French Macarons on a Traeger Grill!

Macarons on a Traeger Grill? What? Yep! That’s right. You can now make macarons on a Traeger grill, or any smoker, taking that kitchen beyond your countertops and cupboards.  First we had to iron out the logistics. Can you even make the world’s most finicky cookie in something that wasn’t a precise metal box in your kitchen cabinet?

Lets talk about all the things Not To Do when making French Macarons in a smoker.

  • First, DO NOT preheat the pan. We thought this tactic might be better suited to cooking on a Traeger, knowing that the heat of any smoker can fluctuate 20+ degrees.
  • Second: DO NOT use the No-Rest method (for whatever reason). I repeat, most of our failed hilarious videos came from the demise of several pans of macarons when figuring out what would work.
  • Third: DO NOT worry about what kind of pan you are using.  Any pan works. Trust us, we tried aluminum, steel, AirBake, any and all. The smoker, turns out is a machine that does not get sidetracked or caught up with what you are baking on.
  • Fourth:  Bake as directed, meaning, even though smokers are known to cook similar to a convection-style oven, there’s no need to turn down the temp. In fact, our best batch to date was probably a few degrees above our regular oven cooking temp.

 

Now here is what you SHOULD do.

  • First: whip, beat and stir your macaron batter as usual. The only modifications we made were we prepared them using the No-Rest method, but then…we rested (see next step).
  • Second: For the first time in a LONG time we actually rested our macs.  And not just a few minutes — a full 30 minutes, plus whatever it took until our finger ran smoothly across the tops.
  • Third: like an oven, get that smoker hot. Like a well pre-heated oven, the initial heat needs to be at least 285 degrees F, if not a tad hotter.  If your Traeger is like mine, you have an option of setting it at 275 or 295. I choose 295 knowing we would lose a few degrees when we opened the hatch.
  • Fourth: Bake time is as usual. 20 minutes. Don’t PEEK! I know, there is no cute window to peek in on our sleeping beauties, but like I said, DON’T peek.

Now some specifics for the Traeger, and our number one question:
“Do they taste smokey?” and our answer, THEY DO! It is subtle, and paired with the right filling it tastes like heaven in a cookie. I would go far enough to say that it will transfer you to that moment of singing kumbaya around a camp fire. Another note: when you use a Traeger you have a choice of which kind of pellets you use to get that smoke.  We tried every type of pellet flavor from cherry to blended. In the end, we wouldn’t choose between them; they were all were delicious.

See our other post for a few flavor combinations to try.

So now go get our tried and true recipe, but here’s the buttercream we used with our cookies:

American Buttercream
1 cup salted butter. Let rest on counter for 30 minutes.
475 grams powdered sugar
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
1/3 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream

  1. Place butter in bowl of mixer with paddle attachment.
  2. Mix on medium until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and salt, and mix for 30 seconds until combined.
  4. Mix in heavy whipping cream.
  5. Measure powdered sugar on scale and slowly add to mixer. PRO TIP: Start slowly after each cup addition to the bowl, otherwise pull out your mop. Its going to be a wild ride with the powdered sugar going everywhere.
  6. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add flavor or color to your preference. We usually make a huge batch of plain, then add flavor and color depending on the amount we need. Making one large batch saves us time in the long run.

Store any leftovers in airtight plastic container.

Now a little nod of appreciation: If it wasn’t for the masterminds at Orson Gygi, and the wonderful team at Traeger, none of this would have even turned out to be a thing. We love the chance to work with Gygi. They feel like family and I am beyond lucky to be able to work with them.  We hope you will try this softer side of Traeger.  Make sure to tag us if you do! @sweetmacshop

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