I’m not sure what to say, other than this:
I hope that the last thing I ever taste is a salted caramel macaroon.
These are, hands down, my absolute favourite thing to eat. The are the perfect blend of sweet and salty, the filling is the creamiest buttercream you’re going to find, and the meringues are perfectly light and crisp. Back to that salted caramel butter cream for a second though – I use it on everything now. I worked it out through a bunch of trial and error coming up with my macaroon recipe, but now that it’s perfect, I use it on everything (cakes, cupcakes, etc). This will be your go-to caramel frosting if that’s your thing.
Now, macaroons are tricky to make. I’m not going to pretend that they aren’t. Most of mine don’t look that pretty, the tops might have a bump, they might not rise enough so the “foot” isn’t as prominent as you want it to be. None of that matters though, because they taste great, and every time I make them there are more and more good looking ones. What I’m saying is these take practice, and that’s fine. Don’t stop yourself from making them just because they’re a bit tough.
Also, if you’re going to the trouble of making them, do a big batch. They freeze really well for up to 6 months as long as you store them in an air tight container. Once frozen (so after 12 hours or so), it wouldn’t be a bad idea to wrap them up in some plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn, and then back into the air tight container too.
If you like salted caramel, check out this cake!
The most important thing to remember about macaroons: You should make them ahead. They are best when eaten 24 hours after they’ve been made. Me, I don’t follow the rule, I eat them right away, then I eat some more on day two. Win, win.
Lets get to the recipes first, then I’ll add in a few step by step photos of the macaroon shell making. You need three different recipes for this. One for the macaroon shells, one for the buttercream, and one for the salted caramel sauce that mixes into the buttercream. That sauce is awesome on ice-cream too!
Ok, here are a few pictures from making the macaroon shells.
First up, if you want all your macaroon shells to be the same size, it’s easiest to find something to trace onto parchment paper. 90% of the time I don’t bother and just eyeball it. When I’m eating them, I don’t care if all the shells are exactly the same size, but if you’re showing them off, this is a good trick to use. I used an allergy pill bottle. Pro tip – put a dot of meringue mixture under the four corners of the parchment to make it stick to your baking sheet.
This is the ground almonds and icing sugar after it’s been processed until super fine.
Here are my nice, stiff peaked egg whites.
This is just after I added a bit of food coloring to the egg whites. Color choice is completely up to you.
This is folding almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites. Be gentle!
And this is what it looks like when you’re ready to start piping them. It should be a thick liquid. Not super runny, but enough that if you draw a line through it, it slowly sinks back together.
And, here are the bad ones. See, I told you they aren’t all perfect. I’m still getting the technique down pat. The taste though, that’s all that really matters!