I have teased you with these beauties before. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you’ve seen these delectable morsels there. It should have made you jealous and wanting these delicious gems all for yourself. No. I don’t ship. Well, I do, but only to Mom. Speaking of which…I need whip up a batch and send them to her. When’s the next holiday? Labor Day? Oh. That won’t work. It should be sooner than that!
Every Friday, J and I go down to the open air market here in DC; well, almost every Friday. Sometimes it’s not open, in which case it would be pointless to go down there as there wouldn’t be anything to buy. There’s ALWAYS a kettle corn vendor. He has really gooooooooooooood kettle corn. I honestly didn’t think I’d like the thought of the whole kettle corn thing, but I honestly do think it’s YUMMY!
I buy a bag every now and then to nosh on at work. Well, for some reason, I had this idea to make some popcorn flavored macaron. That’s still in the works. We keep eating the popcorn. Then I had this idea to make caramel buttercream for something, I can’t remember what. So, I had this caramel syrup in the pantry just screaming, “COOK WITH ME!” So, I did.
Yes, I know. Let me back up a minute. You see, I had these peanuts in the freezer for a long time; like a month. I had been planning on making these little gems with the popcorn. See previous paragraph. This is why they haven’t been brought to light yet. Actually, they still don’t have popcorn in the shells like I had intended. BUT the peanuts in the shell WITH the caramel and salt in the buttercream mean you don’t REALLY need the popcorn in the shells. Just sayin…
It’s not like I don’t receive compliments when I bring cookies in to work. I mean, who wouldn’t thank the person that shares these babies with an office of eager guinea pigs? But, for some reason, three people came to office specifically to tell me how good these are.
They were good. I mean REALLY good. I even impressed myself with how well they tasted like Cracker Jacks. J said less salt in the buttercream, but I think that’s because she’s a bit uber sensitive to salt like I am. I had the same thought, but it really does offset the sweet of the shells and really accents the peanut flavor in the shells, I think.
One of these days, they’re going to stack all nice and pretty like. They just seem to lean no matter how hard I try. I guess, I could cheat and put something between them to make them stack nicely, but that would be cheating IMHO. Nothing fake about this food or these photos. You get it all; the good, the bad and the slop on the plate ugly. LOL
But, please don’t mind that these don’t stack perfectly. They taste fantastic! And that’s not just me saying so.
- 7 ounces powdered sugar
- 2 ounces almond meal
- 2 ounces peanuts
- 4 ounces egg whites
- pinch cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespooons caramel ice cream topping
- 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
FOR THE SHELLS:
- Pulse the powdered sugar, the almond flour, and the peanuts together in a food processor to form a fine powder. Sift three times into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large, metal mixing bowl). Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the eggs and hand mix the two together with the whisk attachment for the stand mixer (or hand mixer). Fasten the whisk attachment and beat the mixture on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Sift 1/3 of the almond mixture into the bowl with the meringue. Fold the ingredients together with a large spatula until incorporated. Continue sifting and folding until all the almond mixture is incorporated into the meringue and the mixture should drip slowly off the spatula; like lava flowing. (Think conditioner dripping out of a bottle.)
- Transfer the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a ½ inch tip and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds onto a silpat covered baking sheet. There are several different templates out there. Two that I liked are here and here.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- You’re going to LOVE this next part! Once all the batter has been piped or your sheets are full, grab the edges of the pan, secure the silpat with your thumbs (or any extra batter) and rap the pans on the counter. This releases any remaining air bubbles in the meringue. Continue rapping the sheets, turning occasionally, until no more air bubbles surface. Allow the macaron to rest on the counter at least 30 minutes.
- Once they’ve rested and the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, bake at 325 for 5 to 7 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Do the wiggle test to see if the meringue is cooked. Carefully grab the top of the shell and if it moves easily from side to side when wiggled, indicating the meringue isn’t completely cooked, then continue to cook in 4 to 5 minutes intervals until they no longer wiggle.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling.
FOR THE FILLING:
- Combine butter and powdered sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Beat until creamy.
- Slowly add the caramel ice cream topping, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in salt to taste.
- Place the filling in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe the filling onto one shell, almost to the edge. Top with another shell and allow to rest before serving.