Christmas Macaron Tower
For the holidays, I turn my famous wedding macaron tower into an edible Christmas tree. Green-colored macaron shells are filled with a creamy gingerbread buttercream. For extra glitter, I sprinkle edible gold dust on top of the shells and wrap ribbon or small lights around the tree. The final touch? A gold star to adorn the top of the tower.
Though your guests will be wowed by the presentation, just wait until they dive into those delicious macaron jewels!
48 shells (2 dozen macarons)
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 1½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 large, aged egg whites, room temperature
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- Gel food coloring of your choice
- Edible gold dust (optional)
For Gingerbread Buttercream Filling (5 dozen macarons):
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3½ cups (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup heavy cream, (more as needed)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Draw 48 one-inch circles on parchment paper. Lay paper on baking pan with circles face down.
Place almond flour and sugar in a food processor. Process to a fine powder. Sift the mixture twice through a fine mesh sieve.
Using a stand mixer, whip eggs until soft peaks form. On medium, gradually add sugar. Add vanilla and food coloring. Beat on high speed until whites form stiff peaks, about 1 minute.
Using a silicone spatula, fold half the dry ingredients into the egg whites. When the first batch is incorporated, add the remaining mixture.
Press and spread out the batter against the side of the bowl. Repeat 10 to 15 times. The batter should form ribbons when lifted with a spatula.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch round tip, pipe batter into the center of the traced circles. The batter spreads so don’t pipe to the circle edge. Firmly tap pan on countertop to remove air bubbles.
Let macaron shells dry out at room temperature for 30 minutes. A slight crust should form. If the batter sticks to your finger upon touch, dry longer.
Nest macaron pan onto another sheet pan. Doubling the pans helps prevent the macarons from over-browning on the bottoms. Bake in the middle and bottom racks of the oven for 14 to 16 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cool 1 minute. Carefully move the parchment with the macarons to your countertop. Allow to cool completely. Unfilled macaron shells can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days. The shells also can be frozen for up to 4 months.
Gingerbread Buttercream Filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on low for 1 minute. Add vanilla, salt, molasses and spices. Beat an additional 2 minutes.
Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Pour in cream and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl side until frosting is smooth.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe a circle of buttercream on the flat side of half of the shells. Top with another shell and press lightly. Sprinkle gold dust on top.
Build your Christmas Macaron Tower by placing 5 dozen macarons on a 4-tier stand, 8 dozen on a 6-tier stand, 20 dozen on a 10-tier stand. Festoon with gold ribbon, battery-operated lights, gold-colored candies, and a gold star for the tree top.