Looking for the perfect holiday dessert? Try this festive macaron wreath! We have included our recipes for Italian method macarons and an easy and delicious vanilla bean buttercream. We also have included all the tools and supplies you will need to successfully make the beloved macaron. If you don’t have these tools don’t worry you can find them all here at Browns Kitchen!
Macarons (Italian Method)
Yield: 70 macarons (1.5 inch circles)
- 372 grams confectioners sugar (13 oz.)
- 372 grams super fine almond flour (13 oz.)
- 160 grams aged, egg whites (5 1⁄2 oz.) equal to 5-6 eggs
- 370 grams granulated sugar (13 oz.)
- 100 grams water (3 1⁄2 oz.)
- 125 grams fresh egg whites (4 1⁄2 oz.) equal to 4-5 eggs
- Separate 5-6 eggs and place 160 grams of egg whites in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours before use. (This is how you age egg whites)
- After 24 hours in the fridge, set out the aged egg whites so that they come to room temperature before use. Preheat the oven (preferably convection) to 300 degrees.
- Using a scale, measure out the almond flour and confectioners sugar and put in a food processor. Blend the two ingredients until mixed together. Sift the blended dry ingredients into a mixing bowl to ensure there are no clumps. Discard any large bits that do not sift through.
- Pour the room temperature, aged egg whites in the bowl with the blended dry ingredients. Mix the whites into the dry ingredients using a spatula. Mix until you get a smooth paste. Set aside. If you are going to color the macarons, add gel food coloring to the paste mixture at this point.
- In a saucepan, measure out the granulated sugar and water. Gently stir the water and sugar together until combined. Be careful not to splash the sides of the pan. If you do, make sure to wipe the sides so that the sugar does not crystalize.
- Place the saucepan on medium-high heat. Make sure to have a candy thermometer nearby.
- While the sugar water mixture heats up, measure out your 125 grams of fresh egg whites into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer).
- Once the sugar water mixture reaches 220 degrees turn on the stand mixer and whip the egg whites at full speed. Whip the egg whites until they are white and fluffy and no longer yellow in color.
- Once the sugar water mixture reaches 244 degrees, remove it from the heat and while the stand mixer is on full speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites. Make sure not to let he hot sugar syrup hit the whisk as it will cause the sugar to crystalize around the sides of the bowl. If you are using a hand mixer make sure to have a helper available who can pour the hot syrup mixture while you operate the hand mixer and keep your bowl in place.
- Once all of the hot syrup is in the egg whites, continue to mix the meringue on full speed until the mixing bowl is no longer hot to touch but warm. The meringue is ready when it is shiny and forms stiff peaks.
- Once the meringue is ready, take half of it and begin folding it into the paste you made earlier. Make sure to fold in the meringue slowly using a spatula.
- Once the first half is blended in, add the remaining meringue and fold it into the mixture until the batter is shiny and falls like ribbons from the spatula. At this point the macaron batter is ready to pipe. Place an 804 Ateco piping tip into a piping bag and fill the bag with some of the macaron batter.
- Place a non-stick, silicone mat or a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and begin piping small circles of batter at least one inch apart from one another.
- Once you have all the batter piped onto the baking sheet, pick up the tray and firmly tap it on the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter. (Do not skip this step)
- Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles that remain after tapping your tray.
- Now set aside the piped macarons and let them dry out for 15-30 minutes depending on the humidity of your location. The macarons are dried enough if you can gently run your finger over the top of them and not pick up any batter on your finger.
- Once the macarons are dried, place them in the 300 degree oven and bake for 14-17 minutes depending on the size of the macarons. You will know if the macarons are fully baked if they easily peel off of the parchment or silicone mat.
- Once the macarons are cooled, pipe a filling of your choosing onto a macaron shell and top it with another shell to make a complete macaron cookie.
- Once the macarons are filled, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.
- Enjoy the macarons within 4-5 days.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
Yield: 2 quarts of icing (fills about 100-120 macarons)
- 454 grams unsalted butter, room temperature (4 sticks)
- 730 grams confectioners sugar
- 100 grams heavy cream
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Place softened butter in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or you can use a hand mixer
- Blend the butter on a low speed until light and smooth
- Add in the vanilla and half of the confectioners sugar, blend on low until combined
- Add in the rest of the sugar and blend on a low speed
- While blending on a low speed, add in the heavy cream and salt
- Once combined, turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure there are no lumps
- Turn the mixer back on and bump up to a medium speed and mix the icing until smooth and fluffy
Once your macarons are filled, it’s as easy as arranging them in a circle on your platter of choosing and glueing them down with some buttercream. Finish off the wreath with some fresh rosemary and cranberries and enjoy!