I know what you're thinking...another vegan macaron recipe...but I just can't stop! And they're just too delicious not to share! These Snickers macarons are the perfect combination of chocolate, peanut and salted caramel, they taste very like Snickers bars (if my memory serves me correctly! I haven't had one for almost three years!)
Recipe by Charis Mitchell
For the macarons
3/4C water from a can of chickpeas
1/2C granulated sugar
1 1/4C ground almonds
1/2C powdered sugar
1 1/2Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4C chopped peanuts
For the peanut butter cream
2Tbsp smooth peanut butter
3C powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2Tbsp almond or soy milk
For the salted caramel
1/2C light brown sugar
2Tbsp vegan butter spread
1/4C soy, almond or coconut milk
First make the macaron shells
Pour the chickpea water into a small saucepan and allow to simmer over a medium heat until it has reduced to 1/3C, this usually takes around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the reduced chickpea water into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment and whisk on medium to high speed until soft peaks form. Add half the sugar and whisk until well combined, then add the remaining sugar and whisk at high speed until the meringue is glossy and thick - it should be the consistency of marshmallow fluff. Set aside while you prepare your dry ingredients.
Pulse the ground almonds a few times in a food processor until very finely ground. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and process for a few seconds, until well combined.
Sieve the almond-sugar mixture and discard any large pieces. Pour half the dry mixture into the meringue and use a spatula to mix the ingredients together, pressing the dry ingredients down into the meringue until everything is incorporated well. Add the remaining dry mixture and fold into the batter.
Now it's time for a crucial step - the macaronnage. Firmly press the batter against the side of the bowl and then scoop it up and turn over (see this video.) Repeat this process a further 19 times. After macaronnage the batter should be thick and glossy but should fall slowly off the spatula like a ribbon and then settle/spread slightly in the bowl. Spoon the batter into a large piping bag and seal at the top.
Line two large baking trays with grease proof paper and carefully pipe 20 circles onto each, in one smooth motion holding the piping bag directly above the center of each macaron. Drop the baking sheets twice onto a hard surface (this helps to get rid of air bubbles and develops the 'pied') Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over half of the macaron shells.
Leave the macarons to dry at room temperature for 2 hours. Once ready to bake, place the first baking tray into a COLD oven, and then immediately set the oven to just under 100 degrees Celcius. Bake the macarons for 20 minutes (some ovens you may have to bake for longer but don't bake for more than 30 minutes) you can check that the macarons are sufficiently baked by gently lifting up a corner of the grease proof paper and lightly peeling it from a macaron shell. If it comes off easily and the macaron doesn't stick then you can turn your oven off!
Turn off your oven and leave the macarons inside with the door shut for 15 minutes, then open the door and leave them to cool inside the oven for a further 15 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on the baking tray at room temperature.
Once the oven is COMPLETELY COLD you can repeat the baking process with your second tray of macaron shells. Once the shells are cooled, gently peel them from the baking paper and place them on a tray or rack, ready to fill.
Make the cream
Cream together the peanut butter and one cup of the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and a teaspoon of milk and mix until smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix well, adding more milk as needed until you have a thick and creamy frosting. Spoon into a piping bag and seal at the top.
Make the salted caramel
Put the brown sugar, butter and milk in a small pot and place over a medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes (it should only be bubbling a little bit, don't let it boil) stirring regularly. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Pour into a small jug, bowl or jar and leave to cool. As it is cooling give it a stir every 10 minutes or so as it thickens so that a skin doesn't form on the top. Once it's completely cooled spoon the caramel into a piping bag and seal it at the top.
Pipe a circle of peanut butter cream around the edge of each base macaron shell, then fill the hole in the middle with a blob of the salted caramel before carefully sandwiching together with the top macaron shell. Repeat until all the macarons are filled.
Place the macarons in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight before eating (this allows the flavors to develop and gives the desired chew)
Macarons keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for months.