These salted caramel macarons are the perfect afternoon treat with a cup of tea.
Salted Caramel Macarons
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- 3 large egg whites
- 1 cup chopped almonds with skins, toasted
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar*
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Edible gold food color spray (optional), such as Wilton Gold Color Mist (wilton.com)
- 1 (13.4-ounce) can dulce de leche
- Fleur de sel
- Place egg whites in a bowl, and let sit at room temperature, uncovered, for exactly 3 hours. (Aging egg whites in this manner is essential to creating perfect French macarons.)
- Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw 1½-inch circles 2 inches apart on parchment paper. Turn parchment paper over. Set aside.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine almonds and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, pulsing until they are the consistency of coarse beach sand. (Don’t overprocess or a nut butter will be created. The nut particles should stay separate and dry but not clump together.) Add remaining confectioners’ sugar, and process just until combined. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites and vanilla extract. Beat at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. (Egg whites should be thick, creamy, and shiny.)
- Add almond mixture to egg whites, folding gently by hand until well combined. Let batter sit for 15 minutes.
- Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip (Wilton #12). Pipe batter into drawn circles on prepared baking sheets.
- Slam baking sheets vigorously on counter 5 to 7 times to release air bubbles.
- Let sit at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes before baking to help develop the macaron’s signature crisp exterior when baked. (Macarons should feel dry to the touch and should not stick to fingers.)
- Preheat oven to 275°.
- Bake until firm to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Let cool completely on pans, then transfer to airtight containers. Refrigerate until ready to fill and serve.
- Spray tops of baked macarons with edible gold food color spray before assembling, if desired.
- Place dulce de leche in a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip (Wilton #12). Pipe dulce de leche onto flat side of a macaron, and top with another macaron, flat sides together. Push down lightly and twist so that filling spreads to edges of cookies. Sprinkle with fleur de sel around edges.
- Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (French macarons are best eaten the day they are assembled.) Let come to room temperature before serving.
- • To measure confectioners’ sugar accurately, spoon lightly into measuring cup, and level off, using a straight edge. Do not pack or scoop sugar into cup as this will negatively affect final product.
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