If you're ready to deck the halls with an elegant & delectable treat, you need to give my Eggnog Macarons a try! Featuring a crisp-meets-chewy consistency and a sumptuous eggnog buttercream filling, these naturally gluten-free Christmas macarons are brimming with holiday cheer.
Get ready to sprinkle a little magic into your holiday dessert spread with a treat that's as delightful to behold as it is delectable to devour. With a graceful elegance that's sure to impress at any festive gathering, these macarons wear their holiday spirit with a twinkle that rivals the lights on your tree. 🎄✨
Not only do these delicate darlings look like they’ve been plucked straight from the window display of a chic Parisian patisserie, but they're also naturally gluten-free, making them a dreamy dessert everyone can enjoy. How's that for a Christmas miracle?
But it's the flavor that really makes these egg nog macarons worthy of creating a new holiday tradition. Take a bite, and you're greeted with a heavenly consistency that's oh-so-satisfying. They have a lightly crunchy exterior, yet are wonderfully tender within.
And then, there's the pièce de résistance: a luscious, rich, and creamy eggnog buttercream that fills each macaron with a burst of holiday joy. It's like sipping on your favorite festive drink, but in a scrumptious, bite-sized treat. 🥛🍪
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Christmas Macarons Recipe
In the magical world of holiday treats, these eggnog french macarons stand out like twinkling lights on a festive tree. Here's why these macarons are about to become your new holiday obsession:
- Deliciously Spiced: These Christmas-flavored macarons feature a symphony of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of cloves dancing merrily on your palate, creating a delectable melody that instantly evokes memories of cozy holiday gatherings.
- Allergy-Friendly: I believe that the spirit of the holiday season should be inclusive, and that's exactly what these treats bring to the table! Crafted with love and consideration, these macarons are naturally gluten-free. You can also tailor them to be dairy-free and/or almond-free, ensuring that everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions, can indulge in the joy of the season.
- Customizable: Unleash your inner pastry chef and let your creativity flow! These merry macarons are your canvas. Try different festive-colored shells, sprinkle them with edible glitter, or even experiment with varied filling flavors—the possibilities are as boundless as your imagination.
Shockingly, you only need a handful of ingredients to make these Christmas flavor macarons. Here’s what to grab:
- Granulated Sugar - Between the neutral pH and neutral sweet flavor, plain white sugar is perfect for making macaron shells.
- Egg Whites - Keep in mind that eggs are easier to separate while they’re cold (the yolks are less likely to break), but you’ll want the whites to come to room temp before making the batter.
- Almond Flour - To get the classic, shiny tops, make sure you’re reaching for fine almond flour made from blanched nuts rather than coarse almond meal.
- Confectioner’s Sugar - Also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, this ingredient is crucial in creating a stable meringue for the macaron base and for creating a velvety smooth buttercream filling.
- Ground Cinnamon & Nutmeg - These warming spices add classic eggnog flavor to the macaron shells. If possible, grate fresh nutmeg for the most potent flavor.
- Eggnog Buttercream - For the rich and creamy Christmas-flavored filling, you’ll also need:
- Unsalted Butter - If possible, reach for European-style, organic, grass-fed butter for the richest mouthfeel.
- Eggnog - You can use either homemade or store-bought. Southern-style boiled custard will also work!
- Rum - For an extra punch of holiday cheer. Feel free to swap in a teaspoon of rum extract or use non-alcoholic rum if needed.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - While I love the little black flecks of vanilla beans throughout the buttercream, you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract instead.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
While I love this recipe for eggnog-flavored macarons just the way it is written, you’re welcome to tailor it to your specific needs. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Alcohol-Free - Feel free to omit the rum, use non-alcoholic rum, or use about a teaspoon of rum extract instead.
- Add Christmas Colors - Add a few drops of gel food coloring to the batter and/or buttercream, brush on red & green designs, and/or use the sanding sugar, Christmas sprinkles, or non-pareils of your choice to make them extra festive.
- Dairy-Free Eggnog Macarons: Substitute store-bought eggnog with a dairy-free version and replace regular white chocolate in the ganache with a dairy-free alternative. Follow the standard French macaron method using your electric mixer for soft peaks and the macaronage process for the perfect batter consistency.
- Nut-Free Eggnog Macarons: Use pumpkin seed or sunflower seed flour instead of ground almonds to create a nut-free macaron base. Continue with the usual Italian method, whisking egg whites to glossy peaks and folding in the sifted dry ingredients for your holiday macarons.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
📖 How to Make Eggnog Macarons: Step-by-Step Instructions
I’m not going to lie here - this is a moderately difficult and somewhat lengthy recipe. Don’t lose faith, though! Simply follow along with the steps below and you’ll end up with a gorgeous plate of adorable birthday cake macarons.
Also, please note: each step can be completed on a separate day (or even a separate week!). Macaron shells will each last for up to a month in the freezer.
Step 1: Make Macaron Shells
- As with many baking recipes, you’ll have both wet and dry ingredients to work with. Don’t try to rush or combine any of these steps.
- First, prep your materials. Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your pastry bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tip for piping.
Prepare Egg Whites and Dry Ingredients
- French Method Meringue: Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking on medium speed with a whisk attachment. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes until glossy peaks form.
- While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar, spices and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks. Add desired gel food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate.
- Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your French meringue - the trick is to fold it well enough without overmixing.
- To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Your mixing is done when the batter flows off your rubber spatula rather slowly and smoothly.
- You should see the batter that has dripped back into the bowl rest on top for a moment before slowly sinking back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over-mixed (which makes it impossible to work with), so be careful not to overmix!
Pipe and Rest
- Pour your macaron batter into the prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper.
- Tap your cookie sheet or baking trays firmly on a flat surface to remove air bubbles and ensure a smooth top. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells.
- Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes - this is non-negotiable. You want to feel that the skin forms on the surface of the macarons; once the top of the shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
- Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- When you gently touch the upper shell and it barely moves, and the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper, the macarons are done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
Make Ahead Tip: French Macaron shells that have been baked and fully cooled can be placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to a month with no discernible change in quality! Simply allow them to defrost for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before filling and eating.
Step 2: Make White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream butter: In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth with the paddle attachment.
Add sugar: Add approximately half of the powdered sugar and beat again. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the powdered sugar. Continue beating for a few minutes, scraping the sides as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add white chocolate: Finally, add the melted chocolate and vanilla - continue beating until the frosting is thick and fluffy. Fold in sprinkles until they are evenly distributed.
Make-Ahead Tip: This white chocolate cream cheese frosting can be made and refrigerated for up to a week in advance, or frozen for up to a month. Allow to come to room temperature before using for easy piping.
Step 3: Assembly
Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell’s matching half and pipe approximately two teaspoons of buttercream to the bottom shell before adding a macaron shell on top.
Technically speaking, the filled macarons will taste the best after being allowed to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Macarons should remain refrigerated until ready to eat, and should be consumed within three days of filling.
👩🏻🍳 Expert baking tips
Embarking on the journey of macaron-making is as thrilling as a sleigh ride through a winter wonderland! But, just like any journey, a few tips from seasoned travelers (or bakers, in this case) can make all the difference. Here's the insider scoop to ensure your macarons are as enchanting as the season:
- Sift, Then Sift Again: Achieving that ultra-smooth, shiny macaron shell is all about the sifting. Ensure you sift your almond flour and powdered sugar together at least twice. This not only guarantees a lump-free mixture but also the silkiest finish.
- Age Your Egg Whites: Use egg whites that have been separated and left in the fridge for 24-48 hours, then let them come to room temp. Aged egg whites whip up firmer and give the macaron batter more stability.
- Macaronage Matters: This fancy term simply refers to the process of folding the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites. It’s crucial! Mix until the batter flows like 'lava'. It should be smooth, but not too runny. Under-mixing leads to peaked macarons, while over-mixing can make them spread out too much.
- Be Nice & Rest Twice: After piping your macarons onto the baking sheet, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour, or until they form a skin. This helps them develop their iconic 'feet' when baking. Then, once baked and filled, let your macarons sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. This allows the flavors to meld, and gives the macarons their signature chewy inside and crisp outside.
- Consistent Oven Temperature: Macarons can be a tad finicky when it comes to baking. Use an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is at the right temperature. And remember, it’s always better to bake them a tad longer at a lower temperature than risk over-browning.
- Customize with Caution: While I adore creativity, remember that macarons are sensitive to added moisture. If you’re using liquid flavorings or colorings, always use them sparingly.
For even MORE tips, check out my master post on how to craft the perfect macarons!
💭 Recipe FAQs
Why are macarons so expensive?
First and foremost, those beauties are made with some pretty fancy ingredients. Almond flour, which is their mainstay, is a bit on the pricier side. And then, when you add in other gourmet goodies like real vanilla beans or specialty chocolates—cha-ching!
But it's not just about the ingredients. Making macarons is not like whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. The process is intricate, almost like a dance. There's the careful folding of the batter, ensuring it has that just-right "lava" flow, and don't get me started on achieving those perfect little 'feet' at the bottom!
Plus, time is a factor. From letting the egg whites age to letting those little circles of joy sit and develop their flavors, it's a waiting game. And after all that, they're so delicate, which makes storage and transportation costs add up.
But, rather than reaching for bakery macarons, now you are armed with the knowledge to make them yourself. Not only is it a fun weekend baking project, but it’ll also save you lots of $$$.
Are macarons good for shipping?
In a nutshell: yes, they can be shipped, but they demand a bit of VIP treatment on their journey! Their fragile nature makes them prone to cracking, and they love to absorb moisture.
So, while it's totally possible to send these little gems to your Aunt Mabel across the country, you'd need to pack them as if you're sending a crystal vase. Think cushioning, maybe a little bubble wrap, and definitely an airtight container. And if it's a particularly warm season, some cooling packs might be in order.
But there are plenty of bakeries and businesses that have mastered the art of shipping macarons, ensuring they arrive as perfect as they left the oven. If you're keen on diving into the macaron mailing game, a little research and maybe some trial runs could be fun!
How should I store them?
Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day.
Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
More Delicious Macaron Recipes You’ll Love
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- 76 g (⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon ) Granulated Sugar
- 90 ml (About 3 egg whites) Room Temperature Egg Whites
- 80 g (¾ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Almond Flour, Blanched
- 150 g (1 ¼ Cup ) Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Gel Food Coloring , optional
- 60 g (¼ cup) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Rum
- 3 Tablespoons Eggnog
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, or vanilla extract
- 180 g (1.5 cups) Powdered Sugar
- Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your piping bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tips for piping.
- Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking on medium speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes.76 g Granulated Sugar, 90 ml Room Temperature Egg Whites
- While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar, nutmeg, ground cinnamon and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.80 g Almond Flour, 150 g Powdered Sugar, 1 teaspoon Nutmeg, 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks - add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate,Gel Food Coloring
- Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your french meringue and folding these ingredients enough to allow for the perfect desired consistency. To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Press mixture on the side of your bowl until the mixture of the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly. You should see that the batter will drip off the spatula back into the bowl, and rest on top for a moment. Then, the batter from your spatula will slowly sink back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over mixed leading to it being impossible to work with, so be careful not to overmix!
- Pour your macaron batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper. In order to get rid of any air bubbles within your piped shells and to even out your tops, tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells. If you would like to add a few sprinkles to the top of your macaron shells now is the time to do so before the shells dry!
- Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes. Once the top of your shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
- Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- You will know that your macarons are ready to remove from the oven when you gently touch the upper shell, and it barely moves, while the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper. Remove from the oven to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until very pale and fluffy.60 g Unsalted Butter
- Add in 3 Tablespoons of eggnog, rum, and vanilla then mix in powdered sugar. Add additional tablespoons of eggnog to reach the desired consistency!1 Tablespoon Rum, 3 Tablespoons Eggnog, 180 g Powdered Sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
- Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell's matching half and pipe the eggnog buttercream into the middle. Finally, top with the matching half and enjoy!
- Mise en place - Macarons are time-sensitive! Prepare your mise en place (meaning to set up your working space in preparation for an activity) before you get started so your ingredients and equipment are ready to go.
- Use a piping template - A foolproof way of making perfect macaron shells every time is to trace identical 1-inch diameter circles onto the parchment paper to use as your piping template.
- Use an oven thermometer - Baking the shells at the right temperature is important, so I highly recommend using an oven thermometer.
- Weigh the ingredients - While macarons only use 4 ingredients, if one isn’t measured correctly, your odds of macaron success are considerably lower. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale so everything is precise!
- Storing your macarons - Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
- Practice makes perfect - It’s no secret that making macarons can be tricky. Just keep practicing and experimenting with different macaron flavors, and you’ll be a pro in no time!