French macarons filled with vanilla bean buttercream and cranberry sauce – they are perfect for the holidays!
I love French macarons and the more flavors I can get the better! I wanted to make a holiday-inspired flavor for my company’s holiday bake off next week and so I came up with these. Not only are they pretty to look at, they are just delicious.
Filled with decadent vanilla buttercream and tangy cranberry sauce, this makes such a wonderful one-bite dessert.
I had some fresh cranberry sauce on hand which I used for the filling. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even use Jalapeño Orange Cranberry Sauce for a little spicy kick! You want the filling to be on the thicker side (otherwise the filled macarons would become a soggy mess), so if you are using leftover cranberry sauce, just simmer it in a saucepan on low to let thicken some more. Cranberry jelly would work well too.
I hope you get to whip up a batch and taste them soon!
Here is a free macaron template you can print out and slide under the parchment paper to use as a guide for piping the rounds.
Some more of my favorite kitchen tools for macaron making success:
- Finely ground almond meal
- Gel food coloring
- Disposable pastry bag
- Non-stick sheet pan
- Non-stick silicone baking mat
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla bean
- 3.2 oz egg whites, room temperature
- 2.8 oz granulated sugar, sifted
- 5.6 oz confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 3.2 oz almond meal, sifted
- ⅓ cup cranberry sauce or jelly
- Using a mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar until incorporated and fold in vanilla bean paste.
- Whisk egg whites until they begin to foam, about 1 minute. Slowly add in granulated sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Mixture should be thick and glossy; you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out.
- Add sifted confectioners’ sugar, almond meal, and food coloring to the mixture. Using a spatula, fold until it is well incorporated and has the consistency of molten lava. To test, scoop up a spoonful of batter and drop it back into the mixture; it should flatten and disappear into the batter in about 15 seconds or so. If it doesn’t, continue folding the mixture. It should take about 50-60 strokes for the batter to reach the right consistency.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with large round tip, and pipe small rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a template underneath. The rounds should be no larger than 2 inch in diameter with at least ½ inch of space between.
- Gently tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air, then let the macarons dry on the counter for about 30 minutes until a skin is formed on the surface (the batter shouldn’t stick to your hand when you touch it).
- Place the macarons in a 350F oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes until the shells harden. Let cool completely on the baking sheets.
- Match the macaron shells in pairs. Pipe buttercream on the flat side of a macaron shell and drop a spoonful of cranberry sauce in the center, then sandwich together with a matching macaron shell. Repeat with the remaining macarons.
*I leave the egg whites on the counter for three days, cover with plastic wrap, leaving some space for the moisture to escape.