Christmas Macarons | Elf

Season’s greetings to my final Christmas film inspired recipe of the season! My Home Alone pizza is a mammoth treat, but these sweet goods are a bite sized hoot. Whether you’re a super efficient elf or a cotton headed ninny muggins, my Elf inspired Christmas macarons are a delightful festive treat. Snow globes at the ready, let’s get baking.

About the film:

Can anyone here believe that it’s been a whole two decades since Elf was released?! Twenty years this incredibly iconic festive film has been out, delighting so many celebrators of Christmas this time of year.

In 2003, Hollywood powerhouse, Jon Favreau, brought us the elf that Elf is about. He, alongside a talented crew, writer David Berenbaum and a surprising cast (more about this later) gifted us with the story about the orphaned boy turned elf.

Also known as Buddy. Buddy the elf.

Our innocent protagonist is first discovered in Santa’s sack of presents upon the big guy’s return to the North Pole post-Christmas Eve delivery. It was determined that baby Buddy had stowed away in the bag while Santa was paying an orphanage a visit. 

Papa Elf, played by the brilliant Bob Newhart, then decides to adopt Buddy and raise him as his own.

Which meant raising him as an elf. We see early on in the film that this proves to be a little more problematic than anyone expected. Especially once Buddy has reached full adult maturity and is bigger than pretty much anyone and anything in the North Pole.

Including Santa Claus himself. 

When things begin to get more obviously difficult, Papa Elf decides to fess up and tell Buddy the truth about his start in life. His origin story, if you will. He is given a snow globe of New York City: Buddy’s birth place. The place where his birth father lives.

Is it then that Buddy goes on a quest to meet his birth father and find out more about himself. What Buddy doesn’t know is that his biological father is in serious need of some good old Christmas spirit.

Elf is a proper feel good festive film.

It’s also properly funny! Elf is responsible for a lot of brilliantly funny and festive one liners. You’ll see a bunch of gifs connected to the film make a reappearance this time of year. 

The cast was an unexpected ensemble to say the least. There were a lot of names flown about when casting for Buddy, including Jim Carrey! 

If you’ve seen the episode of The Movies That Made Us all about Elf, you’ll know what I’m talking about. There’s also an episode focusing on Home Alone, if you’re in the mood. They are really quite fascinating. But then, I do love an in depth docuseries on cinema!

Finally, after seeing his hilarity on Saturday Night Live, Favreau and the team cast Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf.

Joining him was Zooey Deschanel as Jovie; James Caan as Buddy’s biological father, Walter Hobbs; Mary Steenburgen as Emily Hobbs; Daniel Tay as Michael, and Edward Asner as Santa. 

Plus, the exceedingly talented Peter Dinklage; Faizon Love, Amy Sedaris, Leon Redbone and more.

There are so many fascinating pieces of trivia about Elf.

For example, it was reported that Will Ferrell was the cause of a few minor traffic incidents in the Lincoln Tunnel because onlookers in their cars were so startled to see him walking through it dressed as an elf. 

The scene involving Buddy eating a load of sugary food with spaghetti for breakfast required two takes because – apparently – Will Ferrell vomited the first time.

I don’t blame him… that fact alone was enough to put me off creating this recipe using that iconic breakfast as the inspiration.

What I love the most about Elf is the pure, innocent demeanour that is at the core of Buddy’s personality. He is so unaffected by any of the negativities of life because he’s been in the North Pole bubble.

Whilst most would find this concerning given his age, I think it’s refreshing and endearing.

A real festive classic.

About the bake:

As I mentioned above, I was put off creating my Elf recipe based on Buddy’s breakfast. Plus, I didn’t actually feel inspired by it. 

For some reason, the idea of creating Elf inspired macarons drifted into my brain and stuck to me like freshly fallen snow. I could see them in my mind and felt enamoured by the idea.

Now, if you’re wondering why I have chosen macarons at all, I don’t blame you. After all, macarons are a delicate French biscuit that you often see in the windows of patisseries. Not strongly related to the city of New York, I know.

I finally realised why the idea was so hard to move on from: macarons give great scope for decoration and a white/cream macarons in particular make me think of snow globes. 

As a snow globe is the symbol of the beginning of Buddy’s journey in Elf, it made complete sense!

Thus, my Christmas macarons were devised. 

Each is decorated so that looking at the top of the macaron is a little like looking into a snowglobe. A tiny scene or symbol that connects to Elf on each of my Christmas macarons.

Macarons are deliciously sweet and delicate little treats. They make excellent gifts. They are also a great treat if you’re after something else sweet that isn’t chocolate or mince pies. A lot lighter, too.

Christmas macarons as Christmas gifts for your loved ones. Or yourself. Or Santa. Gifts are great for everyone.

Need another connection to the film?

Elf is adorable. Christmas macarons are adorable. 

Need I say more?

Now, macarons are known to be notoriously fiddly to make. But, there are methods out there that make it easier to make the ultimate batch of macarons.

What’s great about macarons, besides their sweet taste, is their versatility. You can make macarons in all kinds of colours and using all kinds of flavours. 

Plus, the types of fillings can change depending on what you’re trying to achieve.

As my Christmas macarons have a festive theme, I chose a festive flavour combination. 

Chocolate orange is a combo found in many treats around this time of year in the U.K. For my friends across the pond, I know this combo isn’t nearly as common. 

My best friend is from Texas and her first time encountering the joy of this flavour combo was when we spent Christmas in Japan. She found Terry’s Chocolate Oranges in a Nagoya train station not long after I told her about them. 

Thankfully, she bought a few and I got to see the joy on her face when she tried the first segment. Ah, what a wonderful memory.

My chosen filling for my Christmas macarons is a chocolate ganache.

My macaron biscuits are flavoured with orange essence. Thus, the desired festive flavour combination is achieved.

I also considered flavouring my Christmas macarons with peppermint, but I thought I’d save that taste for my Arthur Christmas frosted brownies.

For guidance, I referred to this recipe on the The Great British Bake Off website for chocolate orange macarons by Prue Leith. I also incorporated the advice and knowledge in this recipe for macarons on Broma, as an easier method for creating them is used.

This easier method includes making a Swiss meringue rather than a French meringue. The main reason I referred to this method specifically for my macarons is because I don’t have a fully functional standing mixer. I have my Nan’s forty year old Kenwood, but it’s not in tiptop condition and I would rather not be the reason for its demise.

My Lilo & Stitch dessert cake involves making a Swiss meringue buttercream. This is a slightly different method as you are just making the meringue, so it’s even easier.

Top Tips:

  • A key point for any macaron recipe is to make sure to use finely ground almonds or almond flour. This will avoid a gritty finish to your Christmas macarons.
  • Remember to turn the baking parchment over once you have drawn your circles. The pencil will bake onto your macaron halves if you don’t! If you find it difficult to see the pencil markings once you’ve turned the paper over, flip it back and go over the pencil markings multiple times to create thicker lines.
  • Make sure to sieve your dry ingredients twice through. This will make sure that the mix is as fine as it can be before you combine it with the meringue.
  • As always, be gentle when working with meringue. You spent time and effort putting air into it. Mixing it too aggressively will just knock that air out, which isn’t the idea, friends.
  • Fight the urge to swirl the mix when you’re piping it. Swirling the mix won’t give you that classic meringue finish. Just drop and squeeze from the centre, watching as the mix fills your drawn circles without guidance.
  • Make sure to bang the trays on your worktop before baking. This reduces the risk of bubbles forming in your macarons as they bake.

Just take it steady with this one. People will often discuss the delicate procedure of making macarons, but they are definitely achievable… and incredibly delicious.

There it is, friends. My recipe for Christmas macarons celebrating Elf in its 20th anniversary year. These delightfully festive treats make wonderful gifts, or great Elf viewing snacks. Follow the steps diligently and you’ll find yourself having a great load of fun, with a lovely little batch of Christmas macarons by the end. Enjoy!

P.S. Whether you are celebrating Christmas or not, I hope you have a restful rest of the season and that 2024 is full of joy, happiness, love and good health.

Happy baking, happy eating!

Ingredients:

Christmas macarons biscuits:

  • 100g [1 cup + 1 tbsp] ground almonds [almond flour]
  • 100g [½ cup + 3 tbsp] icing [confectioners] sugar
  • 100g egg whites
  • 1 tsp orange flavouring
  • 100g [½ cup] caster sugar
  • White food colouring

Chocolate ganache:

  • 100g [3.5 oz] dark or milk chocolate
  • 15g [0.5 oz] unsalted butter
  • 40ml [1.5 oz] double [heavy] cream

Decoration:

  • Liquid food colouring in colours of your choice i.e. green, yellow, red, blue, white etc.

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Baking time: 10 – 12 minutes

Decorating time: 45 minutes

Method:

Christmas macarons meringue:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C [375°F] or 180°C fan.
  2. Using a pencil, draw sixteen 4 cm circles on a sheet of baking parchment. Turn the paper the other way so that the pencil is facing the tray. Line a baking tray with this paper. Set aside.
  3. Over a medium heat, set a small pot of water and allow it to heat up until you see steam rising from it.
  4. Set a large glass bowl or bowl from a standing mixer over the pot of water and whisk together the egg whites and about 3 tsp of the caster sugar. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites become light and frothy. This will take around 1 minute.
  5. Once whisked, remove the bowl from the heat. Place it back under your standing mixer if using. Attach a whisk attachment to your standing mixer or electric hand whisk.
  6. Whisk your egg whites on a high speed, adding the remaining caster sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Make sure that the sugar is fully dissolved after each tbsp before adding the next.
  7. Add in the white food colouring now – a few drops will suffice. Pour in the orange flavouring.
  8. Continue whisking for a few more minutes. Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, stop whisking.

Christmas macarons biscuits:

  1. Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl twice. Gently pour this onto your meringue.
  2. Whisk the mixture on a medium speed for a few seconds – just enough to combine it all together.
  3. Stop whisking and begin to fold your mixture in on itself with a rubber spatula or metal spoon. Gently does it, you don’t want to knock all the air out of your meringue!
  4. Starting from the outside, gather the mixture with the spatula/spoon and turn it inwards in circular motions. Continue to do this: this is folding in a mixture.
  5. The mixture will be ready when you can form a figure-of-eight with it as it drops from your spatula/spoon from a short height without the mixture breaking. Keep folding in and checking whether you can do this until you are able to form an unbroken figure-of-eight. The ideal texture is like slow-moving lava.
  6. When the batter is at the right consistency, spoon it into a piping bag/sandwich bag with a plain open nozzle attached.
  7. Pipe the batter onto your prepared baking sheet, filling the circles you drew earlier.
  8. Bang the bottom of the baking tray on the worktop a few times to remove any air bubbles.
  9. Leave the macarons uncovered to air dry for about 15 minutes or until they are slightly dry looking on the surface.
  10. Bake them on the middle shelf in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes, until they are risen and dry.
  11. Once baked, leave to cool completely on the baking tray.

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. While your macarons are cooling, make your chocolate ganache.
  2. Either over a bain marie [pot of simmering water with a bowl over the top] or in the microwave in 30 second bursts, melt together the chocolate, cream and butter. Remember to stir in between bursts if using the microwave. Do this until the mixture has completely combined and is nice and shiny.
  3. Leave the ganache to chill to piping consistency. Place it in the fridge to do this if desired.

Decoration:

  1. Once your macarons are completely cool and your ganache is cool and thickened, begin building your macarons.
  2. Spoon the ganache into a piping bag/sandwich bag with your chosen piping tip attached. I used a 2D closed star piping tip.
  3. Pipe the ganache on the flat side of 8 of the macaron biscuits. Top each one with the remaining macaron biscuits: flat sides in, round sides out to sandwich them together.
  4. Use your various chosen colours of liquid food colouring and a couple of thin paint brushes to hand paint your designs! If desired, you can also use templates.
  5. Use the white food colouring to create a snow pattern so you can mimic a snow globe on each macaron.

These delectable snow globe Christmas macarons are best eaten on the day but will last another 3 days in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Recipe card:

Christmas Macarons | Elf

Laura – Flavour of the Film
Delectable chocolate and orange flavoured Christmas macarons, painted with festive scenes to resemble snow globes, celebrating Elf.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Decorating time 45 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine French, Swiss
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Christmas macarons biscuits:

  • 100 g [1 cup + 1 tbsp] ground almonds [almond flour]
  • 100 g [½ cup + 3 tbsp] icing [confectioners] sugar
  • 100 g egg whites
  • 1 tsp orange flavouring
  • 100 g [½ cup] caster sugar
  • White food colouring

Chocolate ganache:

  • 100 g [3.5 oz] dark or milk chocolate
  • 15 g [0.5 oz] unsalted butter
  • 40 ml [1.5 oz] double [heavy] cream

Decoration:

  • Liquid food colouring in colours of your choice i.e. green yellow, red, blue, white etc.

Instructions
 

Christmas macarons meringue:

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C [375°F] or 180°C fan.
  • Using a pencil, draw sixteen 4 cm circles on a sheet of baking parchment. Turn the paper the other way so that the pencil is facing the tray. Line a baking tray with this paper. Set aside.
  • Over a medium heat, set a small pot of water and allow it to heat up until you see steam rising from it.
  • Set a large glass bowl or bowl from a standing mixer over the pot of water and whisk together the egg whites and about 3 tsp of the caster sugar. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites become light and frothy. This will take around 1 minute.
  • Once whisked, remove the bowl from the heat. Place it back under your standing mixer if using. Attach a whisk attachment to your standing mixer or electric hand whisk.
  • Whisk your egg whites on a high speed, adding the remaining caster sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Make sure that the sugar is fully dissolved after each tbsp before adding the next.
  • Add in the white food colouring now – a few drops will suffice. Pour in the orange flavouring.
  • Continue whisking for a few more minutes. Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, stop whisking.

Christmas macarons biscuits:

  • Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl twice. Gently pour this onto your meringue.
  • Whisk the mixture on a medium speed for a few seconds – just enough to combine it all together.
  • Stop whisking and begin to fold your mixture in on itself with a rubber spatula or metal spoon. Gently does it, you don’t want to knock all the air out of your meringue!
  • Starting from the outside, gather the mixture with the spatula/spoon and turn it inwards in circular motions. Continue to do this: this is folding in a mixture.
  • The mixture will be ready when you can form a figure-of-eight with it as it drops from your spatula/spoon from a short height without the mixture breaking. Keep folding in and checking whether you can do this until you are able to form an unbroken figure-of-eight. The ideal texture is like slow-moving lava.
  • When the batter is at the right consistency, spoon it into a piping bag/sandwich bag with a plain open nozzle attached.
  • Pipe the batter onto your prepared baking sheet, filling the circles you drew earlier.
  • Bang the bottom of the baking tray on the worktop a few times to remove any air bubbles.
  • Leave the macarons uncovered to air dry for about 15 minutes or until they are slightly dry looking on the surface.
  • Bake them on the middle shelf in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes, until they are risen and dry.
  • Once baked, leave to cool completely on the baking tray.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • While your macarons are cooling, make your chocolate ganache.
  • Either over a bain marie [pot of simmering water with a bowl over the top] or in the microwave in 30 second bursts, melt together the chocolate, cream and butter. Remember to stir in between bursts if using the microwave. Do this until the mixture has completely combined and is nice and shiny.
  • Leave the ganache to chill to piping consistency. Place it in the fridge to do this if desired.

Decoration:

  • Once your macarons are completely cool and your ganache is cool and thickened, begin building your macarons.
  • Spoon the ganache into a piping bag/sandwich bag with your chosen piping tip attached. I used a 2D closed star piping tip.
  • Pipe the ganache on the flat side of 8 of the macaron biscuits. Top each one with the remaining macaron biscuits: flat sides in, round sides out to sandwich them together.
  • Use your various chosen colours of liquid food colouring and a couple of thin paint brushes to hand paint your designs! If desired, you can also use templates.
  • Use the white food colouring to create a snow pattern so you can mimic a snow globe on each macaron.

Notes

These delectable snow globe Christmas macarons are best eaten on the day but will last another 3 days in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Keyword buddy the elf, chocolate and orange cake, christmas macarons, elf, festive baking, swiss meringue

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