Festive French Cookies For Christmas

Forget sugar plums, we're dreaming of French macarons this Christmas. Instead of spending more than $2 or $3 a cookie at a fancy bakery, why not make your own with these foolproof recipes? To give them festive flair, we decorated each cookie with seasonal sweets.

 Christmas macarons 3 ways

Dipped in crushed candy canes, frosted with green icing or covered in rich chocolate ganache, these holiday macarons will add a classy French flair to any of your cookie dishes. And don't worry if they don't come out just right the first time, these take at least a few batches to really master.

1

Vanilla macarons with vanilla buttercream filling

 Christmas macarons 3 ways

Yields about 36-40 cookies

Ingredients:

For the cookies

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal or flour (we used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the white fluffy buttercream
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a thick baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the powdered sugar and almond meal in a food processor and pulse until fine. Sift the mixture through a wire strainer to remove large lumps.
  3. In the bowl of a KitchenAid stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-low until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until egg whites are glossy and form a peak. Mix in the cream of tartar. Gradually add the white sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat for about 4-6 more minutes, or until the whites form a very stiff peak. Remove from mixer.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the almond mixture into the egg white mixture until combined. Then, fold in the remainder of the almond mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX. We counted about 55-65 folds as the right amount for the cookies.
  5. Pour the mixture into a zip-closed bag or a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip. If using a bag, cut a 1/4 inch slice off the end.
  6. Pipe circles on the parchment paper, careful to make sure the sizes are about the same. Leave about a 1-inch border between each since they will spread slightly.
  7. Gently tap the baking sheet against a hard surface about 4 times. This will release the air bubbles a bit, giving you those iconic feet at the bottom of the cookie. Set the cookies down in a dry place to rest for about 20-30 minutes.
  8. Once set, bake for about 14-16 minutes, or until little feet have formed and the tops are glossy. Carefully remove from the parchment paper with a spatula and let cool.
  9. While cookies cool, prepare the frosting by beating the butter, sugar, vanilla and milk together.
  10. Once cookies have cooled, carefully add a few dabs of buttercream to the top of one and then sandwich another on top of it.
2

Vanilla macarons with candy cane and chocolate ganache

Yields 20 cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 10 vanilla macarons filled with vanilla buttercream frosting
  • 10 vanilla macarons filled with chocolate ganache (get recipe below)
  • About 1 cup crushed candy canes
  • Red and white sprinkles

Directions:

  1. While the buttercream is still sticky, roll the cookies into the candy canes to liberally coat the frosting in candy cane pieces.
  2. Place a small dab of frosting onto the top of the sandwich cookie. Sprinkle with more candy cane bits.
  3. For the chocolate vanilla macarons, spread vanilla over the top of the cookies and sprinkle with red and white sprinkles.
3

Raspberry macarons with chocolate ganache filling

 Christmas macarons 3 ways

Slightly adapted from Hungry Rabbit

Yields about 32 macarons

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup ground almond meal
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry powder (can buy here)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 jumbo egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • Red food dye for coloring
For the chocolate ganache filling
  • 1 ounce heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a thick baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the powdered sugar, cornstarch and almond meal in a food processor and pulse until fine. Sift the mixture through a wire strainer to remove large lumps.
  3. In the bowl of a KitchenAid stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-low until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until egg whites are glossy and form a peak. Mix in the cream of tartar. Gradually add the white sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat for about 4-6 more minutes, or until the whites form a very stiff peak. Remove from mixer.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the almond mixture into the egg white mixture until combined. Then, fold in the remainder of the almond mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX. We counted about 55-65 folds as the right amount for the cookies. Add a few droplets of the red food coloring to get a nice deep pink color.
  5. Pipe circles on the parchment paper, careful to make sure the sizes are about the same. Leave about a 1-inch border between each since they will spread slightly.
  6. Gently tap the baking sheet against a hard surface about 4 times. This will release the air bubbles a bit, giving you those iconic feet at the bottom of the cookie. Set the cookies down in a dry place to rest for about 20-30 minutes.
  7. Once set, bake for about 14-16 minutes, or until little feet have formed and the tops are glossy. Carefully remove from the parchment paper with a spatula and let cool.
  8. While cookies cool, prepare the ganache filling. Heat the honey and heavy cream in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk in the espresso powder. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes or until thick.
  9. Top half of the raspberry cookies with ganache and the sandwich the other half on top.
4

Vanilla and raspberry macarons with green filling

 Christmas macarons 3 ways

Yields 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 10 vanilla macarons (no filling)
  • 10 raspberry macarons (no filling)
  • 1 cup vanilla buttercream
  • Green food dye
  • About 1 cup candy canes, crushed

Directions:

  1. Color vanilla buttercream with green till you reach the desired shade. Spread green icing onto the top of half of the vanilla or raspberry macarons. Top with the opposite color (so you have three colors). Roll half of the macarons in crushed candy canes and enjoy!

More fun holiday cookie recipes

Chocolate espresso snap cookies
How to turn a sugar cookie into an ornament
Edible gift tag cookies

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