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April 7, 2014

Salted Caramel Macaroons

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

I made this recipe twice on Saturday. The first time went really well until… I burned the caramel. I should seriously have a leash on me when I’m working in the kitchen with things that require attention. If I have enough counter space free, I almost always find another project to work on. It just doesn’t feel right to have less than three things going on at once. After the caramel burning fiasco I sat there in my kitchen contemplating whether or not I should call these Burnt Salted Caramel Macaroons or just scrap the recipe altogether because I actually drizzled all of the macaroons with the burnt caramel. I wasn’t convinced.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Then I found another bag of coconut in my pantry as well as a can of condensed milk and HALLELUJAH round two!

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

I’m glad I gave it another go because these macaroons (from The Macaroon Bible) are incredible. They taste amazing with or without the salted caramel. The caramel adds a little bit of a crunch to the crispy/chewy macaroon. Plus! It’s salted so HELLO. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a sucker for anything with coconutcaramel or salted caramel.

And we’re off!

Simple ingredients. Great impact.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

In a large bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk with the vanilla extract.  Now add the coconut.

Mix well.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

In another bowl whip the egg whites with some salt.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Boom!

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

We fold the egg whites into the coconut.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Now we have batter.  I used a 1 inch ice cream scoop to measure out each cookie.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Put the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Any shreds that are poking out will get extra toasty. If you want to avoid that push them down.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

BAKED!

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Now we move onto the caramel. Sugar goes into a saucepan.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Heat it over medium. Let the sugar melt. Let it turn a pale yellow and then a caramel color.

Add the butter and salt.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

And we drizzle the salted caramel over the cookies with a spoon.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

Uh huh.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

That’s right.

Salted Caramel Macaroons // shutterbean

It is SOOOO dangerous that we have some of these left in our kitchen right now…

 

Salted Caramel Macaroons

makes 24

recipe slightly adapted from The Macaroon Bible

  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  14oz. bag sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350F with a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In an extra-large bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla with a rubber spatula. Slowly stir in the coconut and mix until well combined.

Add the egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the bowl of a stand mixer (or small bowl if you’re using a hand beater) and whip on medium-high until very stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites in with the coconut mixture. Using a spoon or a one inch ice cream scoop, form mixture into balls approximately 1 1/2  inches in diameter, and place them on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  If you form them by hand, it’s easier to wet fingers in between.

Place the sheet into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. After about 20 minutes, start checking for coloring. Look for an even, light golden color and the undersides to be nicely tanned.

Remove from the oven and let the sheet rest on a cooling rack, leaving the macaroons on the sheet until they’re cool enough to pull off (about 3 minutes). Transfer macaroons to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

While the macaroons are cooling, prepare the caramel. Place the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and don’t touch it until the sugar starts to melt. It will turn clear to pale yellow and then start to darken. When it just starts to darken and boil, start stirring carefully but rapidly to fully distribute any unmelted sugar throughout the pot. Keep stirring until all the sugar is melted and there are no lumps, then turn the heat down to low and when the sugar has a nice copper color to it, add the butter. Stir in the butter and add the salt. If the mixture starts to smoke, remove the pot from the heat. When the caramel has a nice caramel color to it, remove from the heat and, using a small spoon, drizzle on top of the macaroons.

The macaroons will keep uncovered for 3- 5 days and for about 3 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge. Cookies can also be stored in the freezer for a few months.

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