These adorable snowman macarons are filled with my classic vanilla buttercream and are decorated with royal icing and edible luster dust. They are so cute, delicious and perfect for the holiday season!
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How To Make Snowman Macarons
- Prepare the dry ingredients – Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together and set aside.
- Make the meringue – Whisk the room temperature egg whites and granulated sugar until you have stiff peaks. Peaks should stand straight up when you hold the whisk up.
- Combine the ingredients – Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until your batter is smooth and glossy and runs down the spatula in ribbons.
- Pipe the macarons – Pipe the larger round shapes first (the body of the snowman) and then the smaller round shapes (the head). When you start piping the heads, the bodies should have started to set so the two won’t run into each other and lose their shapes.
- Bake the macarons – Bake the macarons at 300F. Make sure the temperature doesn’t go any higher than that so that the shells don’t turn brown. Let the shells cool for at least 30 minutes before decorating.
- Decorate the macaron shells – Prepare royal icing and decorate the shells. You’ll need to let the royal icing dry for at least an hour so it sets before adding the luster dust to the scarves. I also recommend using food coloring markers as a guide before adding the royal icing. More on food coloring markers below!
- Make the buttercream – Prepare the buttercream while the royal icing is drying.
- Fill and refrigerate macarons – Fill the macarons and refrigerate for at least 24 hours so they can mature.
How Do You Make Macaron Shapes?
Macaron shapes can be a bit tricky to pipe. The first thing you should do is use a template as a guide so all of your shells are the same size. You don’t want the batter to run into each other, so you need to let one shape start drying before piping any other shape right next to it.
I created a snowman PDF template which you can download below. This is the easiest way to make macaron shapes. I’ve tried piping shapes without templates in the past and it has not worked out at all because the macaron shells would always end up different sizes.
Food Coloring Markers
Food coloring markers are amazing and one of my best recommendations when you’re decorating macarons or any other cookies. They are markers that have edible ink which you can use to write on food and you use them exactly like you would use any other marker.
How Do You Use Food Coloring Markers?
I especially like to use these food coloring markers whenever I’m making my character macarons because it helps to visualize where the eyes and mouths will be. It’s so helpful to see where the royal icing should go before adding it.
Can I Use Royal Icing to Decorate Macarons?
Yes! Royal icing is one of my favorite ways to decorate macaron shells. The icing is so quick and easy to prepare, especially if you use my small batch royal icing recipe made with meringue powder. I’ve included the recipe below in the recipe card.
Royal icing decorations dry hard and don’t melt so the decorations will not get damaged even if you package the macarons. Once the royal icing dries, the decorations will stay put.
How Do You Make Royal Icing Shimmer?
The best way to make royal icing shimmer is to use luster dust and add it after the royal icing has dried to add a sparkly effect to the royal icing. Follow the steps below to make your royal icing shimmer:
- Prepare the royal icing – decorate the macaron shells and let dry for at least an hour.
- Mix luster dust with vodka or grain alcohol – the reason we use vodka or grain alcohol is because the alcohol content is high so the liquid evaporates quickly and doesn’t ruin the royal icing. The alcohol will evaporate and you’ll only be left with a tiny amount of it, similar to the amount of alcohol in vanilla extract.
- Use a very small brush – paint the scarves with the luster dust and let dry for at least 30 minutes.
Can You Mix Luster Dust In Royal Icing?
No, because if you add the luster dust to the royal icing while you’re mixing it, it will just make the icing whatever color the luster dust is, but you won’t be able to see the sparkle after it has dried. The royal icing will essentially dull the sparkle in the luster dust.
That is why you need to paint the royal icing with the luster dust after it has already dried.
Best Way to Store Macarons
The best way to store macarons is in an airtight container in the refrigerator or you can store them in the freezer for about two months.
Can You Freeze Macarons?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze macarons. Place them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to two months. The day before you plan on eating them, remove them from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator to defrost.
Freezing macarons is a great idea if you’re making a large amount because you can make them in batches and freeze them, and have them ready whenever you need them.
More holiday macarons to try
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- Two spatulas
- One 16 inch pastry bag
- Four 8 inch pastry bags
- Round piping tip (I used the Ateco 10)
- Two silicone mats
- Two half sheet pans
- Oven thermometer
- Three small glass bowls (to mix royal icing)
- Food coloring markers (optional)
- 90 grams powdered sugar
- 80 grams almond flour
- 70 grams egg whites (room temperature)
- 70 grams granulated sugar
- 2 grams egg white powder (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 drops white gel food coloring
- ¼ cup salted butter (½ stick)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp heavy whipping cream
- ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp meringue powder
- ½ tsp water (room temperature)
- 2 drops black gel food coloring
- 1 drop teal gel food coloring
- 1 drop orange gel food coloring
- teal luster dust
- ¼ tsp vodka
Prepare dry ingredients
- Sift powdered sugar and almond flour using a whisk to break down any clumps. Set aside.
- Line sheet pans with silicone mats and place the templates under the mats.
- Insert the piping tip into the 16 inch pastry bag.
Make the meringue
- Whisk the egg whites on medium speed (speed 4) until you see small bubbles (this can take as little as 15 seconds sometimes).
- Slowly add 3 tbsp of granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, waiting about 10 seconds between each tbsp.
- Whisk until you start to see tracks in the meringue.
- Increase speed to 6 and continue slowly adding the remainder of the granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until you’ve added all the sugar.
- Once you have soft peaks, stop the mixer, scrape the sides and add the vanilla extract and the white gel food coloring.
- Whisk for about 5 more minutes, or until you have stiff peaks.
- Add in the powdered sugar and almond flour mixture in three parts, 1/3 at a time, folding each part until fully combined.
- Once the meringue and dry ingredients are fully combined, stop folding.
- Now you need to deflate some of the air in the batter by taking the spatula and smearing the batter on the sides of the bowl two or three times, and then folding once or twice.
- Repeat the process of smearing some of the batter on the side of the bowl and folding until the batter looks smooth and glossy and runs down the spatula slowly in ribbons.
- You can test the consistency by lifting the spatula and letting the batter run down. If it falls in ribbons and sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, the batter is ready.
- Transfer the batter to the 16 inch pastry bag.
Pipe the macarons
- Take the pastry bag and, holding the bag at a 90° angle, pipe the body of the snowman (the large round shape) first. Once the bodies are all piped, pipe the heads (the smaller round shape). This prevents the two circles from mixing together and losing their shape.
- Pop any air bubbles with a scribe or a toothpick. Don't tap the tray against the counter because the macarons might spread out and lose their shape.
- Let the macarons rest until they form a skin and are no longer sticky.
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes.
- Macarons are ready when they no longer shift if you touch the tops.
- Let the macaron shells cool for at least 30 minutes before decorating.
Make the royal icing
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and a few drops of water and stir with a spoon.
- Continue stirring adding a few more drops of water if necessary.
- Check the consistency by lifting the spoon and counting how many seconds it takes for the icing to sink back into itself. If it takes around 20 seconds, it's ready.
- Separate the icing into 3 parts, (two of the bowls should have an equal amount of icing and the third should have a little bit more icing). Add 1 drop of teal to the bowl with more icing, 2 drops of black to one of the other bowls, and 1 drop of orange to the last bowl.
- Transfer the royal icing to separate 8 inch piping bags, and cut a very small opening at the tip of each one.
Decorate the macarons
- If using the food coloring markers, mark the macarons where you'll be placing the royal icing for the face and the buttons.
- Now take the black royal icing and decorate the eyes, mouth, and buttons.
- Take the orange royal icing and pipe the nose.
- Now take the teal royal icing and pipe the scarf around the neck only of each snowman. After a few minutes, pipe the longer part of the scarf, and once that starts to set, pipe the shorter part of the scarf. You want to let each part of the scarf start to set before piping the rest so each part doesn't lose its shape.
- Let the royal icing dry for about an hour before adding the luster dust.
- Once the royal icing has dried, in a small bowl add a little bit of the luster dust with 1/4 tsp of vodka and mix. Take a very small brush, dip it into the luster dust/vodka mix and paint all the scarves. You may need to go over the scarves a second time so that the sparkles show up more.
- In a medium bowl, using the stand mixer, whisk the butter until smooth.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and whisk until fully combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and whisk until combined.
- Add the heavy cream and the vanilla extract and mix until creamy and smooth.
Assemble the macarons
- Fill an 8 inch pastry bag with the buttercream and cut a ¼ inch opening at the tip of the bag.
- Pipe the buttercream in the center of the snowman head, then the center of the body.
- Top the filled macaron shells with the decorated shells and refrigerate for at least 24 hours so that the macarons can mature.
- When ready to eat, remove the macarons from the refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before and let come to room temperature before eating.