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Friday, October 15, 2010

Snickers Macarons – heavenly caramel, peanut and chocolate macarons

I love Snickers. I love them so much that when I was at Uni I always kept a bag of baby Snickers in my pantry. My reasoning was, one baby Snickers a day will keep sugar cravings away. Somehow I always blamed the stress of working long into the night on assignments when the inevitable happened and I'd eat the whole bag.

It was a bad, bad, bad idea to have Snickers on-hand. They are highly addictive and almost impossible to stop at one! The combination of salty, sweetness of caramel along with nuttiness of peanuts (all coated in chocolate!) that make Snickers soooooo good . You’ll never go wrong with these three ingredients together. It promises heaven and never fails to deliver.

What do you get when adding those elements together with an almond meringue? Snickers macarons. Heaven!!! A word of warning… like me, you may not be able to stop at one... or more of these little gems.

Yummy Snickers macarons

I substitute half of the almond meal (ground almond) with ground peanut. Noticeably, I find that ground peanut changes the macarons’ texture. It gives more crunch and a fuller texture to the shell (note: crunch isn't necessarily a good thing for macarons as it means dry and crunchy, a definite NO NO for macarons. However, using ground peanut gives a fuller texture and still melts in your mouth), plus it gives the shell a much nuttier taste. Personally I love peanuts, so I find that this flavorsome macaron a nice alternative from pure almond meringue.

Here’s the recipe for Snickers macarons…

Makes about 25 macarons (3 cm)

Macaron shell: Ingredients

100 g egg white (aged at room temperature 24- 72 hrs)
55g ground almond (almond meal or almond powder)
55g ground peanut
160g pure icing sugar
3 teaspoon cocoa powder
60g caster sugar (fine sugar)

Note: I personally go by macaron shell ratio of (which means I weight egg white first before determining the rest of ingredients):
  • 1 part egg white
  • 1.1 part ground almond (or mixture of ground nuts)
  • 1.6 part icing sugar
  • 0.6 part caster sugar
If the peanut you use is unroasted, dry roast your ground peanut in a pan over low-medium heat for about 4-5 mins.

see here for complete instructions on macaron shells,

In addition to the basic macaron shell, you can sprinkle a crushed peanut brittle or crushed peanut praline onto the top of piped macaron shell or omit this step altogether. But I find that macarons are more attractive with some sprinkle on the shells :)

To me, a sprinkle of crushed peanut praline on top is likeputting on a little lipstick... it's a nice finishing touch :)

Peanut caramel filling for macarons
I adapted the recipe from Latin America's caramel spread below:

1 cup full cream milk
45 g sugar (1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons crushed peanut brittle of peanut praline (you can crush the nut in food processor or grinder)
a pinch of salt

Add all the ingredients to a small heavy-based saucepan and stir to dissolve all sugar.
Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer, stirring frequently until thickened and caramelised, about 20 - 40 mins.

Mix crushed peanut brittle into the caramel spread. Chill the caramel filling until ready to use.

Recipe note:
What I used in place of peanut praline is an Asian crushed peanut candy available in most Asian grocery stores. I bought mine from Asian store on Victoria St in Richmond.

Crushed peanut candy usually comes in a pack of tenindividualy wrapped pieces in a bag for $2.50.

The candy is brittle enough that you can crush it by hand or by using a spoon. I used this for both, mixing in the caramel fillings and sprinkling on top.
These little beauties are divine. If you are a peanut and/or caramel lover you'll love these. 

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