Hello amigos! Today I am going to show you how to make one of my favorite macarons of the season! Pecan Turtle Macarons! With a video included!
These are Chocolate Macaron Shells, filled with Pecan Caramel Buttercream, topped with a Pecan Turtle Candy!
I say my favorite macarons of the season, because it’s baking season! And I have been baking up a huge storm.
And last month I made these Pecan Clusters. I fell in love with everything about them! And then I thought, how cute would these look on top of macarons?
So I made smaller versions of those Pecan Clusters, and here we are!
And I also figured, what would be a great filling for said Pecan Turtle Macarons? Well Pecan Caramel Buttercream, of course!
The buttercream is super easy to make, you can use homemade caramel, which I’ve included a recipe below for, or you can use store-bought, just as fine!
If you are going the homemade caramel route for this Pecan Caramel Buttercream, here are some tips:
- When making the caramel, don’t let the sugar cook too much. As soon as the last bit of sugar melts in the pan, add the heavy cream.
- Be very careful when adding the heavy cream to the melted sugar, as it will splash everywhere, and since it’s hot sugar, it can burn. So be very very careful!
- Immediately after, add the butter. And don’t cook the caramel too much. Simply melt the butter, and remove the caramel from the heat.
- If you cook the caramel too much, it will be too hard to add to the buttercream.
- Don’t add hot or cold caramel to the buttercream, it has to be exactly at room temperature.
- Make sure the pecans are finely ground. You can find pecan flour at some stores, or simply grind your own, don’t let big pieces in there, or they will form huge lumps in your buttercream, and it won’t be very smooth.
- If the buttercream is too runny, add more sifted powdered sugar.
- And if the buttercream is too stiff, add a tiny bit of milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, adjusting the consistency as you mix.
I offer many tips throughout my posts, and I try to be very detailed in the recipe below, so you know what cues to look for at each stage of making macarons!
That’s the most important thing of making macarons: knowing what each stage is supposed to look like. Picking one recipe and method you like, and sticking with it until you find a groove within it.
Some people prefer the French method, some people prefer the Italian, and others prefer the Swiss.
I use the Swiss method for my Macarons, but for my Vegan Macarons I use the French, and I used to use the Italian before.
There are so many resources out there, wonderful bakers and bloggers willing to help, Facebook groups where people are so kind and prompt to offer advice, help with troubleshooting, and all sorts of support!
The macaron baking community is the most amazing!
If you like the flavors in this Pecan Turtle Macarons, make sure to check out some of these macarons I’ve listed below:
- Chocolate Macarons
- Salted Caramel Macarons
- Nutella Macarons
- German Chocolate Macarons
- Brownie Macarons
- M&M’s Macarons
- Dulce de Leche Macarons
- Toffee Macarons
- Pecan Macarons
- Dulce de Leche Pecan Macarons
- Caramel Popcorn Macarons
All of the above involve caramel, chocolate, or pecan in the recipe, maybe even all three of them!
These Pecan Turtle Macarons were part of a Macaron Box I made for Christmas, with many other Christmas Macarons included in the box such as:
Once I post the box, I’ll come link it over here to show you, and update the post!
Anyway, thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate all the support and love! I hope you liked today’s recipe. Make sure to watch the video also, as it will help a lot to get a visual on how to make these Pecan Turtle Macarons!
I make each step in the video, from the Pecan Turtle Candies, to the macaron shells, the homemade caramel, and the Pecan Caramel Buttercream.
Pecan Turtle Macarons
Chocolate Macaron Shells
- 100 grams egg whites about 3 egg whites, 3.5 oz
- 100 grams white sugar 3.5 oz
- 96 grams almond flour 3.4 oz
- 75 grams powdered sugar 2.64 oz
- 14 grams cocoa powder 0.8 oz
Pecan Caramel Buttercream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (3 oz, 85 grams)
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce recipe below, or use store-bought
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (measure before sifting) 6.75 oz, 191 grams
- 1/3 cup ground pecans 39 grams
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 3.5 oz, 100 grams
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pecan Turtle Candy
- 2.5 oz pecans chopped into large pieces (70 grams)
- 3 oz soft caramel candy pieces unwrapped (85 grams)
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Chocolate Macaron Shells
- Before you start, get all of your ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip. Set aside.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat.
- I use a baking mat with the macaron template already in it. You can make your own or print it from the internet, and just place it under silicon mat, or parchment paper. I recommend using a silicon mat
- Measure out all of your ingredients.
- Sift powdered sugar, almond flour, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
- Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and sugar completely melted. It will take a couple minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking mixture over the water bath.
- Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- With the whisk attachment, start whisking mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium for one to two minutes, until mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise speed to high for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
- Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whip up, the peak should form a bird’s beak shape, but shouldn’t be falling to the side, the peak should be stiff, forming a slightly curved shape at the top.
- Pour powdered sugar and almond flour into stiff whites.
- Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
- Add the food coloring at this point, if using. You can add a bit of brown food coloring to enhance the color of the shells if you want to.
- It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this, and you might have a couple failed batches before you get this right.
- First, I pick up some batter with my spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
- There’s another test you can do. I call it the Teaspoon test.
- Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat. Wait a minute to see how it behaves.
- If the batter stays stiff, forming a point and doesn’t spread out a bit, I start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.
- Test again.
- Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the parchment paper, I transfer my mixture to the piping bag.
- You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to over mix. It’s always best to under mix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
- This is the most important part about making macarons in my opinion. The best way I can describe this stage being perfect is when you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
- Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- Place piping bag directly 90 degrees over the center of each macaron template. Apply equal pressure and carefully pipe for about 3 seconds, and then quickly pull the bag up twisting slightly.
- Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
- Use a toothpick to gently poke any bubbles of air that may have formed on the surface of the macaron shells.
- Let your trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
- Bake one tray at a time.
- Bake for 5 minutes, rotate tray.
- Bake for 5 more minutes. Rotate again.
- I bake each tray for a total of 18-20 minutes rotating every 5 minutes.
- When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. And they will be coming off the mat easily, and with a completely formed bottom.
- Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
- Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Pecan Caramel Buttercream
- Add butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream for 1 minute, on high speed.
- Add caramel sauce. Make sure the caramel sauce is at room temperature.
- Mix until incorporated.
- Add ground pecans and powdered sugar.
- Mix on low until the powdered sugar has mixed with the butter and caramel, then raise speed to medium high, and cream until fluffy, for 1-2 minutes.
- If the frosting is too runny, add more sifted powdered sugar. And if the frosting is too stiff, add a teaspoon of milk at a time, mixing in between, until you achieve the proper consistency.
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag.
- Place sugar in a small saucepan.
- Melt sugar over medium heat, stirring to melt evenly.
- As soon as the last bit of sugar has melted, immediately add heavy cream to the melted sugar.
- Be careful as the mixture will bubble up and splash once you add the cream.
- Add salt, mix until combined.
- Add butter and stir the caramel until the butter has melted.
- Don’t over cook the caramel, as you don’t want it to be too hard. If you cook the caramel too much, it will be too hard to add to the buttercream.
Pecan Cluster Candies
- Divide chopped pecans over the molds of a mini muffin pan, or simply arrange them over a baking sheet lined with silicone mat, or parchment paper. You should have about 24 little clusters.
- Unwrap the caramel candies, mix with the heavy cream, and microwave for a few seconds, stirring in between, until the candies are completely melted.
- Use a spoon to pour a bit of melted caramel over each pecan cluster.
- Let the caramel set for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt chocolate in the microwave.
- Place it in a piping bag, or use a spoon to pour some chocolate over each pecan cluster.
- Place it in the fridge to set the chocolate and caramel.
- Pipe the Pecan Caramel Buttercream on each bottom shell.
- Top with another shell.
- Dab a tiny bit of melted chocolate on top of the shells.
- Top with a Pecan Turtle Candy.
- Let the macarons mature in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.
- Also, allow the macarons to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before eating, so they have a chance to soften up.
- These Pecan Turtle Macarons can be frozen for up to 2 months, or refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Food coloring: Make sure to use gel food coloring. I use Wilton Color Right Performance Food Coloring Set. If you are a beginner macaron baker, I recommend going easy on the food coloring, as it can alter your batter a lot, and it can take extra mixing time, specially if you continue to add the food coloring as you do the macaronage.
Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.
Macaron amount: it will vary greatly depending on how big you pipe the shells, and on how runny or thick the batter is.
Baking time/temperature: Baking time and temperature will vary according to your own oven. I recommend experimenting with your oven to find out the best time, temperature, position of the baking tray.
Oven thermometer: Make sure to have an oven thermometer to bake macarons. It’s one of the most important things about making macarons. Home ovens aren’t accurate at all at telling the temperature, and even a slight 5 degree difference can make or break your whole batch.
Tray rotation: Lots of bakers don’t have to rotate the trays 180 degrees in the oven every 5 minutes, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.
Storage: This is the Storage Container I use to store my macarons.