Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies


 
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter

Earlier this year, I spent a long time recipe testing to come up with what I consider to be my perfect chocolate chip cookie. I took a couple of different ‘fomocookie’ recipes, took what I liked from each, then tweaked and tweaked and tweaked until I found something that I considered to be perfect. I have since learnt, that while that one recipe IS perfect (to me, anyway), there are a whole bunch of iterations of chocolate chip cookies that are also perfect. Changing up the fats used (such as subbing olive oil), adding mix-ins, and browning the butter, along with playing around with the egg, sugar, flour and leavening agent ratios, all can give you variations on a perfect cookie. And today, I learnt that browning the butter, and stirring in chunks of salted caramel into a chocolate chunk filled cookie mixture, also yield a very, very perfect cookie.

I have teamed up with Sunspire and The Feedfeed to bring you this take on a classic chocolate chip cookie. I wanted something elevated, and a little fancy, but not something that required crazy ingredients that would leave you with a nearly full bag of something weird in your cupboard for the next year - the kind of fancy you could achieve with pantry staples. Like when you wear jeans around the house instead of yoga pants kind of fancy. You’ve made a little effort, but didn’t have to go out of your way to achieve it. Just me? Thought so.

I achieved this little bit of fancy by taking ingredients that are already in cookies, and elevating them slightly. I browned the butter, which adds a beautiful toasty note to the cookies, and complimented it with muscovado sugar in the dough. I then made a quick hard caramel, let it set, then bashed it up into chunks. The caramel chunks were stirred through the mixture, along with some Sunspire 44% Chocolate Chunks - the chocolate is beautiful and smooth, and one bag is the perfect size for a batch of cookies! The caramel is the ultimate bestie for the chocolate chunks - it is chewy and crunchy, adding texture alongside the smooth taste of the chocolate.

These cookies really don’t take a huge amount of extra work, but the few extra steps really do make a huge difference. I also did a bunch of tests and found that the dough can be baked off without a resting period, which means cookies in an instant. The best.

A few wee tips:

  • I have posted the recipe here in grams because that is how I tested it - lots of people don’t realise, but as little as 50g of flour makes a huge amount of difference when it comes to the texture of your cookie, so weighing your ingredients removes the margin of error that comes with measuring by volume. That, and there are far less dishes to do! I would rather you spend $10 on a scale than on ingredients for a cookie that didn’t work out because you didn’t measure your ingredients properly.

  • Don’t be intimidated by the extra steps of browning the butter and making the caramel. They don’t add a huge amount more time, and you can make the caramel while the brown butter cools!

  • I like to chop my chocolate so that you have both shards and chunks. You can also use a baking bar here and chop it roughly using a sharp knife (Sunspire also does a great one).

  • This recipe does make quite a few cookies (never a bad thing), but if you would like to bake some later, you can roll the dough into balls, place on a lined sheet tray, then freeze until solid before transferring to an airtight bag in the freezer. Add a minute or two onto the bake time to account for the frozen dough.

 

 

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

- Makes about 30 cookies -

225g unsalted butter, straight from the fridge
200g granulated sugar (for the caramel)
150g muscovado sugar
60g dark brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
330g all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
255g (One Bag) Sunspire 44% chocolate chunks
Flaky Sea Salt for Finishing

 

- PROCESS -

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line 3-4 baking trays with parchment paper.

Place the butter in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted, and then continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until the butter foams and turns golden brown and nutty - this should take 3-4 minutes. Transfer the brown butter to the bowl of a stand mixer to cool slightly.

While the butter is cooling, make the caramel - place the 200g granulated sugar into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Place a silicone mat on a heat resistant surface (I use my counter) or onto a baking tray, and have nearby.

Place the sugar in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Heat the sugar, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until all of the sugar has melted (the sugar will clump as you heat, but continue to stir - it will soon smooth out). Continue to cook the caramel until it is amber in colour and just beginning to smoke slightly. Immediately pour onto the prepared silicone mat, and leave to cool while you prepare the cookie dough.

Place the bowl of the stand mixer with the brown butter onto the mixer, and fit with the paddle attachment. Mix the brown butter, muscovado sugar, dark brown sugar, and second measure of granulated sugar on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in colour and thickened.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer off, add to the mixing bowl, then mix on low until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish the incorporation of the dry ingredients by hand if needed - scrape down the bowl and ensure that all the mixture at the bottom of the bowl is fully incorporated.

Roughly chop half of the Sunspire chocolate chunks using a sharp knife to give some variation in chocolate size, and add to the mixing bowl along with the unchopped half. Carefully peel the caramel sheet off the silicone mat, and place onto the chopping board. Using a sharp knife, cut into chunks ½” to ¾” or smaller in size - there will be some small shards, and larger pieces. Use caution as the shards will be sharp. Add the caramel shards to the bowl along with the chocolate, and mix briefly to combine.

Using a two tablespoon scoop, place level scoop fulls of dough onto the prepared baking trays - 8 per tray works well for me, but I like to start with 6 just to make sure there will be enough space. Roll each into a ball and arrange on the trays, leaving ample room for spreading.

Bake the trays one at a time for 11-12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed up and set around the edges. Remember that they will continue to cook a little once you remove them from the oven. If the cookies have lost their round shape a little in the oven due to the caramel, you can use a round cookie cutter slightly larger than the cookie to nudge it back into a circular shape. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sea salt, then cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookies. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Regular pantry staples are elevated to another level to give this cookie a 'fancy with only a little more effort' vibe. Brown butter is stirred in with toasty muscovado sugar to form a perfect cookie dough, and then hard caramel shards and chocolate chunks are folded in to give the perfect amount of chocolate and caramel per bite. Finished with flaky sea salt, this is a super easy yet satisfying baking recipe. #saltedcaramelcookie #chocolatechunkcookie #brownbutter

Thank you so much to Sunspire and the Feedfeed for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post!


 
Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

A couple of weeks ago I packed an overnight bag and headed to Jersey for the night for something I’ve never done before, but will hopefully be doing again - a pie sleepover! I went to stay with my good friend Erin, and we put together a one-stop Thanksgiving Pie (or any time pie) post for you! We chose nine of our favourite recipes - some traditional, and some less traditional (I think? I know nothing about Thanksgiving lol), and I think that we managed to come up with something for everyone. Erin is the queen of the pie (She just did an incredible feature in the NEW YORK TIMES!), and we had the best time spending two days together to have a proper catch up rather than just a quick dinner or drink every now and then like we usually manage. I learnt LOADS, ate loads, and if I may say so myself, we put together a fairly epic pie roundup for you - in our opinions, nine of the best pies to make for Thanksgiving!

We have used existing recipes here - either from Erin’s book (which you should get right now if you don’t already own), one of the many recipes she has developed, or recipes from here on my blog, so underneath each photo you will find a link to the recipe, along with any notes we have or changes that we have made. The pies are perfect as singles, but we also wanted to give you recipes that compliment each other, so if you’re hoping to make a pie spread for Thanksgiving, we got you.

Here’s what we ended up with (in the order listed):

  • Pumpkin Sugar Pie

  • Nutella French Silk Pie

  • Chocolate Pecan Pie

  • Bourbon Apple Galette

  • Chocolate Cream pie with Peanut Butter Cream

  • Blood Orange Meringue Pie

  • Miso Caramel Apple Pie

  • Concord Grape Pie

  • Apple Butterscotch Pie

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

A few wee notes on pie making:

  • Erin taught me an amazing way to make your pie dough smooth and easy to work with, while still being flaky AF: Make the dough as usual (you can keep the butter chunks quite big), wrap it up, rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour, then roll it out into a rectangle, fold it like a letter, then repeat the process. You then fold all four corners inward to form the rectangle into a disc, then re-wrap and rest in the fridge until you are ready to roll out! This process is similar to how rough puff is made, and really helps develop layers in the dough, while keeping it smooth and pretty! This technique was an absolute game changer for me, and I’m going to be using it every time I make dough now!

  • An overnight rest is best if possible for the dough, but if not, a couple of hours will work if you are in a pinch.

  • If you have a fave dough recipe, go ahead and use that! Otherwise ours are in the recipes!

  • Take things slow, and keep things cold. The best pies are the ones made where you aren’t in a rush! If you find your dough is warming up, pop it back into the fridge for a bit so that it firms up again slightly. Give your pie a good amount of time to rest in the fridge before you bake it to allow the crust to chill properly.

  • Some of the pies require a par-bake. We did this the night before, then filled and baked off the day of. This is an easy way to get some of the prep work done ahead of time.

  • Fruit pies can be made ahead of time - I like to make the filled pie, then freeze it unbaked until it is pie time! I usually freeze it until the crust is solid, then wrap tightly in foil to store in the freezer. It may need a little longer in the oven to account for the freezing.

  • Some of these pies need time to set - like the Nutella French Silk and Chocolate Cream Pie, so make sure you account for this!

  • If you want a clean cut on your pie, make sure that it is totally cool before cutting into it.

  • Erin has about 12 zillion more amazing pie tips in her book, including different ways to crimp your crust! (I also saved all the videos to my highlights on IG if you want a little relaxing video watching session)

  • The recipe for the apple butterscotch pie is in an ebook alllll about pie which Erin is releasing very soon! As soon as it is online, I will add the link!

  • If you have any questions, please leave them down below, and I will do my very best to answer everything!


Pumpkin Sugar Pie: The Pumpkin Pie for people who don’t like Pumpkin Pie

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

Both Erin and I aren’t giant fans of Pumpkin Pie - for me, I would just rather eat something else. I grew up eating savoury pumpkin dishes (we don’t have pumpkin pie / thanksgiving in New Zealand), so I’ve never been super into it. I also find it a little stressful to make, as I worry about it overcooking and cracking, which is caused by the protein in the eggs tightening up too much, causing cracks. This Pumpkin Sugar Pie, however is a bit of a game changer. It is set with flour as opposed to eggs, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking, and has a beautiful silky texture. It’s the best, and I will definitely be making it this year! Plus, drowning things in icing sugar is far too much fun. If you are looking for other sugar pie recipes, Erin just posted two in her NYT feature, and there’s the OG in her book!

 

 

Nutella French Silk Pie: A twist on the classic French Silk Pie

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

I developed this one not too long ago, and it might possibly be a top contender for best pie ever in my books. I know Chocolate pie isn’t a traditional thanksgiving staple, but can we make it one? Haha. I think having a chocolate pie to balance out all the fruit pies is essential. This one, unlike most french silk pies, doesn’t use any raw eggs, and it is silky smooth with a good Nutella hit. It’s finished with swirls of whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts. You can’t really go wrong.

 

 

Chocolate Pecan Pie: A classic Thanksgiving Staple

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

I don’t know a whole lot about pecan pie, but I do know that 1. It is a Thanksgiving classic, and 2. Erin’s version is epic. She doubled the filling for the recipe linked below, then baked it in a par baked crust, the same way you would do a sugar pie. Erin doubled the recipe for this chocolate pecan galette, and baked it in a par-baked crust (with a fork crimp! So cute!), until the pecans were toasty and the filling was set.

 

 

Bourbon apple galette: The apple pie that doesn’t require a lattice

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

Galettes are the perfect option for those who still want pie, but find making a double crust or crimping dough intimidating. You basically roll out the dough, dump the filling in, and then fold up the sides however you like. This Bourbon Apple Galette is super easy and crazy delicious - you make a lightly spiced bourbon sugar mixture, which is drizzled over the apples before baking, and turns the filling into this amazing caramelised apple situation. We used this recipe, but made it round rather than square.

 

 

Chocolate cream pie with peanut butter cream: For the peanut butter lover

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

This pie was the very first thing I made from Erin’s book, and I quickly got hooked on the peanut butter whipped cream on top, and proceeded to put it on everything I made. To make this pie, you fully blind bake a crust, then pour pudding into it and allow it to set, before finishing with peanut butter whipped cream. The cream really finishes it off, so don’t skip it!

 

 

Blood Orange Meringue Pie: The Perfect citrus meringue pie

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

I love a good lemon meringue pie (I mainly just love burning things with my blow torch), so was super excited when Erin suggested a rework of the grapefruit meringue pie from her book! I love how this one turned out so much - the best part about meringue pies is not having to worry about what the surface of the pie looks like, because you know you’re just going to load it up with meringue anyway. The curd was a beautiful pink colour, and it was an epic twist on the traditional. The recipe for this is the grapefruit meringue pie in Erin’s book - we just subbed blood orange juice for the grapefruit.

  • Get the recipe: You can buy Erin’s book here

 

 

Miso Caramel Apple pie: a variation on the traditional caramel apple pie

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

This pie has been a very firm favourite in our house for a while now - I love caramel apple pie, but there is something about the umami, savoury flavour that the miso caramel gives to this pie that I just can’t go past. The miso caramel recipe makes a little more than you need, which means some very epic ice cream sundaes are going to be in your future. It’s perfect if you are looking for a wee twist on apple pie!

 

 

Concord grape pie: for a wee taste of summer

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

I had Concord Grape pie for the first time a couple of weeks ago at Gramercy Tavern, and was instantly obsessed. Concord grapes are a variety of grape grown here in the USA - if you’re from New Zealand, I would describe them as the same kind of grapes people grow on vines in their garden - the dark purple ones with the kind of waxy finish and the skins that pull away super easily. You know the ones? Good. Erin’s filling is perfect - she had some frozen grapes she used for the filling. I’ve seen them still in season here in NYC, so if you see some, grab them and stash them and make this pie! This recipe is also from Erin’s book, and she did a simple ‘fattice’ on the top (using fat strips), which is a great lattice to use if you’re unsure about weaving pie dough, because it’s super simple, but still so, so pretty!

  • Get the recipe: You can buy Erin’s book here

 

 

Apple butterscotch pie: for when you can’t decide between a cream pie and a fruit pie

Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

This pie was my very very favourite of them all. It’s a cooked apple filling, which is baked in a par baked crust, and then covered with a butterscotch pudding, then set in the fridge and topped with a layer of whipped cream. There’s so many flavours going on - the spiced fruit, the sweet pudding and the whipped cream. It’s like all the best parts about different types of pies had a baby, and this is it. The recipe for this one is in an ebook that Erin is releasing super super soon, so as soon as the link is live I will pop it here for you and update the post!

  • Get the recipe: Link to Erin’s ebook is here!

Happy Happy Thanksgiving, or if you don’t celebrate, happy pie making!

 

 
Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup
Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup
Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup
Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup
Nine of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes: the Ultimate Pie Roundup Post! This roundup post lists some of the best thanksgiving pie recipes - there is literally something for everyone. Make just one or mix and match for the ultimate thanksgiving pie spread. #thanksgiving #pierecipes #roundup

Apple Butter Macarons with Spiced Swiss Meringue Buttercream


 
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron

For the last couple of years, we have been part of a CSA. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” - essentially a farm upstate grows all the produce, then each week drives a truck down to drop off shares to a bunch of different CSAs. You pay at the start of the year, and then get to pick up seasonal veggies for 22 weeks! Each week is slightly different. It’s a great way to meet people, and the produce is always amazingly fresh. I became part of the volunteer group that runs it a few years ago - we each take turns running the pick-ups.

Anyway, where I am going with this is that I ran the pick-up last week, in the middle of a storm. I froze my wee fingers off, but it ended up being incredibly worth it, because due to the storm a bunch of people didn’t pick up, so I came home with a GIANT crate of apples. Like, crate that they use in the orchard. It’s way more apples than I know what to do with, so I’m going to get to it this weekend making some apple butters and pies so that we have them on hand in the freezer.

I popped round to Jase’s yesterday and we made these apple macarons! We filled them with an apple butter, and a swiss meringue buttercream which we spiked with vanilla bean, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and ginger. You can’t really get any more autumn than that. Fall AF.

A few wee tips:

  • I have included notes to make apple butter (which is really just reduced apple sauce!) in both the instant pot and the slow cooker. You may or may not have to reduce down the mixture using the slow cooker - it depends on your apples. You are looking for a thick apple puree or sauce consistency. Remember that it will thicken in the fridge slightly!

  • Using the instant pot you will have to reduce it more because the water does not evaporate. You can do this on the saute function, however I find this a little inconsistent in heat delivery, so prefer to switch it to the pot.

  • The Apple butter needs to cool down before it can be used - overnight is ideal. You will be left with extra - but it is amazing on toast or baking!

 

 

Apple Butter Macarons with Spiced Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes about 24 Macarons -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 

Apple Butter
960g (2 pounds) apples, cored and diced
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
Maroon gel food colouring (we used maroon by americolor)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Spiced Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1/2 cup (123g) egg whites, or 4 large egg whites
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
455g (16oz, or four sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

 

- PROCESS -

APPLE BUTTER

Combine all the ingredients in the pot of an instant pot. Seal and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, then quick release the pressure. Blend well using a stick blender or high powered blender, and transfer to a medium sized pot over low heat. Cook down for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently, until the apple butter has reduced to a thick paste (It will thicken slightly in the fridge). Transfer to a covered container and cool in the fridge completely.

Alternatively, to make the apple butter in the slow cooker, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours, until the apples are very soft. Blend either with a stick blender or a high powered blender. If the mixture is still reasonably runny (this will depend on the moisture content of your apples), transfer to a pot over low heat. Cook down, stirring frequently, until the apple butter resembles a thick paste. Transfer to a covered container and cool completely in the fridge.

MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add maroon gel food colour a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. 

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth. 

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

SPICED SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small french star tip. 

ASSEMBLY

Place the apple butter into a small piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pair up each macaron shell with another of an equal size. Pipe a ring of buttercream on one half of the shell, then a blob of the compote in the middle. Place the second shell carefully on top. Repeat with the rest of the macarons. Macarons are best chilled overnight to allow the flavours to meld, but can also be eaten immediately. 

The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron