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Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Macarons

These chocolate peanut butter caramel macarons feature cocoa powder macaron shells and a thick peanut butter caramel filling. Yes, peanut butter caramel is a thing, and yes, it’s amazing! Homemade caramel sauce or a thick, store-bought variety is simply melted down and stirred together with creamy peanut butter. Once cooled, the filling is set between two macaron shells that are later drizzled with additional chocolate and chopped roasted peanuts. The end result is a fancy little treat perfect for the peanut butter lovers in your life.

Prep Time: 30

Cook Time: 30

Total Time: 180

Yield: 25

INGREDIENTS

For the macaron shells:

150 gm almond flour

158 gm powdered sugar

15 gm cocoa powder

115 gm room temperature egg whites (from about 3–4 large eggs)

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons (120 gm) sugar

For the peanut butter caramel:

½ cup prepared thick caramel sauce

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

Additional chocolate, if desired

Chopped roasted peanuts, if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

To prepare the macarons:

1. Line two of three baking sheets with parchment paper templates or silicone baking mats set over the templates and fit a large piping bag with a plain round tip.

2. In a food processor, combine the almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and cocoa powder and process the mixture for 1-2 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the bowl, until the almond flour
is finely ground. Sift the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard any large chunks left in the sieve or grind again until fine.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (make sure both are clean and grease-free!), whisk the room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until they begin to foam, form small tight bubbles, and turn opaque. Over the course of a couple of minutes, very gradually increase the speed to medium while slowly adding the granulated sugar. Mix on medium-high until stiff peaks form.

4. Using a flexible rubber spatula, scrape the meringue off the whisk attachment into the bowl with the almond mixture. Begin folding the meringue and almond mixture together, five to ten folds. Scrape in the meringue from the mixer bowl and continue to fold the mixture until incorporated, rotating the bowl as your go. Every so often, gently deflate the meringue by smearing the batter around the side of the bowl. Stop folding once the correct consistency is achieved: the batter should flow very slowly like lava.

5. Pour macaron dough into the prepared piping bag. Keep the bag, macaron pipe straight. Once the baking sheet is full, tap the bottom of the paper gently several times in each corner with the palm of your hand. Set aside and repeat with the remaining prepared baking sheet(s). Set aside the battered macaron crust to rest for 20 to 40 minutes, until the crust forms on the crust and the tops are dry and do not stick to the touch.

6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with the rack in the center.

7. Bake the macaron crust one sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops are firmly attached to the legs but slightly wobbly when pressed with the hand.

8. Remove the baking tray from the oven and place it on the wire rack. Allow the macaron crust to cool on the baking tray for at least 5 minutes. Repeat to bake and cool the rest of the shells


To prepare and use the filling:
Lightly simmer the caramel sauce so that it is thick, spreadable, and viscous, and has a peanut butter consistency. Stir the peanut butter until combined.

10. Let the mixture slightly set up, either on the counter or in the refrigerator while stirring frequently, until it is a slightly thickened fudgy consistency that will move through a piping bag.

11. Fit a bag with a round tip and squeeze 1-2 teaspoons sized dollops into the center of half of the macaron shells.

12. Top with an additional macaron shell and let set. In the meantime, gently warm and melt a small amount of chocolate (about 1/3 cup) and have drizzle or decorative stripes on top of the sandwich. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top and then place in the refrigerator to set up. Enjoy!

***NOTES

Using a macaron stencil is helpful in making sure your macaron shells are uniform in size.

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