Hello friends, today I am going to share with you the recipe for these festive Santa Claus Macarons. They are filled with a Sugar Cookie Buttercream. The royal icing on top is easy to make and gives the macarons that Santa Claus look.
These Santa Claus Macarons are the perfect Christmas macarons. They are beautiful, vibrant, the decoration on top is easy to make.
I rolled the sides of the macarons in shredded coconut to add to the decor.
The belt and buckle are made out of royal icing.
I actually tried a few different ways to make the buckle.
On my first try, I actually made the buckled out of macaron batter. I piped the red batter, let it dry completely, and then piped the buckle.
My second try, I piped the buckle right after piping the red batter, which made the two batters fuse together and the shell was smooth, without the elevation of the buckle layer.
On the third try, I decided to give royal icing a go, and it was my favorite results by far. I also asked my family and my friend that was over and they agreed.
Royal icing is actually super easy to make. And you can test the consistency before piping on the macaron, and add more water or more sugar to make it thinner, or thicker.
I do recommend the royal icing instead of using the macaron batter for this technique.
Also, you can roll the sides of the macarons in shredded coconut, I felt like that was a special touch that makes me think about snow, and winter, which really translate the classic Christmas spirit.
How to obtain a vibrant red color on macaron shells?
To obtain a vibrant red color on macaron shells, you will have to, simply put, use a lot of food coloring.
A lot of people ask me how to obtain vibrant colors, or why the color of their shells is fading when they bake them. And the answer to that is what I said above: add more.
For the red shells, for example, you can use red powder food coloring, and also the gel food coloring. By adding the red powder food coloring, you’ll be able to give the batter a strong base, and then just add gel until the color is the way you like it.
Always remember, the earlier you add the powder food coloring, the better.
Maybe you can pull this color off by simply using powder food coloring. And that’s great, but often times I find it very hard to gauge what the final color will be like using the powder, because the powder color takes a while to fully develop.
For the macarons in this post, I actually didn’t have any red powder, so I used only gel. I used a lot of it, about 1 tablespoon.
Adding a lot of gel food coloring means you will have to rest the batter until it’s super dry before baking, or the macarons are going to end up lopsided or cracked.
I had to dry these macarons for about 2 hours before baking them. And while I do live in a humid climate, I did have my dehumidifier on, and the day wasn’t really that humid, it was about 50%.
These delicious Santa Claus Macarons are filled with a Sugar Cookie Buttercream that tastes just like sugar cookie dough.
I used golden sugar in the buttercream, which is sort of in between brown and granulated, as far as the molasses go. It has a deep nutty taste, and I believe it complimented the filling very nicely. Feel free to use brown, or granulated sugar instead (or half of each).
The Sugar Cookie Buttercream will make these macarons taste like Christmas morning!
If you like these Santa Claus Macarons, here are some more posts you might enjoy about Christmas Macarons:
- Gingerbread Men Macarons
- Reindeer Macarons
- Hot Chocolate Macarons
- Peppermint Bark Macarons
- Penguin Macarons
- Holiday Macaron Box
- Christmas Macaron Box
Santa Claus Macarons
- 100 grams Domino® Golden Sugar
- 4 grams egg white powder optional, read notes
- 100 grams egg whites
- 105 grams almond flour
- 105 grams Domino® Powdered Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Domino® Powdered Sugar 187 grams
- 1 tbsp meringue powder
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 drops black gel food coloring
- 1 drop yellow gel food coloring
Sugar Cookie Buttercream
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 63 grams
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter 113 grams
- 1/4 cup Domino® Golden Sugar 50 grams
- 1 1/4 cup Domino® Powdered Sugar 156 grams
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut shredded (50 grams)
- Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping pastry bag, fitted with a large round tip, I use a 1/4” diameter tip. Set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. I use a baking mat with the macaron template already in it. Measure out all of the ingredients. Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together. Set it aside.
- Start pre-heating the oven. I pre-heat my large oven to 300ºF for 60 to 90 minutes, this helps with temperature fluctuations. Oven temperature will vary a lot depending on your oven, it’s good to experiment with different temperatures to find out what’s the best for you. If you are using a convection oven, lower the temperature to 270ºF and experiment from there, raising or lowering the temperature as needed.
- Place a bowl over a pan with barely simmering water. Add the granulated sugar and egg white powder to the bowl if using. If you’re not using egg white powder simply skip it, nothing needs to be changed in the recipe.
- Whisk the sugar and egg white powder so it doesn’t clump up.
- Add the egg whites to the bowl and whisk until the sugar is completely melted. It will take a couple of minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking the mixture over the water bath.
- Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water because you don’t want the whites to cook.
- Also, don’t overheat the sugar syrup, you are just looking to melt the sugar, no need to bring it to a certain temperature. Transfer the syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Immediately start whipping the meringue on low for about 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium. Whisk on medium-low speed for another two minutes. Raise to medium-high and finish whipping the meringue until it achieves stiff peaks. It takes me about 13 to 15 minutes to whip the meringue, but you shouldn’t go by time, go by what the meringue is supposed to look like because a lot of things can affect whipping time, such as the quality of the eggs, the weather, how powerful your mixer is, and more.
- Once the meringue gets glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, and the meringue raising in the center of the whisk, it might be time to stop.
- You don’t want to over whip the meringue at this point because that can cause several issues, mainly hollow macarons.
- Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull the whip up, the peak should be stiff and shooting straight up, with possibly a slight bend at the top, but not bending to the side.
- Also when you swirl the whisk around in the bowl to collect the meringue, you should feel some resistance from the meringue. And when you look on the bottom of the whisk the meringue collected should be forming soft but defined waves.
- Pour the sifted powdered sugar and almond flour into the stiff meringue.
- Add the food coloring at this point, if using. I am using about 1 tbsp of red gel food coloring
- Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
- Once the dry ingredients have incorporated with the meringue, you can start squeezing the air out of the batter by pressing it down along the sides of the bowl as you fold.
- It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. First, pick up some batter with the spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
- The batter that’s falling back into the bowl should take 10 to 15 seconds to incorporate with the batter that’s already in the bowl.
- When you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly the batter is ready. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
- Transfer the batter to the piping bag. I also like to seal the top with a bag tie, so the batter doesn’t dry out and it gives you more control while piping because there’s no risk of the batter escaping through the top of the piping bag.
- Place the piping bag directly 90 degrees over the center of each macaron template. Apply gentle pressure and carefully pipe for about 3 to 5 seconds, and then quickly pull the bag up twisting slightly at the top.
- Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter or against the palm of your hand a few times each.
- Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the surface of the shells.
- Regardless if you are used to baking macarons without resting, these shells must rest because of the large amount of food coloring added to obtain the deep red color. Let them rest for as long as it takes to make them completely dry and not super soft to the touch. They must form a thick skin before you bake them, or they are likely to crack in the oven. When you touch the surface of a macaron and feels dry and somewhat firm to the touch, you can bake.
- Bake one tray at a time.
- I bake each tray for about 15 to 20 minutes. Baking time will vary greatly depending on your oven type or the temperature you are using. Depending on the oven, baking time can take as little as 13 minutes, or as long as 30.
- When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. If you try to move a macaron, it shouldn’t feel jiggly. If the macaron is still jiggly, keep baking. Also try to touch the top of a macaron and it shouldn’t feel soft, if it’s still soft, keep baking.
- Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
- Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling and decorating.
- Place the powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Add the meringue powder and start mixing on low. Gradually add the water with the mixer on. Once the ingredients incorporate, raise the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes, until glossy and fluffy.
- The icing should have a flowy consistency, it doesn’t necessarily have to be runny, but should be thick like sweetened condensed milk. If it’s too stiff, add more water to the icing, and if the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar to it, to make it thicker.
- This makes a small batch so make sure your whisk can reach the bottom of the bowl to whip the icing properly, or it may not work out.
- Divide the icing between two bowls. Color one black, and the other yellow. You will need a bit less of the yellow than you will need black, but you will have plenty of both. Place the black icing in a piping bag fitted with a size 3 tip, and place the yellow icing in a piping bag fitted with a size 2 tip. Don’t leave the icing uncovered because it will dry and form a crust. Keep the icing covered at all times.
Decorate the shells
- To decorate the shells, pipe a line of black royal icing right in the middle of the shell, to make Santa’s belt.
- Let the black icing dry for a few minutes, if you place it in the fridge, it dries super fast.
- Then draw the buckle of Santa’s belt using the yellow icing, and drawing a square in the middle of the belt. You only have to do this on about half of the shells, because the other half will be the bottom shells.
Sugar Cookie Buttercream
- Start by heat treating the flour. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the flour on top of a parchment or silicone lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes, stirring the flour in between. Once the flour feels hot, remove from the oven and let it cool down before using in the frosting. This will make the flour safe to eat in the frosting.
- Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a mixer. Beat the mixture for about 4-5 minutes, to get it as creamy and smooth as possible. Add the flour, vanilla, almond extract and mix on low to incorporate. If needed add the extra milk or heavy cream. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar.
Fill the Shells
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe the buttercream on a bottom shell, and top with a decorated shell. Roll the sides of the macaron in the shredded coconut.
- These macarons freeze super well for up to 1-2 months in the freezer. They keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.