You are quite correct, and this is how I ended up spending MY spring break in a down jacket and boots, cleaning snow off of my car in the middle of April. There's no place like home, and it certainly wouldn't be home without wack-tastic weather.
What better place to finally tackle those tricky little macarons?
Sidenote: Are you even allowed to say "pocketbook" if you're not a card-carrying member of AARP, and are carrying said card in said pocketbook?
I have been intimidated by macarons for a while now, and I even tried to convince myself that I didn't like them that much, in order to justify my avoidance. This construct crashed and burned the other day, when I sampled a salted caramel macaron on my way home from work (paid $3 for the pleasure), and realized I couldn't put it off anymore.
As it turns out, they are not so tricky after all! As long as you measure your ingredients by weight, not volume, and make sure to tap out any air bubbles, and preheat your oven perfectly, and say 5 Hail Marys, and go into a cornfield at midnight and sprinkle salt over your left shoulder (and caramel over your right), they will come out perfectly!
I'm fairly certain that this is only the beginning of a serious mac-attack here on Stir/Crazy. I know I'm about 2 years late to this party, but I'm here and I'm staying. At least for a little while. I think I'm going to stick with this 2-year lag. See ya in 2016, Cronut.
For the macarons:
- 200g confectioner's sugar
- 100g almond meal/flour
- 3 egg whites
- 40g granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F). Prepare a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
Combine egg whites and salt in a mixing bowl, and beat together with a hand mixer until the egg whites hold stiff peaks.
Add the granulated sugar a spoonful at a time, and keep mixing with each addition. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, the mixture should be thick, glossy and white.
Using a spoon, fold in the almond flour and confectioner's sugar until fully incorporated and smooth.
Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper in evenly-sized circles. To make this easier, you can print out a template and slip it under the parchment paper, and then remove it after you are done piping.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the macarons JUST begin to turn slightly golden.
For the salted caramel filling:
- 75g granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 75g light brown sugar
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 100mL heavy cream
- sea salt to taste
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the granulated sugar and water until the sugar dissolves completely. Continue heating until the mixture takes on a dark amber color.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the light brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream. Return the saucepan to the heat, and stir until the sauce takes on a thicker consistency, 3-4 minutes.
Add about 1 tsp. sea salt, remove from heat, and allow to cool. Add more sea salt to taste.
Spread filling between macaron halves, allow to set for 1 hour, and enjoy!