We sandwiched Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream between vanilla bean-speckled shells for our most luscious macarons yet.
- 1⅓ cups (128 grams) blanched almond flour
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (127 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large egg whites (90 grams), room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean*, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) vanilla extract*
- Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
- Garnish: vanilla sugar
- Using a permanent marker, draw 1½-inch circles 1 inch apart on 2 sheets of parchment paper. Place parchment on 2 rimmed baking sheets; top with nonstick baking mats.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt; process until well combined. Sift flour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in flour mixture in thirds until a loose batter forms. Fold in vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract.
- Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip (Ateco #804). Pipe batter onto drawn circles underneath mats, holding piping tip perpendicular to pans. Apply pressure, leaving tip stationary, until batter reaches drawn circle. Move and lift tip in a quick circular motion as you finish piping each macaron to prevent points from forming on top of the macaron. Slam pans vigorously on counter 5 to 7 times to release air bubbles. Let stand at room temperature until a skin forms on top of cookies, about 1 hour. (The batter should feel dry to the touch and should not stick to the finger.)
- Preheat oven to 275°F (140°C).
- Bake, one pan at a time, until firm to the touch, about 15 minutes, rotating pan every 5 minutes. Let cool completely on pans. (If you have trouble removing macarons from baking sheets, place pans in freezer for about 15 minutes.)
- Place Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (Ateco #802). Pipe buttercream onto flat side of half of cookies. Place remaining cookies, flat side down, on top of buttercream. Roll edges in vanilla sugar, if desired.
Bake macarons the day before assembling. Once the cookies cool, wrap top of baking sheet in plastic wrap, and leave overnight.
- 6 ounces (175 grams) high-quality white chocolate baking chips*
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 250°F (130°C).
- In a completely dry 9-inch round cake pan, combine chocolate and salt.
- Bake until golden, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. (At times, the chocolate will look very dry and chalky, but keep stirring until smooth.) Pour chocolate into a medium bowl; let stand, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add cooled white chocolate, beating well. Reduce mixer to low speed. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla extract, beating until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Use immediately.
Caramelize your white chocolate (steps 2 and 3) up to 4 four months before making your buttercream. After step 3, pour cooled chocolate onto a parchment paper-lined sheet tray, and let cool for at least 7 hours or overnight. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container for up to 4 months. When ready to make the buttercream, melt caramelized white chocolate in the top of a double boiler, and let cool before continuing with step 4.