Today I’m excited to share my first fall macaron flavor of the year! These Hazelnut Dulce De Leche Macarons were inspired by a cake from one of my favorite bakeries, Mi Flavour in Spokane Washington!
The nuttiness of the hazelnut paired with the warm rich flavor in the dulce de leche will have you feeling all sorts of cozy.
This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
Let’s jump in to the recipe! First things first, you’ll want to make your Dulce De Leche. If you have a brand from the store you want to buy you can obviously skip this step, but homemade is a delicious and easy option as well!
All you need to make homemade dulce de leche is one can of sweetened condensed milk, and a crockpot. Remove the label from the can of sweetened condensed milk, place it in the crockpot, and fill the crockpot with enough water to completely submerge the can. Cook on low for 8 hours and then allow sufficient time to cool before filling macarons.
Next, let’s talk about the shells. You’re going to take a SLIGHT detour from regular macaron shells and make 1 swap! To accompany the cozy fall flavors in the filling, we’re going to walk through how to make brown sugar macaron shells. This change doesn’t require any changes in technique. All you have to do is use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar when making the meringue! Too easy right?
If you’re new to making macarons or just want to brush up on the process, head over to my Basic French Macarons recipe!
The brown sugar in the shells creates a soft ivory hue, but I also added just a pinch of Wilton Brown Gel Food Coloring to deepen the color.
Next, let’s move along to the other component of the filling, the Hazelnut Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I used a brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream as the base for this and it was delicious! If it starts getting soft while you’re working with it, pop it back in the fridge to chill a bit. Food process roasted or toasted hazelnuts until they are finely ground, and then fold them into the buttercream.
When all of your components have cooled, match each shell up with a partner of equal size and line them up for filling.
Pipe a ring of hazelnut buttercream on one shell in each pair, and then fill the center with the dulce de leche. Place one half of a hazelnut in the center of each macaron, and sandwich the matching shell on top. I had a hard time finding hazelnuts in my local grocery store, but I’ll link the ones I found on Amazon below!
If you’d like to add the decoration, melt down white chocolate or candy melts in a microwave safe glass. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring well each time until it starts melting. Shorten intervals to 10 seconds and stir well each time until chocolate is smooth.
Before dipping macarons, make sure to chill them in the fridge so they are sturdier and easier to handle. Dip each macaron into the white chocolate halfway, and then wiggle to allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle on chopped hazelnuts to finish the assembly.
There you have it! I hope you enjoy these delicious Hazelnut Dulce De Leche Macarons!
For another fall macaron idea, check out my Pumpkin Brûlée Macaron recipe.
Thanks for stopping by, happy baking!
Hazelnut Dulce De Leche Macarons
Brown Sugar Macaron Shells
- 130 grams egg whites Approximately 4 Large Eggs
- 120 grams brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 200 grams almond flour
- 200 grams confectioner’s sugar
- 1 Small Smudge of Wilton Brown Gel Food Coloring
Dulce De Leche (Skip if using store bought)
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
Assembly and Decoration
- 11 oz white chocolate chips or candy melts
- 30 roasted hazelnut halves about 1/4 cup
- 3/4 cup roasted chopped hazelnuts
Hazelnut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 2 oz egg whites
- 4 oz brown sugar
- 5 oz unsalted butter
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
- Macaron Shells
- Line 2 baking sheets with either parchment paper or a silicone mat (circle template optional but recommended).
- Place a medium/large round piping tip in a large piping bag. Twist the bag right behind the tip and add a clip to seal off the opening. Place the bag tip down into either a clean tall cup with the edges folded over the rim to keep the bag open, or clip it into a bag holder.
- Using a kitchen scale, carefully weigh out and sift the confectioner’s sugar and almond flour into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk well to fully blend the two together.
- Place egg whites, brown sugar, and cream of tartar into a large mixing bowl, and begin beating with a whisk attachment using either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer for 2 minutes on a medium low speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 4).
- Turn up the mixer to a medium speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 6) and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add brown food coloring.
- Turn mixer up to medium high speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 8) and beat for 3 more minutes, or until peaks are very stiff and the meringue clumps up in a ball in the center of the whisk. Test stiffness by removing whisk and pointing it upward. (See photo in Basic French Macarons post) Once the peaks can hold their shape flipped upright, your meringue is ready.
- Pour half of your almond flour/confectioner’s sugar mixture into the bowl with your meringue, and fold 15 times. One fold is scraping all the way around the edge of your batter in your bowl, and then dragging your spatula through the middle. Be sure to scoop around the bottom of the bowl as well so you don’t miss any dry ingredients.
- Pour in the remaining powdered sugar and almond flour, and continue folding (approximately 30 more folds) until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overfold. Start checking your batter’s readiness every 5 folds or so at this point by scraping all batter down to the bottom of your bowl, and then wiggling your bowl back and forth several times. If the batter levels out with very few peaks and lines remaining, it should be ready.
- Pour batter into prepared piping bag, and twist the opening off. Hold your bag at the twist between your thumb and pointer finger. Remove the clip.
- Holding the piping bag straight up and down, apply pressure to begin piping your batter in the center of your circle templates, releasing pressure once you are a few millimeters short of your desired size. After you release pressure, use a small quick circular flick to release your tip from the piped macaron.
- Once you’ve piped a full tray, firmly bang the tray on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles and smooth out shells. Pop any remaining large bubbles with a toothpick or scribe tool. Repeat with the second tray.
- Begin preheating your oven to 295 degrees, using an oven thermometer if possible to ensure accurate temperature readings.
- Set aside shells to dry until they form a skin and are no longer tacky to the touch. Once you can gently run a finger over your shells, they are ready to bake. Use a fan to speed up the process, rotating the tray every few minutes to ensure even drying. This usually takes at least 20 minutes for me even with a fan.
- Once shells are dry, and the oven has fully preheated to 295, place one tray in the center of the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 18 minutes.
- Quickly open door to check the shell’s doneness by gently pressing on the side just above the feet to see if it’s firm. If it moves at all, bake for another 2 minutes.
- Check shells by performing the same test, pressing on the side. If they are still unstable, bake for one more minute, and check again. Repeat until shells are firm and do not budge, then remove from oven. Make sure oven is still at the correct temperature and then bake your second tray.
- Allow shells to cool completely, and the carefully remove from silicone mat or parchment paper by gently peeling them off.
Dulce De Leche (Skip if using store bought)
- Remove label from the can of sweetened condensed milk.
- Place unopened can in a crockpot, and then fill the crock with water until the can is completely submerged.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. Allow plenty of time for dulce de leche to cool before assembling macarons.
Hazelnut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Use a food processor to chop 1/2 cup of hazelnuts until it reaches a very fine crumb size, and then set aside.
- Using a medium size sauce pot, bring an inch or so of water to a boil.
- In a medium heat safe metal or glass bowl that is large enough to rest on top of the sauce pot, whisk together the egg whites and brown sugar. (Use a kitchen aid mixing bowl and whisk attachment to save a dish later.)
- Place bowl on top of the pot with boiling water and continue whisking occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove bowl from heat, and use an electric mixer to whisk the mixture until a stiff glossy meringue forms.
- Once the meringue cools down a bit, cut the butter into several small pieces and add it into the bowl one piece at a time.
- Beat for another few minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy, and the butter flavor becomes less prominent.
- Add in the salt and vanilla, and whip until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in the finely chopped hazelnuts until combined.
Assembly and Decoration
- Match up each shell with a partner shell of equal size, and line pairs up on parchment paper.
- Wait to fill macarons until all components are no longer warm. Using a piping bag with a round piping tip like a Wilton #10, pipe a border of hazelnut swiss meringue buttercream on one shell in each pair.
- Fill the center of the hazelnut swiss meringue buttercream border with the dulce de leche. A quick way to do this is to place the filling in a ziploc bag, and then cut off a corner of the bag and use it to pipe the filling.
- Place one half of a hazelnut in the center of the dulce de leche.
- Gently sandwich the matched shell on top.
- Chill macarons in the fridge or freezer until the buttercream is firm before decorating.
- Using a food processor, grind up the 1/4 cup of hazelnuts into tiny pieces and set them aside for decorating and assembling.
- Place chocolate or candy melts in a tall narrow glass. Microwave for 1 minute on the auto defrost setting.
- Stir, and microwave for 30 more seconds on auto defrost.
- Continue stirring and microwaving in short intervals until the chocolate has completely melted.
- Add a small drizzle of vegetable oil or shortening to the chocolate and stir until combined.
- Choose one shell from each pair, and dip it halfway into the chocolate. Gently shake to allow excess to drip off.
- Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts onto the chocolate, and then place on parchment paper to set.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to allow the macarons to “mature” and fully develop their flavor and texture. Eat within 3-4 days. Enjoy!