Puppy Chow Macarons / by Chelsea Zwieg

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Puppy Chow Macarons! Guys, you need these in your life so bad right now. I made these probably a month ago and somehow it has taken me this long to post them. But now I'm sitting at Starbucks with roughly 9 million things to do and it seemed like the perfect time to put it all off for a hot minute to tell you about these macarons! Priorities. You know how it is. 

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I can't take total credit for the magic of a puppy chow and macaron marriage....but I also don't know who to credit. In one of the many hours of my life that have slipped away while I stalk macaron bakeries on Instagram I saw a puppy chow macaron. The bakery may have slipped out of my mind but the idea of puppy chow macarons most definitely did not. So I went at it. The only trouble was in figuring out how to coat the shells in a snowpocalypse amount of powdered sugar because it all actually wants to fall off the top of a perfectly smooth and shiny macaron shell. But the trick is to brush the shells with simply syrup (equal parts sugar and water) which gives them a thin sticky coating perfect for holding on to all of that fluffy sugary action. The shells are filled with a chocolate and peanut butter, and you can easily add more or less peanut butter adjust the peanut butteriness to your liking. Ok, macaron talking break over. I'm going to get back to work and you really should get to making these. You 110% won't regret it. 

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Puppy Chow Macarons

| Ingredients

For the shells:

  • 100 grams almond flour
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 10 grams cocoa powder
  • 100 grams egg whites
  • 100 grams granulated sugar 

For the filling: 

  • 4 oz. chocolate (dark or milk, whatever you prefer) 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. peanut butter

For the coating

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

| Instructions

Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking mats and set aside. 

Sift the flour,  powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and granulated sugar. Place the mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is warm to the touch. Return the bowl to your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to high and whisk the egg mixture until it forms stiff peaks. 

Sift the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl on top of the egg whites. Don't skip this double sifting step, it's super important! Turn the mixer to medium and mix for about 10 seconds, until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. At this point, take a spatula and scrape down any unincorporated meringue from the sides of the bowl. Also run the spatula around the bottom once to get any bits that didn't get mixed in. You don't want to just let the mixer run until this stuff is mixed in or the batter will be overmixed. Drop the whisk back down into the batter and lift it up, if the batter runs down in a steady stream, it is ready. If it breaks as it runs down, continue to mix for a few seconds at a time just until it no longer breaks. 

Scoop the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip. Pipe evenly sized rounds (the size is totally up to you, mine are usually about 1 1/2- 2 inches in diameter) onto the prepared baking sheets. Bang the baking sheets on the counter several times to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons sit out until the tops are dry and a skin has formed. You will know they are ready when you touch one with your finger and you can pull it away clean. If batter sticks to your finger and it creates a peak in the macaron, they need to sit longer. This can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on the weather, the heat of your kitchen, humidity etc. 

Once the macarons have dried, preheat oven to 300 and place a rack in the center. Bake the macarons one tray at a time for 15-20 minutes. A good test for if the macarons are done is to gently tap the top of a shell with your finger. If it sound hollow and the macarons does not jiggle back on forth on the feet that it has formed. they are ready to go. Remove from the oven and immediately remove the baking mat from the pan. Let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the mat. 

For the filling, melt the chocolate, cream and peanut butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Let set until the ganache is a pipable consistency. You can speed this up by putting it in the refrigerator, just stir it every so often so it doesn't get too hard around the edges and stay liquid in the center. 

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Working a few shells at a time, brush the tops of each shell with the sugar and water mixture (simply syrup) and toss in powdered sugar until coated. Once the shells are coated, pipe the ganache onto half of the shells and sandwich together with the remaining shells.