Sweet Treat #4 : Woodland Deer Macarons with Spiced Amaretto Salted Caramel

Rebecca ofwww.displacedhousewife.com and I are sharing 12 days sweet treats with YOU all! She is making 6 treats and so am I, so you can make these cookies/treats for your loved ones and make your own little cookie boxes! Today she is sharing her Chocolate Peppermint Olive Oil Skillet Cookie! I know my kids would LOVE this cookie and I need to make it STAT!

This is part of the 12 Days of Sweet Treats (#12DaysofSweetTreats) that Im doing with Rebecca, see below for all of our holiday sweet treats so far

12 Days of Sweet Treats (so far!) with the wonderful Rebecca!(@displacedhousewife/ www.displacedhousewife.com)

  1. Woodland Deer Macarons with a Spiced Amaretto Salted Caramel Buttercream
  2. Chocolate Peppermint Olive Oil Skillet Cookie
  3. Burnt Sugar Muscovado Truffles
  4. Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies with Baileys Buttercream
  5. Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
  6. Raspberry Hazelnut Linzer Cookie With A Cocoa Hazelnut Praline Buttercream
  7. Dulce De Leche Baci Kisses
  8. Thandai Thumbprint Cookies with Pear and Spice Jam Buttercream

Macarons have to be in my box of goodies, always! I love making macarons and love playing around with flavors and royal icing where macarons are concerned. Royal icing can turn an ordinary cookie into an extra-ordinary cookie! As it does to macarons as well! I used to be intimated by royal icing, but as I practice more, I get more comfortable with it! And it becomes second nature to use royal icing for cookie/macaron decorating! So Sweet Treat #4 are my Woodland Deer Macarons with a Spiced Amaretto Salted Buttercream! I had two ideas for making fancy macarons this year : and I decided to implement the Woodland deer macarons this year. You will have to wait for another year to see what my second idea was hehe ;).

I had seen a similar idea for a woodland deer on a cupcake, but not on a macaron. So I decided to implement the idea on a macaron with royal icing. Lets talk about royal icing for a bit. I have always been intimated by royal icing but last year, I decided to let that fear GO. I watched Wiltons videos on how to make Royal Icing, and I used their recipe to make it as well. The recipe turns out perfect every time, and the portion is more than enough to decorate all the macarons OR for that matter cookies that you choose to design. The recipe consistency is thick, so if you want to thin it out, you add tsp of water each time to see how it turns out and what consistency you want for the purpose that you want. I use the Wilton pipping tips 202/203 for pipping little details. I have seen people simply snipping the end of the pipping bag to get the tiniest hole for pipping borders or outlines. It is the best to experiment and play around to see what feels best to you, and go with it. Practice is key. I am not perfect in any ways, but I do feel slightly more confident every time I use royal icing for my bakes!

Macaron making can be intimidating too, and again it requires practice, and also knowing your own oven on how the macarons will bake. Do NOT be afraid of failures. I failed so many times before I actually got my macarons right and I was confident about them. Now I can whip them up be it humid, hot, cold any weather, and I know what I need to do to get them right. Practice is KEY. But if you do not attempt it even once you will never know if you can make them or not! So do give em macarons a try! I also have a Notes section on TIPS for getting your macarons correct and accurate. Also, you can always DM me on Instagram, or ask questions on my email and I will be sure to get back to you as quickly as I can with answers.

The recipe calls out for how I made the Woodland Deers, I love how they turned out, although the antlers are a little shabby but I think that gives it a bit of character! I made a Spiced Amaretto Salted Caramel, and the spices I used were ground ginger, cinnamon and clove giving it a warm winter vibe! I used Amaretto or Almond Liquor to spike them up ever so slightly! And ofcourse maldon flaky sea salt to balance out the sweet notes of caramel! The buttercream is made using this very flavorful caramel and it comes out soooo good! I pipped pretty rosettes on the macarons just because, using the 1M Wilton Tip. The antlers are made with pure melted chocolate pipped on a parchment paper, and then frozen to set them. The antlers are placed on the pipped buttercream and then the woodland deer macaron is placed on top to seal!

If you do get a chance to make these macarons, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on my blog post here! I would so appreciate it!

Sweet Treat #5 coming your way soon! Stay tuned!



Sweet Treat #4 : Woodland Deer Macarons with Spiced Amaretto Salted Caramel

Category: Cookies, Foodie Gifts, Gluten-Free

Sweet Treat #4 : Woodland Deer Macarons with Spiced Amaretto Salted Caramel


  • Cinnamon Macarons:
  • 7 ounces confectioners sugar
  • 4 ounces almond flour
  • 4 large(4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3.5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Americolor brown(I used dark and tan brown to get the deer color)
  • Spiced Amaretto Salted Caramel Buttercream filling:
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar ( the buttercream should not be runny, it should be firm, but pipeable at the same time, add more powdered sugar accordingly if required)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp warm heavy cream
  • 3-4 tbsp salted caramel
  • Salted Caramel(makes about 1 10oz jar)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) fresh unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon maldon flakes
  • 3 tbsp Amaretto Liquor (almond liquor)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp ground clove
  • Royal Icing:
  • (Recipe from Wilton Cakes)
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • Colors depending upon what you want to decorate the macaron shells as.
  • Decoration:
  • Wilton pink sparkling dust for cheeks
  • Drop of Pink Americolor for cheeks
  • Wilton Christmas decorations for the holly leaves
  • Americolor various colors for the royal icing
  • 4 squares of Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate bar(for the antlers)


  1. For the Spiced Amaretto Salted Caramel:
  2. (Make sure to keep an eye on the caramel the entire time it is being cooked, else you can easily burn it)
  3. Cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved. Add in the ginger, cinnamon and clove and whisk until blended. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil.
  4. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper. This process takes atleast about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream - the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam - be cautious as the sugar will be very hot.
  6. Whisk the final mixture together well over low heat and sprinkle in the sea salt and amaretto liquor. Let it cool. You can store the caramel in a glass jar in the fridge upto a month.
  7. * For the cinnamon macaron shells:*
  8. Preheat oven to 310 degrees. Line baking sheets with the paper templates, and top with the parchment paper, or you could use silpat.
  9. In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse 1/2 of the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour and ground cinnamon until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining confectioners sugar. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture three times into a large bowl. Set aside. This process is important, do not cut short this step!
  10. To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrap down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract, and a few drops of the brown colors and increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form for atleast 5-7 minutes.
  11. You can remove and turn the whisk and the meringue should hold.
  12. To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture, one-third at a time, over the egg white mixture, and fold using a large spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated check for the correct consistency, the batter should be firm, have a glossy shine and drip smoothly from the spatula. Make sure that the entire almond mixture is incorporated. Take in the batter with your spatula and press it against the bowl in the same motion to remove the air from the batter. This step is very important. If you overwhip the batter will be too runny so do not overwhip. It should flow like lava, slowly but form ribbons. The ribbons should settle into the batter, at a slow count of 20. That is the consistency you are looking for.
  13. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag filled with a 1/2 inch plain round tip(#12), and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets using a template for macarons or use a MACARON SILPAT to help get the round shapes. Gentle tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air OR you could bang the tray against the kitchen counter. Do this step atleast 10 times. If they have a tip, gently pat it down with a slight wet finger. If there is a bubble, use a toothpick to fill it up.
  14. Let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes atleast. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched.
  15. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes.
  16. Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets for 30 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
  17. For the spiced salted buttercream filling:
  18. In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter and salt and whip until light and creamy about a minute. Add in the mango powder, mango puree and saffron mixture and whisk at low speed to incorporate.
  19. Add the sugar to the whipped butter and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth about 2 minutes, starting at low speed(so that the sugar does not fly everywhere!) and gradually increasing the speed to high. Use a pastry bag with a star tip or a round tip(depending upon your preference)to fill the buttercream filling and pipe the flat side of the macaron shell on the rim. Use the same sized macaron shell to cover the icing.
  20. Royal Icing:
  21. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the confectioner's sugar, meringue powder and water, first on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing the icing until it is light in color and holds a stiff peak, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overmix the icing.
  22. Use the stiff consistency as-is for outlines. To make the icing a bit smooth and thinner consistency, add tsp water to thin it out. Mix well to check on the consistency. If needed add tsp more and so on and so forth to get the right consistency to flood the still outline of any shape.
  23. Divide the mixture into the different bowls, for different colors. Put the icing in a 12 inch pastry bag with a very tiny pipping tip like 102/103 Wilton tips. Scrap the icing down with a bench scraper. Secure the top tight. Use the pipping bag to decorate the macarons with royal icing.
  24. The bags can be kept in the refrigerator for 10 days. Keep the tips well secured, by wrapping in a wet cloth, so as not to dry out the icing.
  25. I decorate the shell first with the royal icing. And then put it on top of the second macaron shell.
  26. To make the woodland deers:
  27. I divided the royal icing into 6 bowls, depending upon how much I would require of each color thick white for outline, thinner white for flooding, black, tan brown, dark brown, red.
  28. I used the thick white to outline the cheeks of the deer and for the dots on the forehead, and used the thin white to flood the inside. Black was used for the eyes and nose. Dark brown is used for the outline of the ears and Tan brown is used for the inside of the ears. Red is used to make the 3 dots for the holly leaves and to stick the holly leaves. I used a bit of pink paint with a tiny brush(used only for food related projects) to put blush on the cheeks of the deer. Then I used another brush to put a bit of the sparkle pink dust on the cheek!
  29. The antlers are made with melted Ghirardelli chocolate. I melted the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, and then put it in a ziplock bag. I let it cool slightly, and then pipped the antlers onto a parchment paper on a pan. I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes to let it set. To assemble, I pipe the buttercream on the non-designed shell. I put 2 antlers on the top of the shell, slightly touching the buttercream and anchoring such that it does not fall off. Then I topped off with a deer face!



1) Make sure that you whip the meringue thoroughly. The best way to check after 10 minutes of whipping is to remove the whisk, stir the meringue vigorously and turn it upside down. The merigue should stay stiff like a peak.

2) Make sure that you fold the almond mixture and it is well incorporated with the meringue and the end mixture is smooth and falls off the spatula with ease.

3) When using the pastry bag to pipe the macarons, hold it absolutely vertical, and center to the holes on the template and slightly above it, and not touching the paper to pipe it. You need to squeeze just a tad bit to release the batter onto the parchment paper.

4) Make sure that you tap the tray atleast 3 times to release any air bubbles in the macaron shell.

5) You HAVE to let the macarons rest for atleast 30 minutes to form a nice shell.

6) It is very important to rotate the tray halfway through baking to make sure that the macarons are baked evenly.

7) DO NOT remove the shells off the parchment paper as soon as the tray comes out of the oven, else you will break the shell. Wait for 2-3 minutes atleast for it to cool down.

8) You can keep the shells covered and do the frosting the next day as well. The shells will keep for a couple of days.

9) IF you have tips on the shells due to the pipping, you can take a dab of water on your finger and gently press the tip down to smoothen out the shell.

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