Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sea Salt Caramel Macaroons - Paleo, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Egg-free

In the past week I've been keeping a note on my iPhone of various recipes I want to make a bit cleaner. Some are recipes I use to make in my pre-Paleo days, others are recipes I've seen online that I want to re-vamp and some, like the one below, are just something I heard of and thought - I have GOT to figure out a way to make that!

There have been many posts on Facebook lately about Hail Merry macaroons. While they sound fabulous, my eyes didn't light up until someone mentioned CARAMEL SEA SALT macaroons. Oh my. Sea salt is just about the best spice that has happened to chocolate and caramel. I HAD to try to make these babies. So I did. The Urban Poser has been on a macaroon kick lately, so I admit I stole her recipe as a base.

Sea Salt Caramel Macaroons
Makes 10

For the caramel
1 cup blonde coconut/palm sugar
1/4 cup water
6 tbsp pastured butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup canned, full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine the coconut sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk to combine. Continue to cook, whisking regularly, for about 4-5 minutes. Add the butter and continue to whisk. You should begin to notice the mixture thickening and producing large bubbles. This is the part where you just need to eyeball its doneness (I didn't bother with a candy thermometer). Once it seems to have thickened up quite a bit, add the coconut milk and sea salt and continue to whisk for several minutes. Once you feel it has thickened to melted honey consistency, remove from the heat. Don't worry, if it doesn't seem to thicken up to the consistency of honey at room temperature, you can put it back over the heat and cook for several more minutes. This part just takes patience - but the reward is TOTALLY worth it!

For the macaroons
3/4 cup blanched almond flour
1 1/2 cups  unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1/4 cup sea salt caramel
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
unsweetened chocolate (optional)

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees (according to The Urban Poser you are more drying out the macaroons than cooking them).

Combine the almond flour and coconut in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the slightly cooled caramel, coconut oil and vanilla. Once combined, add to the almond flour/coconut bowl and mix well. This part is easier done by hand to make sure everything is fully incorporated. Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 tbsp size) to firmly pack in the mixture and then release onto a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Cook for approximately 50-60 minutes, but keep an eye on them to make sure they aren't browning (lower the heat slightly if they are). Once done, remove from the oven and let cool. Optional: melt unsweetened chocolate (the macaroons are sweet enough!) and dip the bottoms into it - use the extra caramel to drizzle on top!

If you make these, let me know what you think!

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