December 19, 2011

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Oh my gosh, I am absolutely  in love with our latest edition of Christmas macarons! Stephanie and I are at it again, and we had seriously way too much fun making these sparkly holiday macarons. We got glitter everywhere! Yes, these decadent vanilla bean macarons are topped with gorgeous edible glitter for a completely magical, completely festive holiday treat.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

I took a tray of these beauties to a holiday party this year and I cannot tell you how much everyone’s eyes lit up! They are definitely the star of the show, and people are so surprised when they bite into these fabulous cookies for a light, fluffy, decadent surprise. Not only are they stunning, but we also filled them with three festive holiday frostings. Like these red macarons, filled with Spicy Milk Chocolate Mocha Ganache.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

And our white macarons, filled with Eggnog Marshmallow Fluff.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

These fun candy cane swirled macarons are filled with White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream. Can you say yum??

You guys totally know how to make macarons now, but if you need a refresher, check out our Thanksgiving and Halloween macarons for step by step photo guides.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Here’s how we made our White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream. I looked for soft candy cane sticks to use for this buttercream, but I couldn’t find them, so I went with these soft peppermint candies. I wanted that fun look of crushed peppermint in my frosting, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s teeth with rock hard candy!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Unwrap a few peppermints and crush, crush, crush until you have approximately 1/4 cup.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

I didn’t want my frosting to be too chunky, so I crushed mine pretty fine.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

This will give your frosting just a hint of peppermint, but feel free to add more if you want a stronger peppermint taste!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Now for your white chocolate. Just grab a bar of white chocolate and chop it up here. But don’t use white chocolate chips, they’re too waxy and will give your frosting a funky texture.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Melt your white chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds and add it to your frosting.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Love these peppermint specks! This frosting is not too sweet and the flavor of the macaron really shines through here.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Next up is our Eggnog Marshmallow Fluff! Oh my gosh, I love, love, loved this one! This one totally turned out to be my favorite and I will definitely be making it again ASAP. Now I’ll admit, I don’t like eggnog, but I can handle this fun Sugar Cookie Eggnog! It’s sweet and tastes like a milkshake. In other words, it doesn’t taste like eggnog at all. :) If you really can’t stand the thought of using eggnog, feel free to use heavy cream instead, but trust me, you must make this sweet, fluffy frosting! It is to die.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

So light and fluffy.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

And finally we have our Spicy Milk Chocolate Mocha Ganache. This beautiful chocolate ganache has so many wonderful flavors going on. Milk chocolate, a hint of coffee, and warm Christmas spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. These warm flavors pair perfectly with Mexican vanilla, if you have some on hand.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Feel free to use ground spices here, but sometimes, on special occasions, I like to grind them myself. They pack so much flavor and fill the kitchen with such an incredible fragrance all day.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

I use a $20 coffee bean and spice grinder from Krups to do the job. Just add a few whole spices to grinder, add the lid and press the button to grind into a fine powder.

 

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Perfect. Usually by the time I can’t hear the spices clanging around in there anymore, it’s ready!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Just turn the grinder over and tap and the lid becomes a bowl for all your freshly ground spices. Makes scooping out the right measurement a cinch.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Cinnamon. Allspice. Cloves. Nutmeg. I cannot tell you how fabulous this smells!

Note: I only used the spice grinder for the allspice and cloves, I use a fine grater or zester for the nutmeg and the cinnamon was pre-ground.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

This spicy ganache will warm you right up!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Now for the fun part! Oh my gosh, we got glitter everywhere! It was all over our hands, faces, clothes, cameras, and even Miley and Howie were pretty sparkly by the end of it. It was so much fun. We used Disco Dust edible glitter in American Red and Rainbow. I was worried the glitter would add a funky texture to the macarons, but you actually can’t tell it’s there at all.

To prepare the macarons for the glitter, we brushed them with a simple syrup, which is just equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar dissolves and then cooled. I did 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water, but you could probably get by with 1/4 cup here. I forgot to get a picture of this step!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

For the candy cane swirl macarons, Stephanie made this pinwheel template for us. Just lay it on the macaron, sprinkle with red glitter, gently lift off the template, and then quickly flip the macaron over to remove excess glitter.

Download Stephanie’s pinwheel template here.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Now sprinkle the whole thing with rainbow glitter!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Eek! I love these!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

And for the red and white macarons, just sprinkle the whole thing with glitter!

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

These magical macarons are a must for the holidays.

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons with Three Christmas Inspired Frostings

Plus they’re the best way to get glittery fairy dust lips. :)

Be sure to check out Stephanie’s photos and recap
of our Christmas macaron making day!

 

Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons

90 grams aged egg whites
110 grams almond flour
200 grams powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean
25 grams white granulated sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder or powdered food coloring (optional)

Up to 5 days before making macarons, separate the egg whites, cover loosely with a paper towel, and store in the refrigerator. The night before making macarons, set them out on the counter to come to room temperature.

The next morning, place almond flour, powdered sugar, and the contents of a vanilla bean into a food processor and process until fully combined. Move to a large bowl and whisk in one teaspoon of cocoa powder for chocolate macarons, or one teaspoon of powdered food coloring for colored macarons. Leave plain for vanilla macarons. Whisk to combine, then sift and set aside.

With a mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add in granulated sugar and continue whisking until the the egg whites have stiff peaks. Add the egg whites to the flour and fold to incorporate until the mixture is just smooth, using no more than 50 strokes. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip, and fill with macaron batter. Pipe approximately 1-inch circles onto a baking sheet lined parchment paper. Let the batter rest on the pan at least 30 minutes before baking, to form a strong skin to help keep the macarons from cracking in the oven.

Bake the macarons at 280 degrees F for 15-20 minutes directly in the middle of the oven. To test for doneness, gently touch the top of a macaron to make sure it’s dry. Then gently try to lift the macaron from the parchment paper. If it comes away pretty easily, they’re done. If it doesn’t come up and the top breaks away, they need to cook longer. Keep checking on them every two minutes until the bottom is dry. Once removed from the oven, allow the macarons to rest on the pan for 10 minutes to finish cooking before trying to remove. Cool completely before frosting.

Macaron recipe adapted from Shaina at Food for My Family. For more macaron tips, check out her step-by-step macaron tutorial.

 

White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 oz. good quality white chocolate (no chips), chopped, melted, and cooled to room temperature
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp Tahitian vanilla extract
1/4 cup crushed soft peppermint candies

Place the butter, sugar, melted white chocolate, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add crushed peppermint and beat until fully combined.

 

Eggnog Marshmallow Fluff

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 (7 oz jar) marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup eggnog
1 tsp Tahitian vanilla extract

Place butter, sugar, marshmallow fluff, eggnog, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

 

Spicy Milk Chocolate Mocha Ganache

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp Mexican Vanilla extract
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Place chocolate chips in a glass or heat-proof bowl. In a medium saucepan, whisk the heavy cream, vanilla, instant coffee power, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate chips, let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely smooth. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until the ganache reaches a thick, frosting consistency.

 

Simple Syrup

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Bring the sugar and water to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Remote from heat and cool. Brush over the tops of the macaron shells with a pastry brush and sprinkle with glitter.



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58 Comments






1
Marie December 19, 2011 at 2:08 am

You totally need to set up your own macaroon shop!!!! The pics look good enough to eat! :D

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2
Kathy Miller December 19, 2011 at 4:24 am

Those look Heavenly!!

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3
Mom-Friday December 19, 2011 at 5:44 am

Scrumptious macarons… and fantastic images as always!
I love the bokeh effects on the photos too :) Your photos never cease to inspire!

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4
The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh December 19, 2011 at 6:27 am

I am still so intimidated by these but I plan to make them my winter project to conquer the fear. Until then I will marvel at your mastery of them!

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5
Southern Gal December 19, 2011 at 6:29 am

I’m not a fan of peppermint, but the eggnog marshmallow sounds yummy!

I love, love, love your Santa mug.

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6
Briana December 19, 2011 at 6:33 am

I am absolutely salivating over these things this morning. I must make them. But I must make them when I have Christmas party to go to because my pregnant waistline does NOT need all of them to myself.

And I would eat those frostings by the spoonful. YUM!

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7
Jessica @ How Sweet December 19, 2011 at 6:42 am

omgosh girl… these are absolutely stunning.

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8
Heather (Heather's Dish) December 19, 2011 at 6:47 am

these are the most gorgeous macarons i have ever seen!

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9
Cathy B December 19, 2011 at 6:55 am

looks totally delicious, but way too much work for me

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10
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 19, 2011 at 6:57 am

They are so sparkly!! I never knew sparkles existed in such vibrant colors! They look like little edible jewels. And works of foodie art. Almost too pretty to eat…almost. :)

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11
Ryane December 19, 2011 at 7:01 am

Beautiful, I love everything about um. You make them look Amazing. Love all your photos.Merry Christmas to you Both.

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12
Julie @SavvyEats December 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

These are some of the most gorgeous macarons I have ever seen!

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13
Suzanne December 19, 2011 at 8:29 am

Those are so beautiful!! You are a talented lady!! Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!! :)

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14
Sue Carter December 19, 2011 at 8:37 am

The photography for this recipe is just stunning! Those cookies are so gorgeous!
I gotta try them sometime. Great job!

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15
Bev Weidner December 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

THESE. ARE. AMAZING.

I love all that glitter. And whoever’s hand that was doing the sprinkling has a GORGEOUS hand.

that was weird.

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16
Lori @ RecipeGirl December 19, 2011 at 8:41 am

So does the Vanilla Bean Macaron taste just like our dreamy ones at Bouchon?? I love the pinwheel ones. Darling!

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17
Maria December 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

You make the BEST macarons! Love these! Merry Christmas my friend!

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18
Linda December 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

Beautiful work! I can’t seem to find the link for the downloadable template, though.

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19
Shaina December 19, 2011 at 9:00 am

I have so much fun watching your macaron creations! Love, Love, LOVE!

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20
Sandy_in_MD December 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

These turned out fantastic! Thanks for the detailed instructions – I may give these a try.

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21
Courtney @ Cookin Up Life December 19, 2011 at 9:24 am

Wow!!! I am going to try my hand at macarons for the first time this year :) These look amazing ;) Merry Christmas!

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22
Suzanne Shepherd December 19, 2011 at 9:59 am

These are so beautiful, Amanda! I’m out of time and energy for Christmas projects, but my mind has zoomed ahead to February….wouldn’t these be delightful as Valentine’s Day treats? I’m picturing the glitter in a heart shape on each one.

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23
Lindsay December 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

These are so gorgeous – but be careful! That disco dust stuff is not something I’d want to eat. Non-toxic and edible are different things (as I discovered when searching for my own edible glitter last week!) Not much more than ground up plastic. Eeep!

I ended up getting some edible “extra fine” glitter, which seems to be the next best thing, and IS actually considered edible:
http://www.countrykitchensa.com/catalog/mini.aspx?ShopId=46&CatId=624&SubCatId=1580

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24
Ana December 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

Oh my goodness, these are so pretty!

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25
Sabrina Jackson December 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

I love these…and glitter on cookies? AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to try this!

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26
Urban Wife December 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

I cannot get over the GORGEOUSNESS of these holiday macarons!! Great job, ladies. :)

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27
Dalia December 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with these beauties? I love them Amanda!

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28
Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe December 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm

These are so beautiful! I love the glitter!

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29
Melissa December 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Amanda- You are amazing! The cookies are darling, and delicious, I am sure!!! AND…Those photos with the bokeh like that are just stunning! I would love to know what settings you used!
I just love your posts, girl! :)

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30
Rosemary S. December 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Another inspiring post – full of great ideas, much enthusiasm, and lots of good cheer! Just want to thank you so much for all that you share with us! I’ve learned so much about photography from you – and I absolutely love checking up on your adorable little 4-footed family members!

Take care – here’s wishing you and Kevin the merriest of Christmases – and of course – a 2012 that’s your best year yet! ……….. Rosemary

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31
Digital Collage Sheets December 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm

omg…this is beyond yummie!!!!

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32
Anne December 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm

These look absolutely divine! I’ve never made macaroons before, and the eggnog component makes me a little nervous, but I might just spring for it!

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33
yuki December 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm

all this talk about macaron making lately leaves me ITCHING to make them again! I haven’t made any macs since last winter!

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34
Jenni H. December 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Yummy girl! Gotta make some of these. Hope you, Kevin & the doggies have a very Merry Christmas! {Hugs & Joy}, Jenni~

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35
Julie December 20, 2011 at 9:57 am

I just loooove your photos. These are gorgeous, loving the lighting and bokeh.

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36
erin December 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

These are so pretty!

I was just asking my husband what dessert treats he wanted to make over the Christmas weekend and he said “those oreo brownies please!” referring to your cookies’n’cream oreo fudge brownie recipe.
Wishing you an absolutely wonderful holiday :)

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37
Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com} December 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

These are the best macs I have ever seen. Ever.

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38
Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) December 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

They.are.so.BEAUTIFUL!

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39
Jen December 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I love your sparkly macarons! You have such a wonderful blog full of so many good tips. I’m your newest follower :)

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40
LaWanda December 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I so wish I had the patience and the creativeness to make these beautiful (and so delicious I am sure) macarons! Instead, I will just swoon over your gorgeous pictures. :)

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41
trisha December 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

eeeeeeeeeeeeegads these are AWESOME…here from yummy mummy

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42
Lisa December 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

Amanda,
Thank you for this AWESOME recipe. I made them for the first time yesterday for the first time and they were literally mouth watering! The first bite a nice airy crunch, then a chewy delicious center! I made the vanilla bean ones with vanilla buttercream! SOOOOO good! I didn’t have aged egg whites as my desire to make them was a bit last minute and I think they came out perfect! Thanks again, I will be making another batch tonight!

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43
Steph@PlainChicken.com December 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Amanda, those macaroons are beautiful! I am going to have to try to make them in 2012.

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44
Connie t December 25, 2011 at 1:01 am

These are beautiful. Pretty enough to look at and eat.

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45
Sharie December 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I am catching up on emails….looks like from the New York & Macaroon pics I need a 24-70mm lens. Thank heaven for birthdays.

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46
Melissa December 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm

These look so gorgeous Amanda. Although I’ve not made macaroons before, I feel that with your gorgeous photography and step by step instructions, you could have me making these gorgeous treats too. I definitely plan to try to make them ASAP. Lucky with the different glitter colors they can be made for any holiday or birthday treats :)

Sincerely,
Melissa Kalson

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47
Angela Norlen December 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm

So Cute! I was wondering about the glitter in desserts too, thanks for sharing.

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48
Lisa [With Style and Grace] January 7, 2012 at 1:44 am

These are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!! I don’t know how I missed these beauties. You are one talented lady, very impressed!

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49
Mia August 29, 2012 at 10:11 am

They are beautyful! Thanks for sharing!

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50
tammy November 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

These look AWESOME!! I’m going to make them for my cookie exchange…
But can someone tell me 90g of egg whites is approx. how many eggs?? (so I can go buy ingredients to make these little gems!!)

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51
Sally - only gluten free baking December 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm

These are beautiful. The disco dust looks fantastic.

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52
Lucinda Henry December 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Thank you for sharing your recipe. I made these yesterday for an annual cookie exchange and walked away with 2012 best appearance cookie! I do have a question. After brushing on the simple sugar did you let it dry before glittering? I could not get the pinwheel design to stop running. I suspect it was the simple syrup not being dry enough.

Thank you again. I love your pictures and style!
Lucinda

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53
Toni December 6, 2012 at 9:51 am

Wow! Those are the prettiest cookies I have ever seen! Great job. I was wondering how well these keep and for how long. I have a Christmas party next Saturday and wanted to make these on Thursday for it. Will they still be delicious, or do they tend to get stale pretty fast. Also, obviously I am a total amateur at baking, but do you use salted or unsalted butter? Thanks so much and THANK YOU for sharing!

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54
Jaz December 12, 2012 at 1:33 am

OMG! These are too beautiful to be eaten! Thank you so much for this!

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55
Dave November 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

Your Christmas macarons are beautiful.

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56
Kimberly November 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

How many shells does your recipe yield? And how many cookies worth of filling do each of the fillings yield? These all sound delicious! Can’t wait to try them all!

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57
Leslie December 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I’ve been wanting to try to make macaroons for awhile now. They just seem so intimidating haha. These are so festive I wouldn’t want to eat them. I saw your post on Pinterest. I’m a new follower as well. Thanks for sharing!

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58
Sarah December 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm

How many does this recipe make?

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