. Maybe it’s because I don’t actually like beer, or because I always seemed to forget to wear green and was therefore pinched unmercifully at school… Whatever the reason, it’s just never been a holiday I could get excited about, and it’s therefore never really inspired much baking. But this year I decided I had to come up with something, anything, to show a little St. Patty’s Day spirit. So I went down to the grocery store and the only thing even remotely Irish I could find was Guinness (seriously, they didn’t even have green food coloring) so… beer it is!
Chocolate Guinness Macarons
Makes about 20 macarons (40 shells + filling)
For the chocolate macarons:
1 cup (145 grams) packed almond flour
1/4 cup (25 grams) baking cocoa
2/3 cup (68 grams) powdered sugar
1 tbsp. powdered egg whites OR meringue powder
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
4 egg whites
For the Guinness filling:
9 oz. (255 grams) butter, at room temperature
4 cups (454 grams) powdered sugar
5-6 tbsp. Guinness beer
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Because these are macarons and they can be a little more finicky than other desserts, I recommend weighing your ingredients, but I did include volume measurements as well in case you don’t have a kitchen scale lying around. Start by sifting together your almond flour, baking cocoa, and powdered sugar. If you want an extra smooth shell, you can pulse these dry ingredients a few times in a food processor. In a large bowl, whisk together your egg whites, egg white powder (or meringue powder), and granulated sugar. Beat on high until a stiff meringue forms (about 11 minutes). You know your meringue is done when you can tip the bowl upside down and the meringue doesn’t move. Using a spatula, gently fold your meringue into your dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper, and spoon your macaron mixture into a piping bag. Using a template as a guide (you can print out a template here), pipe all of your macaron shells (mine are about 1″ in diameter). Firmly slam your baking sheets down on your counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles and let your shells air dry for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 325*F (160*C) and bake your dried macaron shells for 10-12 minutes. You know the macaron shells are done when you can easily peel them off the parchment paper.
To make the filling, beat the butter on high with your handheld mixer or kitchen machine until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and Guinness, and continue beating (starting on low and moving it up to high once all the powdered sugar is incorporated) until the filling is smooth. I personally used six tablespoons of Guinness and found that although you could taste the beer, it wasn’t totally overpowering, but you can easily add more or less depending on your own taste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (I used a large round tip) and pipe onto half of your cooled macaron shells. Top with the other half of the shells, and use a little cocoa powder mixed with water to paint the top of the shells (it really doesn’t add to the flavor, but it does make them extra pretty!).