The moment fall rolls around, let alone winter, I go straight into Julia Child mode and start cooking and baking up a storm. Soups. Casseroles. Roasts. Desserts. Anything and everything. Nothing is off limits. It's funny, you would think that I am in the kitchen constantly anyways, given the fact that I also write a food blog. It's true, but the ratio to kitchen-time vs. non-kitchen time is vastly different this time of the year.
Here's a little piece advice, especially if you are looking for a way to win over my heart.... Sweets. I have an unfortunately massive sweet tooth. Chocolate. Cookies. Cake. Pie. Chocolate. I will never turn down sweets. Now if you really want to take that next step to go above and beyond, ask me to bake with me. I would marry you right then and there.
I can be somewhat high maintenance when it comes to baking recipes. We all know that baking is a science while cooking is considered more of an art form. It all comes down to ratios, measurements, and exactitudes in the baking realm. I love that. In fact, I love finding obscure difficult recipes to try out. When I lived in Europe in 2008, I visited France a number of times (Paris and Marseilles). Clearly I had to visit a small cafe and order espresso and croissants. That's a given. But what I also did was stuff my face with an absurd amount on macarons.
To this day, I have to make these French delicatessens at least once a year. They are my favorite. Unfortunately I cannot be in all of your kitchens with you at the same time. So pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some music, and I will be with you in spirit! Enjoy!
Salted Caramel French Macarons
3 egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
- Start by shifting the powdered sugar and almond flour together. I do this twice to make sure all of the large almond chunks are removed.
- Whisk your egg whites until foamy. Add the salt and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fold your flour mixture into your eggs, turning 65 times. Make sure you do this by hand to avoid over mixing.
- Place your batter into piping bags and pipe 1 inch rounds onto two parchment lined baking trays. Tap each tray 4-5 times onto the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Allow the cookies to sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees and bake exactly 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack. Sandwich two cookies with salted caramel sauce and enjoy!
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
- Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula.
- Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
- Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
- Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while whisking. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
- Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.