Oh, macarons… Those lovely tiny French cookies. They are delicate and lovely. They’re light and fluffy. And they’re so adorable! They aren’t, are they?
No, no, no! Don’t be fooled by their attractive appearance. Macarons have caused more home bakers to drop onto their kitchen floors, sobbing, than any other cookie! But, if you’re ready to ignore that minor issue, they are quite cute!
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EVERYONE’S FAVORITE MACARONS
These salted caramel apple cinnamon macarons are oozing with caramel! They are not only filled with caramel buttercream and a salted caramel center, but they are also topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce!!
They’re one of my favorite types of macarons. Something about the salty-sweet flavor mix keeps me coming back for more.
- Egg Whites – I’ve lately begun “aging” my egg whites, and I’ve discovered that it improves my consistency. This is completely optional, but it’s so simple that I recommend giving it a shot. In a small basin, weigh out 100 grams of egg whites. Wrap with plastic wrap and pierce a few holes in the top. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days. Remove the egg whites from the refrigerator at least an hour before using.
- If you’ve ever seen lumpy macarons, it’s usually because the almond flour wasn’t ground finely enough. Bob’s Red Mill almond flour is my favorite because it’s generally fine enough. If you have lumpy almond flour, simply pulse it in a food processor for a few seconds to break it up even more. Sifting your dry ingredients is also essential for smooth macarons.
- Flaky sea salt – Salted caramel isn’t complete without it! Maldon Flaky Sea Salt is my favorite since it has the best flavor and texture.
HOMEMADE SALTED CARAMEL
I like to make my own salted caramel for the salted caramel buttercream! It’s incredibly simple to create and only requires four ingredients.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt (add more to taste)
- Warning: Do not walk away from your caramel because it will most likely burn the moment you do (trust me).
- Add the sugar to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and whisk every 1-2 minutes or so until it begins to melt (the sugar will start to clump up before melting).
- Remove from the fire as soon as the sugar is entirely melted and mix in the butter until incorporated (don’t be alarmed if it bubbles a lot).
- Mix in the heavy cream and salt until completely mixed and smooth.
- Allow the caramel to cool in a glass container. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month!
- If you make the caramel the night before, you may leave it at room temperature overnight, covered.
HOW TO MAKE FRENCH MACARONS?
- Set aside the almond flour and powdered sugar in a large mixing dish. Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until frothy, then add the cream of tartar.
- Increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and gradually add the granulated sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in half of the dry ingredient mixture with a spatula until well mixed. Then fold in the remaining dry ingredients gradually.
- Gently fold the batter until it achieves the consistency of “flowing lava”. Before the batter cracks, you should be able to construct a “figure 8.” Stop mixing as soon as you achieve this consistency! The macarons will not rise correctly in the oven if the batter is over-mixed.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Fill a big piping bag with batter and a large round tip. Pipe 1 inch rounds while holding the piping bag perpendicular to the silicone pad.
- Pick up the baking sheet and tap it three or four times on the counter to assist bring any air bubbles to the surface of the macarons. Then, using a toothpick, remove any visible air bubbles from the surface to create a flat surface.
- Allow the macarons to cool for 30-40 minutes, or until a skin develops on the surface. You should be able to softly touch the surface without disturbing the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F while the macarons are resting. Bake for 13-15 minutes on the center rack of the oven, or until they do not move on their “feet” when touched.
- Before removing the macarons from the baking sheet, allow them to cool completely. When completely cool, they should simply peel off. Drizzle the macarons with salted caramel and sprinkle with flaky sea salt on top.
- Place the completed salted caramel macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate for 12-24 hours before eating for the best flavor/texture. Alternatively, devour them all at once. You’re free to be yourself.
Alternative Video Recipe: The Most Foolproof Macarons You’ll Ever Make
MACARON TRIPS AND TRICKS:
- If you don’t already have one, invest in a kitchen scale. Because macarons are so picky, it is critical to weigh all of your components!
- Clean your stand mixer’s mixing bowl and whisk attachment with lemon juice or white vinegar to remove any trace fats (if you don’t, your meringue may not form).
- Use a heavy-duty baking sheet that will not warp and will transfer heat evenly! These Cuisinart baking sheets are my absolute favorite for making macarons! I have six of them.
- Purchase some silicone macaron mats! They’re not expensive, and they’ll make your life a lot easier!
- Purchase an oven thermometer as well! To produce flawless macarons, we want our oven to be as near to 300 degrees as possible, but just because your oven says it’s 300 degrees doesn’t mean it is. My oven has a tendency to overheat, so I normally keep it set to around 290 degrees Fahrenheit.
MAKE AHEAD AND STORAGE TIPS:
- Before consuming French macarons, allow them to mature in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This ensures that they have the optimum texture and flavor.
- Macarons can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
- Refrigerate macarons in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Filling macarons can be frozen for up to a month in an airtight container.
- Unfilled macaron shells can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month.
- Make your filling ahead of time as well, and keep any leftovers! It can be kept in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to a month in an airtight container.
More Alternative Recipes to try:
Caramel Apple Macarons
Salted Caramel Buttercream and Apple Pie Filling fill these macarons! These are also especially special because they are apple-shaped macarons! What could be more enjoyable than that? Download the templates below to make your own apple-shaped macaron shells at home, and be sure to watch the video to see precisely how I piped these apples.
Green Apple Macarons
These green apple macarons are among my favorites! They are naturally gluten-free and have the right crunchy-on-the-outside and chewy-on-the-inside feel since they are made with almond flour. The cookie shells are vanilla in flavor, while the buttercream has a green apple flavoring.
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