11.01.2012

Salted Caramel Macarons


It's been awhile, hasn't it? We've had an eventful summer filled with big....or I should say HUGE life changes. Number one among these changes is a beautiful, exciting little miracle that made me sick for three months and unable to cook or even smell food, forcing the blog to take a long hiatus. You guessed it, we are expecting a baby! In 3 months our daughter will arrive and we could not be more thrilled. In addition, our family has moved from the fabulous city of Chicago to the fabulous town of Portland. Now that we're settled I expect to be back in the kitchen creating and capturing recipes to share with you once again. This one for salted caramel macarons was inspired by a little restaurant in our new town. Since I wasn't able to be at the restaurant to enjoy them, my husband generously decided to recreate them with me at home. After making these I have to say that fresh-baked macarons are the only way to go! The salted caramel was a bit tricky, but this is a great recipe to practice on because its fairly forgiving--ultimately the caramel gets mixed with butter and confectioner's sugar to make the buttercream filling, covering up any mistakes in consistency.

 


Ingredients

For the buttercream:
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • ½ cups Plus 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Divided Use
  • ¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
For the shells:
  • 3 Egg Whites. Aged 1 Day At Room Temperature
  • scant 1/4 c. Granulated Sugar
  • heaping 3/4 c. Almond Meal
  • 1 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder For Color
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt For Garnish
 Directions

For the buttercream:
  1. Heat sugar on medium heat. Stir constantly with a whisk as the sugar begins to melt. Once the sugar begins to boil, stop stirring, just swirl the pot a few times
  2. As soon as all the sugar has melted and becomes a dark amber color, add in the 3 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted. Take the pan off the heat and wait for 3 seconds before pouring in the cream slowly and whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir in sea salt. Let it come to room temperature before using it to make the buttercream. You now have salted caramel! The caramel can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let it come back to room temperature before using it with the buttercream. 
  4. When ready to make the buttercream, mix the salted caramel with a hand mixer for about 3-5 minutes — you will notice it becomes lighter in color. Mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Then add in powdered sugar and mix until fluffy, scraping the sides occasionally. 
For the shells:
  1. In a large, dry bowl, whip the egg whites on medium high speed until foamy, about 4 minutes. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, but do not over beat.
  2. Sift almond meal, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder into a bowl. The cocoa powder is optional for color — if you don’t want to use it, add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to replace it. Add this mixture into the meringue. Fold together using a spatula just until incorporated. Try not to use more than 50 strokes/folds.
  3. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe silver-dollar size rounds onto baking sheets prepared with silicone mats or parchment paper. Sprinkle some sea salt on top of each shell for decoration. Let the shells sit for 30-45 minutes for the surfaces to dry out a bit. Bake at 300°F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pans for a moment. Transfer shells to cooling rack once they are cool enough to touch.
  4. Match shells up in size. Once cooled completely, pipe the buttercream onto the bottom of one cookie, and sandwich another on to of it, pushing the filling to the edges. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Original recipe from Tasty Kitchen

1 comment:

  1. Yay Paige. Welcome back and congrats on your little one. I'm so excited for you. And you've moved to Portland - so many changes.
    I too was super sick during my pregnancies. I couldn't drag myself into the kitchen. I'm impressed that you are back at it.
    With so many warm wishes,
    E

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