Ever since I made my Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with Dulce de Leche, I was convinced that those two flavors were a match made in heaven.
I’ve tried pairing them in every form I could think of—-cookies, ice cream, brownies. And then it came to me…………
Why not in Macarons!
I decided to flavor the shells with vanilla beans instead of using extracts or oils. The beans left a pretty speckled look to the shells that I just loved.
For the filling, I went with the “Easy Peasy” method of making dulce de leche by slowly cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot. It’s ridiculously easy to make and results in a beautifully luscious product. You simply MUST try it if you haven’t done it before.
I had intended to just fill the macarons with dulce de leche but it ended up oozing over the sides of the shells. And although it still would have tasted yummy, it didn’t look too eye-appealing. I decided to make a quick buttercream with the Dulce de Leche to give the same flavor but with a better consistency. Just as yummy in my opinion 🙂
I must admit that I was a bit sloppy with these little buggers. When I bake macarons, I am usually so meticulous and focus solely on them. But this time I was attempting to multitask in the kitchen and was trying to do a ton of different things at once. As a result, I was a bit careless when I piped the shells and they came out in all sizes and shapes—-My Bad!
But even though they weren’t Pierre Hermé perfect, it did prove once again that Vanilla Beans and Dulce de Leche are the new “IT” couple!
Vanilla Bean Macarons with Dulce de Leche Buttercream
Makes 18-20 Macarons
115 Grams Almond Meal
180 Grams Confectioners’ Sugar
100 Grams Egg Whites, aged at room temperature for 24 hours
25 Grams Granulated Sugar
Seeds from 1/2 Vanilla Bean Pod
Dulce de Leche Buttercream:
1 to 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 Tablespoons Dulce de Leche
In a large bowl sift together almond meal and confectioners’ sugar to remove any lumps. Set aside.
In a mixing stand, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add vanilla beans and slowly add granulated sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Carefully begin incorporating dry mixture into the meringue—gently folding until all items have been integrated. This should take no more than 50 strokes.
Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe small rounds of the mixture onto Silpat lined baking sheets. Rounds should be about 1½ inches in diameter. Once baking sheets are filled, tap the sheet carefully but firmly on the counter to remove any possible air pockets. Let baking sheets sit on the counter for 45 minutes to harden the outer shell before baking.
Bake at 280 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Transfer the pans to cooling rack and cool completely before removing shells from mats.
While shells are cooling, prepare the buttercream. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until the butter becomes thicker and stiff. Add the Dulce de Leche and whip until combined. If needed, add a few more spoons of confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached.
Transfer buttercream to a piping bag. Fill a macaron shell with the buttercream and sandwich with another shell.. Macarons can be stored in airtight containers for 3 to 4 days.
Note: The buttercream is on the sweeter side so I would suggest filling only a minimal amount 🙂