Not so long ago, Hungry Hubby took me to TK Maxx to buy me a little treat. I know that makes me sound more like a well behaved child than a fully grown woman but there you go ;) He knows how I love to browse the shelves, looking for bargains or new gadgets to try out in the kitchen but this time, it was an ingredient which caught my eye – powdered peanut.
TK Maxx carries a load of really random ingredients and it’s rare that I do more than glance at them as I can get better or cheaper versions elsewhere. But this got me thinking and by the time I’d carried a big tub of powdered peanuts around the cake tins and utensils aisles, I’d decided that I simply had to use it to make Snickers Macrons!
The thing which really excited me was how this jar of pale manila coloured but strongly fragrant with the scent of peanuts was ultra finely ground. Just like icing sugar. You see, it isn’t ground whole peanuts – nope, it’s nuts which have had most of their oil extracted before turning into a powder.
It’s a product clearly marketed at dieters or body builders looking to up their protein intake but they are missing a trick not promoting this to home bakers wanting to make perfect macarons! The lack of oil means you get tons of flavour but far less risk of having the mixture split, the piped macarons spreading too much and baking very unevenly. Peanuts have sabotaged my macs before now, but no longer! I am a convert!
Now, the brand TK Maxx was selling is called “Tru Nut” but it is outrageously expensive on Amazon so I have found this apparently comparable product by Bell Plantation, should you not be able to find it in your local supermarkets or healthfood shop. Just check the ingredients first – some have tons of added sugar and some have none at all, but they are hard to find – aim for the lowest added sugar you can find.
After nailing the recipe for the peanut macaron shells (isn’t the colour gorgeous? All natural – no added food colouring here), it was time to consider the key element of a Snickers bar – the nougat centre. Now, you can make nougat either by the traditional method of whisking egg whites and boiling honey etc etc but as it’s already involved enough, I opted for a much simpler version for you to try. And wow, it was like when I cracked making Homemade Jaffa Cakes – it tastes exactly the same as the store-bought version!
Plus it uses up that other jar of American produce I’d picked up in TK Maxx ages ago and never used – marshmallow fluff. I bet I’d not alone in buying a jar of the stuff then not having a clue what to do with it! Melt, boil, stir, pour into a bowl to cool. Boom, peanut nougat done! Plus you will have more than you need for these Snickers Macarons so you can press the leftovers into a small tray and make your own Snickers bars too!
To get the full on Snickers experience, I add salted roasted peanuts to the nougat layer – in a real Snickers Bar, they would be in a separate layer but this works better when you’re trying to fill relatively small macarons with it instead of setting into bars. A little dulce de leche “glue” holds the shells and nougat together (remember how easy it is to make dulce de leche in your Instant Pot) and the whole confection is finished with a drizzle of melted milk chocolate. Oh yes, these Snickers Macarons are so worth sourcing the peanut powder and marshmallow fluff for! My taste testers made very rude noises whilst they scoffed these in the break room at work lol…
Everything you love about that classic chocolate bar, made into a macaron! Peanut powder macaron shells filled with an easy peasy nougat, salted and roasted peanuts plus a little dulce de leche. All finished with a drizzle of milk chocolate
- 144 g aged egg whites* (use at room temp)
- 100 g ground almonds
- 80 g peanut powder (you can't sub whole ground peanuts, they are too oily)
- 180 g icing sugar
- 180 g caster sugar
- 45 g cold water
- 60 g butter
- 60 g double cream
- 200 g caster sugar
- 200 g vanilla marshmallow fluff (it's fine to use a whole 7oz jar)
- 4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 2 tbsp roasted and salted peanuts, chopped reasonably finely
- 3-4 tbsp dulce de leche
- 40 g milk chocolate
- 4-5 large baking trays
- Reusable silicone baking sheets, silicone macaron mats or truly nonstick baking parchment
- Digital scales
- Food processor
- Fine meshed sieve
- Stand mixer
- Candy/sugar thermometer
- A large piping bag
Divide the egg whites into 72g in the bowl of your stand mixer (fit it with the whisk attachment), 72g in a large mixing bowl.
Blitz your ground almonds, peanut powder and icing sugar in the food processor until well combined and finely ground. Stop it regularly to scrape down and prevent clumping - normally takes 2mins of blitzing altogether in my Magimix.
Sift the nuts over the egg whites in the large mixing bowl and mix well. It will be a very stiff and sticky mix, that's just fine.
Add the caster sugar into a small saucepan, add the measured water and bring the heat to a boil. Meanwhile, turn the stand mixer on and start whisking the egg whites to firm peaks. Use your thermometer to monitor the temp of the sugar syrup and when it reaches 118˚C, turn the stand mixer speed down to low-medium and pour the hot syrup in a thin, slow stream onto the egg whites. When all in (scrape out the pan) turn the speed up to high and continue until the bowl is cool to touch and the meringue super white and glossy like white patent leather. Caution - the metal bowls on stand mixers will be very hot so wait for at least 5 minutes before carefully feeling the outside to check it's temperature.
Fold a big dollop of the meringue into the nut paste in the large mixing bowl to loosen the mixture up. Then add in the rest and fold it until no streaks remain. Now, you are going to continue mixing with your spatula very firmly until you can draw it up through the mixture leaving a visible line that takes 30 seconds to disappear. If it doesn't mix a little more and try again - this stage is important.
Scrape into a large piping bag and pipe. I use metal baking trays with silicone macaron mats or silicone liners on for preference. Hold the bag vertically and just off the surface of the lined trays. Hold it still and pipe until you have a circle about 1 inch across then stop and pull the bag up sharply. If you've mixed it enough, the peak which forms should be settled by the time you finish piping them all. Leave at least 2-3 inches space between each macaron so not to overcrowd them and allow for a little spreadage when not using mats with wells in.
Tap the trays of macarons onto the counter top to knock any excess air out up to 3 times - just don’t be too heavy handed!
Leave for at least 30 minutes before baking somewhere cool until a skin forms on the outside. Preheat the oven to 160˚C WITH THE FAN ON. It just works better than an ordinary oven. And I can't recommend using an in-oven thermometer highly enough, do not rely on the dial on your oven!
Cook one tray full at a time for 15 minutes - open the door and test by pushing the macaron a little (very gently) on the top - it should not move. If it wobbles, cook another 2 minutes and test again. These peanut macarons take longer than all ground almonds ones to cook.
Cool on a rack until completely cold before trying to remove from the liners.
Simply place the butter, cream and sugar in a medium-large saucepan and heat until melted. Then bring to the boil for 5 minutes.
Take off the heat then mix in the fluff and peanut butter and stir well until smooth. Add in your chopped peanuts and scrape into a bowl to cool. It will be extremely hot so be careful.
Now you need to wait until the nougat is firm enough to mould into little balls/discs to sandwich between the macaron shells and depending on the heat of your kitchen this could take between 15-45 minutes. Check at 15 minute intervals. If it's become too firm, you'll need to return it to the pan to soften a little but if you're checking it regularly, you should have plenty of time to use it up.
Spoon or pipe a little dot (about 1/3 tsp) of dulce de leche onto the bottom of each macaron shell, squish a small ball of nougat into a disc (a rounded tsp is good) and sandwich together. Don't press hard or your macs will crack (although you can cover this with choccie later!).
Melt your milk chocolate and using a small piping bag or food bag, drizzle it back and forth over the macs and leave to set before serving. As with all macarons, these are best after at least a day to allow the dulce de leche to soften the shells. Store at a cool room temp in an airtight tin until needed.
- *= I use either egg whites I have frozen and defrosted or cartons of Two Chicks pasteurised egg whites.
- **= you will have about 1/3 to 1/2 nougat leftover so what I do is whilst it is still soft, I scrape it into a small dish (a 5x7 inch foil tray is a good size) and allow to set up firmly. I then add over a layer of dulce de leche and chill for half an hour before covering with melted chocolate. Add a tsp of vegetable oil to the chocolate before melted so it remains glossy and easy to slice. Chill until needed then slice. Remember the dulce de leche des not "set" so will not be as firm as in a real Snickers bar.
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