Monday, November 4, 2013

salted caramel french macarons

Salted Caramel French Macarons via design. bake. run.

happy november. we're in november already?!! well, that's a-okay with me. we are getting closer and closer to THE. BEST. TIME. OF. THE. YEAR. you know what that is! christmas. actually, no. thanksgiving and christmas. best holidays ever. or two of the best. ;)

okay, so i had my second wedding baking gig last month and these salted caramel french macarons were one of the four flavors requested. i have to say it was quite the yummy request because these turned out great. the salted caramel buttercream was light and almost fluffy-like. so airy and just perfect with the right amount of salty and sweetness combo. i don't think i've made a better salted caramel buttercream than this one.

below's the recipe for these good-looking french macarons should you want to make some. i say why not?! salted caramel is quite the hit these days. you cannot go wrong with it. and especially with the holidays coming up, these would make for a great holiday gift to anyone and everyone. i know i plan to bake some goodies and give them away this holiday season. you can too! :)

French Macarons with Salted Caramel Buttercream via design. bake. run.
i think i've found the perfect salted caramel buttercream recipe. these cute little french macaron cookies are so good and tastes even better as you age them longer. i say at least 3 full days.

french macarons with salted caramel buttercream

for the macaron shells:
1 cup (100g) powdered sugar
3/4 cup (60g) almond meal
2 large egg whites (60g), at room temperature
5 tablespoons (65g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp golden yellow or any gel food coloring of your choice
salted caramel buttercream (recipe below)

for the salted caramel buttercream:
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (recipe here)
1 stick (8 oz) butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar


to make the macaron batter/shells:
  1. line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
  2. sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal so there are no lumps. set aside.
  3. in the bowl of a standing electric mixer (or if you prefer, you can use a bowl and hand mixer), beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. while whipping, beat in the sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
  4. add in the gel food coloring. then carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. when the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  5. pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1.35-inch circles evenly spaced one-inch apart.
  6. rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. then let it sit for at least 30-60 minutes depending on humidity before baking them in the oven (okay, if you can't wait 30-60 minutes, i say at least 15 minutes to let them settle a little. just make sure the humidity isn't ridiculously high or your macarons won't turn out so pretty). about 10-15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350°F. bake for 15 minutes.
  7. once the macaron shells are out of the oven, let them sit for 30-60 seconds before removing the hot baking sheet underneath. let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper.

to make the salted caramel buttercream:
  1. make the salted caramel sauce according to the recipe and cool to room temperature.
  2. in an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium high, speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. then gradually add in the 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce.
  3. put the mixer on low and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. then increase the speed to medium and beat until fully incorporated.
  4. your buttercream should be good and ready for use!

to assemble the macaron cookies:
  1. before assembling these cookies, make sure to pair up all the cookie shells so they are as close as possible in size.
  2. using a knife, spread a good amount of the salted caramel buttercream on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. you can also put the buttercream in a piping bag and pipe the filling onto the cookie if you like. i do that sometimes, but most time i just spread it on.
  3. let them stand at least one day (keep them refrigerated) before serving (serve at room temperature), to meld the flavors. note: i say 3 days is the magic number. they taste so good after 3 days.

store in airtight container for up to 5 days. makes 20-24 macarons. happy eating because these are really, really, good! :)


  1. I'm excited to give you recipe a try! I live in Utah and have tried MANY recipes with no luck. Your macarons look amazing!

  2. About to make these and noticed and they aren't measured by you have measurements by weight? Because of all my macaron fail attempts in the past I'm a little cautious :) also, any other pointers you might be able to give me? thanks tonz!

    1. hi jan! i'm so glad you're giving this a try. typically i just weigh all my ingredients using a measuring cup. and if you follow the recipe, you should be able to produce some successful and delicious tasting macarons. but here's the weight conversion for the ingredients. please keep in mind these are approximates only and i have never baked with these specific weight measurements.

      1 cup (100 grams) powdered sugar
      3/4 cup (3 oz or 75 grams) almond meal
      2 large egg whites (60 grams), at room temperature
      5 tablespoons (65 grams) granulated sugar

      good luck and let me know how they turn out! :)

  3. I stayed up late last night... I just had to try these! :) My best macarons so far! I noticed my second pans "feet" exploded a little... assuming thats because they sat too long before baking- Any other reason this would happen? My first pan looked good... the feet spread a little. any pointers? Appreciate your recipe and help! I live in Utah so wondering about my altitude. Crazy macarons!

    1. yay! i'm so glad they turned out okay for you and that you gave it a try. i will have to bake a batch myself with the above weighed measurements.

      now onto the expanding or protruding feet. it could be any of these: over-mixed, cooked too hot, poor or broken meringue or even possibly being baked/cooked on a silicone baking mat. oh, and i've yet to bake in high altitudes so i don't know how this recipe will turn out.

      to cool down your oven while the macarons are baking, if you notice the feet spreading a little, you can open the oven door to bring down the oven temperature. or you can also start your oven at 375 degrees, then drop it to 325 and bake it for 10-15 minutes. it also doesn't hurt to rotate your baking sheet halfway through the baking time as well regardless of what temperature you bake at. for me personally, i like how the feet turns out on parchment-line baking sheet. they just look better. and i don't care for the lower oven temperature baking because i sometimes get under-baked macarons and that sucks. so putting them in at 350 for 15 minutes work best for me.

      so the above are just some things to try. i'm sure as you bake more macarons you'll find out what works for you. good luck and i hope these help!

    2. hi jan, i made some macarons last night using the weighed measurements i gave you. the only thing different i did was i put in a little less of the almond flour than the amount i said. the new amount is actually closer to the 3/4 cup measurement. i'm going to update the recipe above with the new measurements. i hope you'll give macarons another try!

  4. Hi! I really want to try this and when I went out for the ingredients I couldn't find almond meal anywhere! Is there anything I can substitute for almond meal?

    1. Hi Lexi. If you don't have almond meal (or almond flour), you can grind up your own using blanched almonds slices until they're fine/pulverized. Otherwise you can use ground hazelnuts or pistachios, although I have never used it as an almond meal substitute before (only some of it mixed in with the almond meal). Good luck and feel free to let me know what you end up doing! :)


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