Salted caramel macarons are a special treat that you can delight in when baking at home.
Caramel– a heavenly taste
Caramel. Just the word makes me smile. Maybe it is childhood memories of eating Johnson’s Caramel Popcorn on the Ocean City, New Jersey boardwalk. Or it could be the sound of unwrapping a Werther’s caramel that my grandmother had in her jar of sweets.
Caramel vs. Chocolate
Some people may say that chocolate reigns supreme but not me– caramel rises to the top of any list of my favorite flavors. Making it from scratch is relatively new to me. I’ve tried it before but haven’t had consistent success. Guess what? The same is true this month– I made Salted Caramel Macarons following a recipe from the Bouchon Bakery. Did mine look like the bakery version? Not precisely.
Macaron Tips for Beginners
This post of Macaron Tips for Beginners summarizes some of the best tidbits and tricks that I’ve learned through experience and through internet research. Hopefully you find my mistakes can help you learn too!
Salted Caramel Macarons continue my learning through baking process
The shells do have the classic macaron shape and feel but my caramel wasn’t as smooth and luscious as the Bouchon Bakery photograph. Did I eat macaron after macaron trying to discern whether or not they were shareable outside the confines of my kitchen? Well, yes I did! And I decided (a few pounds heavier I am guessing) that I most certainly could share these sweet bites.
Macarons have been known to be fussy but as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously and feel comfortable learning from your less-than-perfect desserts, then keep on baking and enjoying the results!
Don’t let the need for a candy thermometer scare you off– this National Geographic article shares the details and the macaron recipe of the Bouchon Bakery. I followed the recipe without any changes so I won’t repeat it here.
Don’t leave out the sea salt
You might notice in my photo that I experimented with the sea salt. There is some in the caramel plus half of my macaron shells had a sprinkling of sea salt before baking as the recipe directs.
I found those shells looked a little tired after they rested for a day or so and was happy with the non-sprinkled shells as there is enough salt in the caramel to achieve that gorgeous salted caramel bite.
Forget Perfection and Enjoy your Macarons
Another note, I overfilled my macarons and you can see the caramel filling oozing out. I mentioned that my caramel wasn’t as picture-perfect as the original recipe but I have to say that it was so tasty that I couldn’t resist overdoing it when I filled the shells. I would (and did!) eat this caramel by the spoonful. Really dangerous stuff!
The baking tool I find most helpful when making macarons is a Macaron Baking Mat. The mat has circular indentations that make crafting identical macarons SO MUCH EASIER. When I’ve experimented with that same batch of macaron batter and made one tray with my molded baking mat and the other tray without the mat, I’ve had much better results with the mat.
The molds give the macarons structure and, for me, are an insurance policy for when I may have under mixed my batter. Instead of spreading all over a regular baking mat, my macarons puff up, develop that signature foot around the edge, and bake beautifully. Here is an affiliate link to a Macaron Baking Mat on Amazon.
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How to pipe macarons without a macaron baking mat
Before I found the macaron mat (which honestly is the easiest way to pipe macarons), I would trace circles on my parchment which would guide me in making consistently sized macaron shells. Each time I’d trace around a circle cookie cutter or something else that was about the right size in my kitchen. The method worked but was time consuming.
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Holly Baker started the food blog, A Baker’s House, in 2011. She is the writer, recipe creator, and photographer for the site. Holly loves to bake and shares recipes for gluten free food, canning recipes, as well as traditional desserts too. Her recipes and food photography have been highlighted by BuzzFeed, Reader’s Digest, and She Knows.