Christmas is a holy Christian festival celebrated all over the world. People of all ages come together for a grand celebration and exchange gifts, sweets, love and blessings.
On the beautiful occasion of Christmas, people decorate their house and prepare mouth watering dishes and some amazing cakes and cookies to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Here we are going to share one of the most famous French desserts which people love to cook and consume on Christmas and that is French Macarons; a sweet meringue based confection.
Macarons are special, indulgent and fun to add to party spreads. They are wonderful gifts if you want to give something edible but it always takes time to get perfect. They are small enough to satisfy sweet cravings without ruining the healthy eating habits.
Christmas cookies generally bring sugar cookies in mind which are shaped and laced with icing and ginger bread men adorned with candy buttons but now it’s time to make way for French Macarons which, if made properly, light and chewy can be prepared in any flavor combination. They are even a wonderful canvas for whatever you décor you do.
NUTELLA & CHOCOLATE MACARONS:
Everyone loves Nutella and that is a no secret. This Macaron recipe screams the name to attract your guests to dive in and fall in the taste.
Blanched Slivered Almonds: 110 gm.
Minus 2 TBS Powdered Sugar: 200 gm.
Cocoa Powder: 2 TBS.
Egg Whites: 100 gm.
Granulated Sugar: 50 gm.
To start, put the almonds in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar and give it a few pulses to combine and then set aside.
With parchment paper, line 2 baking sheets and set it aside.
Beat eggs whites in a bowl to a foam resembling bubble bath. With the mixer running, add granulated sugar and beat until stiff and smooth peaks form. Do not over mix. Stop at the beginning of the stiff peak stage.
Add almond mixture to egg whites and incorporate with spatula making sure that the mixture is thick enough to pipe but thing enough to not form peaks.
In a piping bag, place Macarons and pipe small circles on already prepared baking sheets. Allow them to rest for at least 1 hour. Make sure a hard shell develops on top. If it feels dry on testing with fingers, you are ready to go, if not then another 15 minutes and meanwhile preheat the oven to 300 degree F.
Bake one sheet at a time for around 10 minutes and allow it to cool down before filling.
For Nutella Ganache:
In a medium sized heat proof bowl, place Nutella and Chocolate. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small sauce pan. On the chocolate and Nutella, pour the hot cream and let it sit for 20 seconds and stir to combine. Once done, place the ganache in the fridge until it gets thick but pourable. Stir it few times during the process so the ganache gets a uniform consistency. Whip ganache, using a mixer until it is a pipe able consistency and light in color. Place the ganache in a piping bag and pipe circles on one Macaron shell and top it with a similar sized shell and squeeze them.
Refrigerate the content and serve it after keeping it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
CHOCOLATE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
For chocolate lovers around the world, this chocolate recipe is perfect for your sweet tooth.
Powdered Sugar: 2 Cups.
Almond Flour or Almond Meal: 1 Cup.
Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: 3 TBSP.
Fine Salt: ¼ TSP.
Egg Whites: 3 LARGE, at room temperature.
Cream of Tartar: Pinch.
Granulated Sugar: 3 TBSP.
Bitter Sweet Chocolate, finely Chopped: 4 Ounces.
Heavy Cream: ½ Cup.
Unsalted Butter: 2 TBSP.
With parchment paper, line 2 baking sheets and set them aside. With a ½ inch plain tip, fit a large pastry bag and set aside.
In a food processor, mix cocoa powder, almond flour, salt and powdered sugar and pulse several times to aerate until fine and combined. Sift in a large bowl and set it aside.
Place the egg whites in a clean bowl of a mixed and make a meringue. For about 30 seconds, beat on a medium speed to make it foamy. Add tartar cream and increase the speed to high and beat until egg whites are white in color and hold the line of the whisk for about a minute. Continue beating by adding granulated sugar until it is combined and peaks are stiff and also the whites are shiny for about a minute. Transfer it in a large bowl.
Fold the dry mixture in the egg whites in 4 batches until dry ingredients are combined using a rubber spatula and with the final addition, stop the folding when traces of egg whites are no more.
Transfer the batter in the pastry bag and pipe out on the baking sheet. To create the macaron base, pick the baking sheets and bang them against the work surface. Allow it to settle down at room temperature for about 30 minutes to dry the tops for a perfect cooking.
Heat your oven to 350 degree F and arrange a rack in the middle. Bake the Macarons for 7 minutes. Rotate the sheet and cook for another 7 minutes and then transfer the sheet to make it cool down.
In a large bowl, place the chopped chocolate. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, warm the cream until it starts to boil and without creating bubbles, stir it in the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute. Add the butter and stir until it gets smooth. Refrigerate it until thickened but still spreadable. Once done, assemble it.
SPARKLY VANILLA BEAN MACARONS:
Apart from being gorgeous, this Macaron recipe offers 3 different Christmas fillings and topped with edible glitter for a complete festive holiday treat.
SPARKLY VANILLA BEAN MACARONS:
Aged Egg Whites: 90 grams!
Almond Flour: 110 grams.
Powdered Sugar: 200 grams.
Vanilla Bean: 1.
White Granulated Sugar: 25 grams.
Cocoa Powder or Powdered Food Coloring: 1 TSP.
FOR WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BUTTERCREAM:
Butter: ½ Cup Softened.
Powdered Sugar: 1 ½ Cups.
White Chocolate: 3OZ, chopped, melted and cooled.
Milk: 1 TBSP.
Tahitian Vanilla Extract: 1 TSP.
Soft Peppermint Candies: ¼ Cup Crushed.
FOR EGGNOG MARSHMALLOW FLUFF:
Butter: 1 Cup.
Powdered Sugar: 3 Cups.
Marshmallow Fluff: 1 (7 OZ Jar).
Eggnog: ¼ Cup.
Tahitian Vanilla Extract: 1 TSP.
FOR SPICY MILK CHOCOLATE MOCHA GANACHE:
Milk Chocolate Chips: ¾ Cup.
Heavy Cream: ½ Cup.
Mexican Vanilla Extract: ½ Cup.
Instant Coffee Powder: 1 TBSP.
Ground Cinnamon: ½ TSP.
Freshly Ground All Spice: ¼ TSP.
Fresh Cloves: ¼ TSP.
Freshly Grated Nutmeg: 1/8 TSP.
FOR SIMPLE SYRUP:
Sugar: ¼ Cup.
Water: ¼ Cup.
Separate the egg whites and cover it loosely with a paper towel to refrigerate it up to 5 days before making the Macarons. Set the egg whites aside the night before making the Macarons to come to room temperature.
Place almond flour, contents of a vanilla bean and powdered sugar in a food processor and beat until it combines on the day you start making Macarons. In a large bowl, whisk one TSP of cocoa powder for chocolate Macarons or 1 TSP of powdered food coloring for colored Macarons. Whisk, sift and set aside.
Whisk egg whites on a medium high speed until foamy with a mixer. Mix in granulated sugar and continue whisking until the egg whites get stiff peaks. Add egg whites to the flour and fold to incorporate until the mixture is smooth. Fill the pastry bag with Macaron batter and pipe about 1 inch circle on a baking sheet. Before baking, for at least 30 minutes, allow the batter to rest on the pan to form a strong skin to help keep Macarons from cracking in the oven.
In the middle of the oven, bake Macarons at 280 degrees F for 20 minutes. When it dries, lift the Macaron. Keep a check every 2 minutes on them until you get a dry bottom. Once removed from the oven, let the Macarons rest on the pan to finish cooking before trying to remove. Allow complete cooling before frosting.
WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMING BUTTERCREAM:
In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients, beat on medium speed until smooth & creamy, add crushed peppermints and beat until combined.
EGGNOG MARSHMALLOW FLUFF:
In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients and beat on medium speed until smooth & creamy.
SPICY MILK CHOCOLATE MOCHA GANACHE:
In a heat proof bowl, place chocolate chips. Whisk all the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Pour it over chocolate chips and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk completely until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until the ganache gets thick frosting consistency.
Boil sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Remove and brush over the tops of the Macaron shells with a pastry brush and sprinkle with glitter.
BLUEBERRY CHEESE CAKE MACARONS:
It does sound divine with the fresh flavors of the Macaron cookie with cream cheese, adding an extra bit of creaminess to it.
Almond Flour: 120 grams.
Confectioner’s Sugar: 200 grams.
Egg Whites: 3 Large Eggs.
White Granulated Sugar: 50 grams.
Cream Cheese Extract: Optional, ½ TSP.
Gramham Cracker Crumbs: 2 TBSP.
Cream Cheese, Softened: 113 grams.
Blueberry Preserves: 60 ml.
Cream Cheese Extract or Vanilla: ¼ TSP.
Confectioner’s Sugar: 125 grams.
In a large mixing bowl, sift confectioner’s sugar and almond flour, set aside. In a mixing bowl, mix egg whites and granulated sugar and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. As an optional part: add the cream cheese extract and mix for about 15 seconds.
In the dry ingredients, add meringue and begin folding and flatten the meringue in the flour scraping from the bottom of the bowl. Your batter should reach the lava stage where it ribbons and settles down itself. In a pastry bag, transfer the Macaron batter.
With silicone mats or a parchment paper, line up 2 baking sheets and pipe even sized cookie dollops. Tap the baking sheet against the counter to release trapped air bubbles, once the pan is full. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top of cookies and let it rest for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 325F and bake rest of the cookies for 20 minutes. Let it cool down for 10 minutes before removing and cooling it down completely.
In a mixing bowl, place the softened cream cheese and beat on high speed for few minutes until the cheese gets creamy. Add blueberry preserves, extract and salt and mix until creamy. Add 1 ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar to thicken it.
In a pastry bag, transfer the filling and pipe on half of the cookies topping with a second cookie. Place finished Macarons in an air tight container and refrigerate it for 2 days. Once done, serve and enjoy.
For this recipe you will need Meyer Lemons that are a cross between an orange and regular lemons and that is why the Macarons prepared here harness the citrus power. It will give you a bit of zing that citrus based desserts have.
FOR MEYER LEMON MACARONS:
Almond Flour or Almond Meal: 110 grams.
Powdered Sugar: 200 grams.
Aged Egg Whites: 3 (90 grams).
Granulated Sugar: 30 grams!
Zest: 1 Meyer Lemon.
Food Coloring: Yellow (Gel or Powdered).
FOR MEYER LEMON SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
Egg Whites: 2.
Sugar: ½ Cup.
Salt: ¼ TSP.
Cream of Tartar: 1/8 TSP.
Unsalted Butter: 2 Sticks cut in chunks.
Vanilla Extract: ½ TSP.
Lemon Juice: 3 TBSP.
Zest: 2 Lemons.
FOR MEYER LEMON MACARONS:
In a clean bowl, set your egg whites 24 hours before you plan to start, loosely covered with a paper towel to keep away the stray dust at room temperature. This will remove the moisture.
Mix powdered sugar, zest and almond flour. Break the clumps and lumps using your hand or you can even sift. Add almond/sugar mixture if you are using powdered food coloring. Set aside once done!
Whisk egg whites until foamy in a mixer. Sprinkle granulated sugar in a slow steady sprinkle. Continue to beat until you get a glossy and stiff meringue which will take around 5 minutes.
All at once, add powdered sugar mixture/almond and stir to break down the whites a bit and then fold carefully. It has to be oozy like a thick magma but not flowy.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag and pipe rounds on parchment lined baking sheets. Trace a circle on the underside of the parchment if you want. Pipe a single blob rather than a spiral shape.
Smack the baking sheets on the counter to pop the air bubbles once the shells are piped. Make sure to give a good whack to the pan. Allow it to dry at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour.
For around 20 minutes, bake at 315F or until the shells are hard. It is necessary to check the shells when baking time is about to end.
FOR MEYER LEMON SWISS MERINGUE BUTTER CREAM:
Mix sugar, salt, cream of tartar and egg whites in a double boiler. Until the mixture gets too hot to touch comfortably, beat using a hand held mixture which will take around 5 minutes. Once done, remove and transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk and beat until you get stiff peaks. Add butter, few pieces at a time, beating the mixture constantly. Finally, beat in lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
For using food coloring with Macarons:
Powdered is best but if you use a gel food coloring then add it to 30 grams of granulated sugar and mix them together until the sugar is evenly coated. Spread out the sugar on a thin layer of foil. Turn on the oven on a low heat at 200F and one the temperature is achieved, turn off the oven. Keep the colored sugars in the oven keeping the door open! Within few minutes, the sugar will dry. Once this happens, break it up in small granules using a back of your spoon. Make sure to color the sugar intensely than you want the Macaron shells as the color will get light once the rest of the ingredients will be added.
Here ends our trending list of delicious and mouth watering Macarons recipe. Try them out and impress your guests with your baking skills.
Do not forget to add your own recipes and mix with the ones mentioned here to create some new flavor because there are endless possibilities when it comes to baking and cooking. Play with the ingredients and get something worth the Christmas celebrations.
Wishing one and all a PROSPEROUS MERRY CHRISTMAS!