Caramel Apple Macarons with Cinnamon Apple Buttercream are the perfect fall treats. They’re so fun to make and easy to decorate. Get creative with them!
- 90 grams aged egg whites
- 110 grams almond flour
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 25 grams white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cocoa powder or powdered food coloring (optional)
Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 8 oz milk chocolate chips
- 8 oz heavy cream
- 3 oz semi sweet chocolate
- 1 tbsp shortening (Crisco)
- 1 (11-ounce) package Kraft Caramel Bits
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Cinnamon Apple Butter Buttercream Frosting
- 1/4 cup apple butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
For the Macaron Shells
- Up to 5 days before making macarons, separate the egg whites, cover loosely with a paper towel, and store in the refrigerator. The night before making macarons, set them out on the counter to come to room temperature.
- The next morning, place almond flour, powdered sugar, and the contents of a vanilla bean into a food processor and process until fully combined. Move to a large bowl and whisk in one teaspoon of cocoa powder for chocolate macarons, or one teaspoon of powdered food coloring for colored macarons. Leave plain for vanilla macarons. Whisk to combine, then sift and set aside.
- With a mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add in granulated sugar and continue whisking until the the egg whites have stiff peaks. Add the egg whites to the flour and fold to incorporate until the mixture is just smooth, using no more than 50 strokes. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip, and fill with macaron batter. Pipe approximately 1-inch circles onto a baking sheet lined parchment paper. Let the batter rest on the pan at least 30 minutes before baking, to form a strong skin to help keep the macarons from cracking in the oven.
- Bake the macarons at 280 degrees F for 15-20 minutes directly in the middle of the oven. To test for doneness, gently touch the top of a macaron to make sure it’s dry. Then gently try to lift the macaron from the parchment paper. If it comes away pretty easily, they’re done. If it doesn’t come up and the top breaks away, they need to cook longer. Keep checking on them every two minutes until the bottom is dry. Once removed from the oven, allow the macarons to rest on the pan for 10 minutes to finish cooking before trying to remove. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
- Place the butter, sugar, peanut butter, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
For the Milk Chocolate Ganache
- Measure ingredients by weight. Place chocolate chips in a bowl, then bring heavy cream to a simmer, and pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely smooth. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until it reaches a thick, frosting consistency.
- To top our chocolate acorn shells, I warmed part of the ganache up in the microwave just a tad to thin it out a bit so it would spread smoothly over the top of the macaron.
For the Chocolate Curls
- Combine chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and heat until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Turn a clean sheet pan upside down and pour melted chocolate over the bottom of the pan, spreading thin with a spatula. Freeze for 5-10 minutes until chocolate is hardened. Use a small metal spatula to scrape chocolate off the pan forming curls. If chocolate is too hard to curl, let rest at room temperature for 1 minute. Keep chocolate curls in the freezer until ready to use, they do best when they are really hard and frozen!
For the Caramel
- In a double boiler, melt the caramel with the cream. Add the vanilla and salt and stir until smooth.
For the Cinnamon Apple Butter Buttercream Frosting
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan, then add the apple butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the milk and cinnamon, still whisking constantly, and return to a boil, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth and it reaches a frosting consistency.
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