These Rosemary Salted Caramel Macarons are sweet and herbaceous. Homemade caramel is elevated with rosemary salt and sandwiched between two crisp macaron shells, transforming this classic French dessert into the perfect treat for spring and summer.
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Put the fresh herbs in your garden to use with this Rosemary Salted Caramel Macarons recipe. Each bite features a crisp macaron shell, sweet homemade caramel, and herbaceous rosemary sea salt. It’s an elevated salted caramel macaron you and your guests are sure to love!
These sweet and herby macarons fit in perfectly at all kinds of spring and summer events, like garden parties, bridal showers, Easter, Mother’s Day, and more. They’re also easy to prepare ahead of time so there’s no need to stress before the celebration. Once you master the art of macaron making, pile them high next to more fresh flavored macarons, like Dark Chocolate Rose Macarons, Yuzu Raspberry Macarons, and Dark Chocolate Jasmine Macarons.
For more tips on making homemade foolproof macarons, check out my complete guide here!
❓ Macaron vs. macaroon
Don’t let the almost identical spelling fool you. Macarons (pronounced “mack-a-ruhn”) and macaroons are very different! Macaroons are made with shredded coconut, eggs whites, and sugar, while macarons are like a sandwich cookie made with almond flour and customized with various flavors.
- Almond flour - Blanched almond flour (not almond meal) is the traditional choice when making macarons because it gives the cookies a light and fine texture.
- Sugar - You’ll need granulated white sugar and powdered sugar to help the meringue form stiff peaks.
- Egg whites - Room temperature egg whites are essential to a smooth and sturdy meringue.
- Caramel filling - This is the indulgent and creamy filling we’ll sandwich between the macarons. It’s a surprisingly simple process you can make on the stove using granulated sugar, heavy cream, and unsalted butter.
- Rosemary salt - Traditional salted caramel is flavored with plain sea salt but in this macaron recipe, we’re taking it up a notch with homemade rosemary salt. It’s made with a mixture of sea salt and rosemary (dried or fresh) and lasts for weeks or even years. Keep a batch in your cupboard to season poultry, roasted vegetables, fresh bread, or more macaron recipes.
📖 Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites with a whisk attachment on medium speed until they start to foam in the bowl of a stand mixer. Increase the speed and gradually add in the granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the food coloring and whisk to incorporate.
Step 2: Sift the dry ingredients. Blend the powdered sugar and almond flour together in a food processor, and then pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Set aside.
Step 3: Macoranage! Add the sifted ingredients in the bowl with the meringue and fold the two together with a spatula. The batter should be thin and slide easily off the spatula.
Step 4: Pipe the shells. Now pour the batter into your piping bag and pipe onto your prepared baking sheets. Let them rest until the tops are dry to the touch.
Step 5: Bake and cool. Bake until the shells are firm to the touch. Let them cool completely before peeling from the parchment paper.
Step 6: Make the caramel. Heat the sugar in a saucepan until it melts and becomes a deep amber-brown color. Stir in the cream and butter and continue melting until the mixture becomes a silky caramel sauce. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely before pouring into your piping bags.
Step 7: Make the rosemary salt. Stir the rosemary and salt together in a bowl.
Step 8: Assemble, decorate, and enjoy. Pipe a nickel size amount of caramel filling onto half of the macaron shells. Sprinkle the rosemary salt on top, then add another shell on top. To decorate, paint a little gold gel food coloring on the top shell. Let them harden overnight, then enjoy!
🎨 Adding Paint to French Macarons
Adding a swipe of color to the tops of your macaron shells is a fun and simple way to decorate these little French cookies. To do this, you only need a few tools and ingredients…
Ingredients and tools needed to paint French macarons
- French Macaron Shells
- Gel food coloring
- Vodka or Vanilla Extract
- Fine tip paint brushes (reserved for decorating food!)
How to Paint French Macarons
- First off, you’ll want to create the color you’d like to use for painting! Mix together your gel food coloring until you have the color of your choice.
- Then, in a small cup or container, add a drop or two of vodka along with your desired paint color. You’ll want to use alcohol because it evaporates really fast, whereas water or another liquid can make the shells soggy.
- Add the paint to your cooled macaron shells then allow them to dry for the next ten minutes or so before filling the macarons!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Mise en place - Macarons are time-sensitive! Prepare your mise en place before you get started so your ingredients and equipment are ready when you are. Grab that large mixing bowl, sheet of parchment paper, piping tip and electric mixer - then get going!
- Do not overmix - Overmixed macaron batter is impossible to salvage, try not to fuss with it too much.
- Pop the air bubbles - Piping the batter without any air bubbles can be tricky, but tapping the baking sheet firmly on a flat surface will help smooth it out. You can also use a toothpick for popping any tiny bubbles that may rise to the top.
- Practice makes perfect - Making macarons isn’t as forgiving as other baked goods. Just keep practicing and experimenting with different macaron flavors, and you’ll be a pro in no time!
- Don’t like rosemary? Swap it for fresh or dried sage, tarragon, or thyme to customize your herb salt.
🧂 More ways to use rosemary salt
Herb salt can elevate all kinds of sweet and savory meals. These are my favorite ways to use it:
💭 Recipe FAQs
Macaronage is the act of mixing the dry ingredients into the meringue, then folding the two together to form the perfect consistency. You want the meringue to be thin, shiny, drippy, and easily slide off of a spatula.
The salted caramel filling can be made 1 to 2 days in advance and kept in a covered container in the fridge.
This depends on your herbs. If making the herb salt with FRESH rosemary, it will last for 3 weeks at room temperature. A DRIED rosemary and salt mixture, however, will last for up to 1 year.
Yes! In fact, letting the macarons sit overnight in the fridge will help them achieve the classic French bakery taste and texture. Keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 days.
You can also freeze your macarons for up to 1 month and they’ll still taste as good as new. Thaw them on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes before enjoying.
More Macaron Recipes
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Rosemary Salted Caramel Macarons
- 76 g (⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon ) Granulated Sugar
- 90 ml (About 3 egg whites) Room Temperature Egg Whites
- 80 g (¾ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Almond Flour, Blanched
- 150 g (1 ¼ Cup ) Confection’s Sugar, Powdered Sugar
- 500 g (2 ½ cups) Granulated Sugar
- 400 g (1 ⅔ cups) Heavy Cream , as needed
- 75 g (⅓ cups) Unsalted Butter , room temperature
- 3 tablespoon Maldon Sea Salt
- 2 tablespoon Minced Rosemary
- Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your piping bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tips for piping.
- Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking on medium speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes.76 g Granulated Sugar, 90 ml Room Temperature Egg Whites
- While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.80 g Almond Flour, 150 g Confection’s Sugar
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks - add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate,
- Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your french meringue and folding these ingredients enough to allow for the perfect desired consistency. To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Press mixture on the side of your bowl until the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly. You should see that the batter will drip off the spatula back into the bowl, and rest on top for a moment. Then, the batter from your spatula will slowly sink back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over mixed leading to it being impossible to work with, so be careful not to overmix!
- Pour your macaron batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper. In order to get rid of any air bubbles within your piped shells and to even out your tops, tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells.
- Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes. Once the top of your shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
- Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- You will know that your macarons are ready to remove from the oven when you gently touch the upper shell, and it barely moves, while the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper. Remove from the oven to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
- Pour the sugar into a saucepan, and over medium-high heat, allow the sugar to slowly melt and eventually shift in color to a deep amber-brown color.500 g Granulated Sugar
- Add the cream and butter to the sugar – expect the ingredients to bubble and foam for about 30 seconds or so. Then, over low heat, continue to melt down any large bits of caramel until the mixture is completely fluid and smooth before removing from heat400 g Heavy Cream, 75 g Unsalted Butter
- Pour caramel into a glass container and allow to cool completely before piping onto macaron shells.
- Combine both the rosemary and sea salt in a bowl and lightly stir to combine3 tablespoon Maldon Sea Salt, 2 tablespoon Minced Rosemary
- Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell's matching half and pipe a circle of ganache into the middle. Finally, top with the matching half.
- Mise en place - Macarons are time-sensitive! Prepare your mise en place (meaning to set up your working space in preparation for an activity) before you get started so your ingredients and equipment are ready to go.
- Use a piping template - A foolproof way of making perfect macaron shells every time is to trace identical 1-inch diameter circles onto the parchment paper to use as your piping template.
- Use an oven thermometer - Baking the shells at the right temperature is important, so I highly recommend using an oven thermometer.
- Weigh the ingredients - While macarons only use 4 ingredients, if one isn’t measured correctly, your odds of macaron success are considerably lower. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale so everything is precise!
- Storing your macarons - Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
- Practice makes perfect - It’s no secret that making macarons can be tricky. Just keep practicing and experimenting with different macaron flavors, and you’ll be a pro in no time!