Welcome to The White Whisk! The holiday season is upon us, and today I’m excited to share a tutorial for these festive textured Christmas Tree Macarons! I did a similar series back in the fall for textured pumpkins and was blown away by how many bakers were excited about the designs. It was then I knew I definitely had to do a Christmas version!
So here we are today. I’ve shared these Christmas tree designs on Instagram and cumulatively, they’ve received over 2 million views! These designs add so much detail and dimension to a macaron, but honestly, they’re surprisingly easy once you know the tips to make the process go smoothly. So let’s get started.
All of these macaron designs require the no macaronage method. Nicole of Bake Toujours was the first baker I saw experiment with this fun method and it’s been a blast experimenting with different ways to implement it!
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If you need a macaron recipe to get started or just want to brush up on the process, head over to my Basic French Macaron recipe! BUT REMEMBER THIS IMPORTANT TIP…the key difference in these textured tree macarons is that you do NOT continue folding until the batter is flowing. You ONLY fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until they are just combined.
The result of skipping the macaronage is a batter that is much stiffer and retains it’s shape! It also tends to require more rest time (and maybe a pinch extra bake time) if you are piping designs with more crevices. If you want to balance your macaron texture out to have more of the traditional macaron bite, you can fully macaronage half of the batter and pipe the back shell in the traditional consistency.
To create these shades of green in my batter, I used a combination of Americolor Leaf Green, along with Wilton Brown and yellow. I’ll throw the links below!
When it came to piping, I chose not to use a tree specific template and just based my starting/ending points on the circles. If you feel that a template would be best for you, I’ve seen some on Etsy that would work great like this Christmas Tree Macaron Template from Macs By Christina!
Let’s get rolling with the designs. Once you have your macaron batter prepped, colored, and bagged, here are some options for shapes you can create!
1. Wilton #104 Christmas Tree Macarons
This design was responsible for the majority of those 2 million views! I decorated these with Sweet Tooth Fairy Gold Non Pareils available at Michaels.
2 & 3. Wilton #21 Christmas Tree Macarons
Important note, I do NOT recommend putting larger pearl sprinkles on before baking. I decided to be risky and give it a go even though I’ve had issues in the past, and unfortunately they did melt a little bit as you can see in the video! Save the big boy sprinkles for decorating after those macs have baked and cooled.
4. Wilton #10 Christmas Tree Macarons
Thanks for stopping by to check out these tutorials! Tag me on Instagram if you give any of them a try. I love to see how people put their own spin on these designs!
Textured Macaron Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to tap my trays to knock out air bubbles?
No, you do not want to tap your trays! You want your batter to hold it’s shape and tapping the trays will cause the texture details to settle.
What is the difference in the method for these compared to regular macarons?
The biggest differences are that you ONLY fold the dry ingredients into your meringue until there are no streaks of them remaining. You do NOT continue folding as you would with traditional macarons. This is what helps the batter hold it’s shape for piping! The other main difference is that you need to rest longer to dry out the surface. You also don’t tap your trays like you usually would!
Macaronage is important to the macaron process.
How does skipping it affect the texture for eating?
How does skipping it affect the texture for eating?
The texture of a no macaronage macaron is a bit different from the traditional method. I’ve found that the outer layer feels a bit more crisp, and they do turn out a bit less “full” on the interior. The interior is usually about half full for me when I use the no macaronage method. (Honestly it’s surprising that it’s not completely hollow!) Something you can do to add a bit more of the traditional macaron texture is to add a shell piped with fully macaronaged batter in the same shape to pair with the textured no macaronage shell.
Do I need to change the oven temperature or bake time?
You can use the same temperature you normally use! I use 295 F. I do find that baking them an extra minute or so is needed sometimes. Do the wiggle test detailed out in the recipe to make sure they’re done!
These are taking SO long to rest and form a dry layer in the cracks! How can I speed it up?
Use a fan to speed up the drying process! Rotate trays to ensure even drying. If there are any stubborn crevices on the tops that are taking extra long, you can prop up one side of the tray with a kitchen towel or oven mitt to angle the tray so the tops of the shells receive more direct air flow from the fan! (Just be sure they’re secure so they don’t go sliding off the counter)
My textured macarons cracked or didn’t form feet. What happened?
I’ve found that increasing the rest/dry time is usually the solution to this problem. Every time I’ve been impatient and put my trays in early, I’ve regretted it and ended up with cracked or wonky shells. Patience is key!
My batter wasn’t stiff enough to hold it’s shape. What should I try next time?
Try folding a bit less. The key is to only fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until there are no dry streaks remaining.
How To Make Textured Christmas Tree Macarons
- 130 grams egg whites
- 120 grams granulated sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 200 grams confectioners sugar
- 200 grams almond flour
Textured Macaron Batter
- Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone mat (circle template optional but recommended). If using a tree template, place underneath the silicone mat.
- Place egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar into a large mixing bowl, and begin beating with a whisk attachment using either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer for 2 minutes on a medium low speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 4).
- Turn up the mixer to a medium speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 6) and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add desired gel food coloring.
- Turn mixer up to medium high speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 8) and beat for 3 more minutes, or until peaks are very stiff and the meringue clumps up in a ball in the center of the whisk. Test stiffness by removing whisk and pointing it upward. (See photos in Basic French Macarons post for reference) Once the peaks can hold their shape flipped upright, your meringue is ready.
- Pour half of the dry ingredients into the meringue, and fold in 15 times by scraping a silicone spatula all the way around the edges of the bowl and then pressing a line through the center to knock out a bit of air. Be sure to scrape along the bottom every few folds as well.
- Pour in remaining dry ingredients, and ONLY FOLD until you no longer see dry ingredient streaks. Do not continue folding as you would with traditional macarons. The batter will be stiff and should hold its shape.
- Fit a large piping bag with desired piping tip (see designs above for tip # reference) and coupler. Twist the bag right behind the tip and add a clip to seal off the opening. Place the bag tip down into either a clean tall cup with the edges folded over the rim to keep the bag open, or clip it into a bag holder.
- Pour batter into prepared piping bag, and twist the opening off. Hold your bag at the twist between your thumb and pointer finger. Remove the clip.
- Pipe trees using the videos above for reference. For textured macarons, do NOT tap your trays to knock out air bubbles.
- If a more traditional macaron texture is desired, use half of your batter to pipe one tray of textured trees, and then fully macaronage the remaining batter and pipe trees in the same shape to pair with your textured batter ones using a small round tip like a Wilton #10. See details in the next step.
- If continuing to fold half the batter, start checking your batter’s readiness every 5 folds or so at this point by scraping all batter down to the bottom of your bowl, and then wiggling your bowl back and forth several times. If the batter levels out with just a few subtle few peaks and lines remaining, it should be ready. Do not overfold. (My recipe remains a bit thicker than most even when making traditional non textured macarons)
- Once you’ve piped a full tray of traditional macaronage shells, firmly bang the tray on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles and smooth out shells. Pop any remaining large bubbles with a toothpick or scribe tool. Repeat with the second tray.
- Begin preheating oven to 295 °F
- Rest both trays of macarons until they form a dry outer layer of skin and are no longer tacky to the touch. (The textured macarons will take substantially longer and it is crucial to allow them to dry long enough where every crack and crevice is no longer shiny and is dry to the touch to avoid the shells cracking or not forming feet in the oven.)
- Speed up the drying process by using a gentle fan to blow air on your macarons. Rotate trays every 5 minutes or so to ensure even drying. For traditional macarons, this process usually takes 16-20 minutes total for me. For textured macarons it can take over an hour even using a fan. Patience is key!Tip: Prop up one side of your tray with a kitchen towel or oven mitt so the fan can blow more directly on top of the textured shells. Make sure tray is secure so it won't slide off the counter.
- Use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate temperatures. Once oven is preheated to 295 and shells have formed the dry outer layer, bake one tray at a time (starting with your traditional macarons if using) on the center rack for 18 minutes.
- Quickly open door to check the shell’s doneness by gently pressing on the side just above the feet to see if it’s firm. If it moves at all, bake for another 2 minutes.
- Check shells by performing the same test, pressing on the side. If they are still unstable, bake for one more minute, and check again. Repeat until shells are firm and do not budge, then remove from oven. Make sure oven is still at the correct temperature and then bake your second tray. The textured shells may need an extra minute or two in the oven.
- Allow shells to cool completely, and the carefully remove from silicone mat by lifting the mat and peeling it from the back of the shells.
- Match up each shell with a partner shell of equal size. (If using both textured and non textured, make sure to match each textured shell with a similarly sized non textured shell.)
- Pipe your choice of filling in the center, and sandwich the partner shell on top.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to allow the macarons to “mature” and fully develop their flavor and texture. Textured macarons can sometimes take an extra day to mature. Eat within 3-4 days. Enjoy!
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