Cranberry White Chocolate Macarons are delightful cookies made with a cranberry filling and white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. It's the perfect holiday cookie!
When the holidays arrive, the baking season is in full swing. It always seems as though I'm baking cookies nonstop by the dozens. And among my favorite cookies to bake are French macarons. These delicate meringue-based cookie sandwiches can be flavored in almost any way you can imagine. They can be filled with swiss meringue buttercream, lemon cream, butterscotch ganache, or anything else you desire.
For these macarons, I've flavored them with holiday favorites. They begin with a vanilla cookie and are filled with your favorite cranberry sauce and a piping of homemade white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. It's a cookie that you will love to serve this holiday season.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
1.5″ (3.5 cm) round cookie cutter
Parchment paper or macaron silicone baking mat
1 baking sheet pan
1 medium bowl
Stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment
1 silicone spatula
2 pastry bags
1 round pastry tip
Allow your egg whites to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
Almond flour absorbs the most amount of moisture compared to any nut flour. Therefore it is the nut four of choice for macarons. The dryer the almond flour, the more it will absorb the moisture from the batter. For an added step, You can let your almond flour air dry for a couple of days before making the macarons. Doing this will ensure the flour is dry and will absorb a greater amount of moisture. For macaron recipes, select almond flour made from skinned almonds. Additionally, the finer the flour, the more water it can absorb. If you have coarse almond flour, you can put it in a food processor with the powdered sugar and blend for 10 seconds.
Egg whites are an essential ingredient for making macarons. The protein holds together the air bubbles created during the mixing process to maintain the cookies’ structure. An additional step, but not a necessary step, is aging the egg whites before making macarons. Doing this allows some of the water to evaporate, resulting in stronger egg whites that can hold more air. For the aging process, store the egg whites in a loosely covered bowl on the counter overnight in a dry, cool room.
For the Swiss meringue buttercream, use a good quality white chocolate that has a higher percentage of cocoa butter, at least 25%. Avoid using chocolate chips or candy melts.
The Macaronage Stage
Macaronage is the stage at which the batter is mixed until it's smooth, shiny, and flowing. When you first begin this process, the almond sugar mixture is added to the stiff meringue and folded in, which will look rough but, with patience, transforms into the perfect consistency.
During this process, you will want to deflate some of the batter's air bubbles by using the spatula to scrape the batter against the bowl in a circular motion. Turn the bowl as you do this to ensure you spread the batter around the entire bowl.
The amount you fold your batter is dependant on many factors, including temperature, humidity, and force by which you fold.
Ideal consistency for macaron batter
During the hand mixing process, always test the consistency of the batter often to prevent overmixing. Once the batter flows like honey or has a lave-like consistency, it’s ready to pipe the mixture. You should be able to slowly trace a figure 8 with the batter without it breaking. At this point, stop mixing your batter.
What is the ideal macaron texture?
A French macaron should ideally have a delicate light texture. The exteriors will be crisp and airy, and the interior will be slightly chewy.
The macaron shells have hollow interiors. This issue results from over whipping the egg whites. It’s important to mix the meringue just until the white clings to the bowl and a small, stiff mass of meringue begins to clump in the middle of the mixer. Also, overbaking your macarons can cause hollow interiors. Check that your oven temperature is correct and take your macarons out of the oven sooner if necessary.
The macarons cracked in the oven. Not allowing enough time for the macaron shells to dry out before baking could cause them to crack in the oven. On more humid days, the drying process could take longer. If the macarons are piped too wide, this could also cause them to crack in the oven. To prevent this second issue, make sure to pipe macarons no larger than 3.5 cm (1.5″).
The macaron feet are too tall. Macaron feet that rise quickly and become tall can happen from an oven temperature that is too hot or overwhipping the meringue. It is better to bake macarons at a lower temperature for a longer period than a higher temperature for a shorter period. Also, careful not to overwhip the egg whites. Stop whipping them once you achieve stiff peaks.
You can use your favorite store-bought cranberry sauce or make your own for the center filling of these macarons.
To make your own, bring one 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, 220 g (1 cup sugar), and 60 g (1/4 cup) water to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes until the cranberries are bursty and are a syrupy mixture. Allow the berries to cool and then place them into a food processor and blend until smooth. You will have leftover cranberry filling to enjoy.
Tips and takeaways
- Do not skip the step of sifting together the almond flour with the powdered sugar. Any large clumps will be visible on the surface of your macarons. It's best to sift the ingredients together twice. As an extra step, place the mixture into a food processor and pulse together a few times.
- Careful not to include any yolk into your egg whites (or any grease for that matter in your bowl). Any oil will prevent your egg whites from turning into a fluffy and stable meringue.
- If you want to color your macarons, add gel food coloring to your meringue when it's at the soft peak stage.
- Refrigerating macarons will actually enhance the texture of the cookies. Store in an airtight container. When ready to eat, remove desired macarons from the container and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- You will have some buttercream leftover. You can store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months. Before using, bring to room temperature and re-whip with a mixer.
Love macarons? Try these other recipes...
Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make these Cranberry White Chocolate Macarons. I’d love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let’s make every occasion a sweet occasion!Print