Thursday, February 11, 2016

Molten Salted Butterscotch Macarons

Well this is awwwwkward…  I am doing something unusual for me today – I am working on the blog in public.  Normally I hole up at home to write, but today I decided to pack up the computer and head to Panera to write a review.  It just so happens that the Panera I chose is a couple doors down from our favorite Trader Joe’s.  And it appears that there is a bit of a TJ’s employee meeting happening here even as I type!  Several TJ’s peeps are decked out in their TJ’s attire eating and chatting nearby!  (Not near enough for me to be eavesdropping, mind you, or for THEM to see me setting out to write what is sure to be a negative review of one of their products…)  Like I said, awkward…

So yeah – Molten Salted Butterscotch Macarons.  I mean – judging from the name alone – these things have to be FABULOUS, right??!  Nothing about the name suggests anything other than greatness.  I was excited when we saw these in the frozen food section at TJ’s.  We had been invited over for a very belated Christmas celebration with our in-laws and we were in charge of bringing dessert.  “Bam!  Dessert chosen!” I thought when we saw these.  The serving size says 1 macaron, and there are 2 to a box.  Our dinner event would have 5 guests, so we weren’t sure how many boxes to buy.  We grabbed 2 boxes, thinking we could cut them in half and people could grab at them until they were gone.
They look pretty on the box, don't they?
We needn’t have worried.  Let’s just say, there was no fighting over these puppies.

They were easy to cook – you just bung them in the microwave.  Please note that “they were easy to cook” statement, as it is likely to be the last positive statement about this product in this review. 

Reviewers were us and our in-laws, who are notoriously LOW GRADERS on this blog.  I usually take that into account, that their opinion of products is consistently lower than ours, but on this one, we were all pretty much agreed.

Photo with my hand so you can get the idea of how big these suckers are.
Greg:  “It has a…  (VERY LOUD PRETEND BARFING SOUND)…  I get a bitter, salty, BURNED taste (very ugly facial expression).  I give these a -1.  (Editor’s note – I explained that he could not rate a product less than a 0, so he changed his score to a 0.)

Chris (our nephew, a senior in high school, who eats everything):  “Well, I do agree with Dad…  The mixture of flavors in the taste aspect is a little more BITTER rather than SWEET.  And the wafers don’t add much taste to the overall effect of the fake macarons.  I think the caramel-y-ness of this dish is a little overwhelming really.  Out of a possible 5 I would give this a 1.75.”
Chris LOOKS happy to be eating this dessert, but he was faking it.  He is an actor.
David:  “I am gonna say (pause to eat more…)….  Not a lotta taste here (“Amen!” heard in the background from Chris).  The macaroons are okay.  I think they would be okay, they would be BETTER with something CREAMY like whipped cream in the middle.  This filling that they’ve got doesn’t really make it for me.  It is, as they said, rather BURNED tasting.  It is sliiiiightly sweet, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.  I am gonna give it a 2.25.”

Joan:  “I LOVE CARAMEL.  I was excited to try this dessert.  I found the caramel VERY disappointing.  And the cookie – I left that on my plate… .  (Editor’s note:  SNAP!  DAMN!  COLD HEARTED!!!  She didn’t even EAT the cookie part!) I took the extra effort to LICK the caramel out of the center, but it doesn’t taste very caramel-y.  I still found it very disappointing  I give them a .5 .”

The macaron part was unworthy of Joan's attention.
Susan:  I, like Joan, was VERY EXCITED about these.  In fact I have a picture of David with them in the store practically peeing his pants he was so excited about them.  Soooo – these definitely did NOT live up to our expectation. The size is TOO BIG.  They would be nicer if they were 6 little petite teeny bits instead of 2 big honkin’ ones.  The macarons are too thick.  I don’t taste the same “burnt” taste that the others tasted, and I also don’t taste the salt.  And Joan and I agree – it also doesn’t taste very CARAMEL-ish.  But if it all came down to it, I would rather have some caramel in a DISH and not this blob of stuff masquerading as dessert.  And Trader Joe’s makes some DELICIOUS caramels.  Those are more worthy of your money and your calories.  In fact, Chris suggests that even a Werther’s candy would be more caramel tasting and yummier.  I like that these were WARM.  I like that the inside was mushy.  But these are a big disappointment.  I would give these a 2.

See???  We were excited about them before we tasted them...
One really lucky thing happened to our belated Christmas dinner:  Joan received an edible arrangement – fruit dipped in chocolate – as a gift for helping a little old lady out during the blizzard.  So even though the Molten Salted Butterscotch Macarons were a flop, the dinner was a big success and we ate chocolate dipped fruit on sticks for dessert!!

We ended up returning the second box of these yucky macarons to Trader Joe’s and of course, they took them back no questions asked. 

Overall review:  these are over-sized, over-priced, and super yucky.  Don’t get them. 

Price – $3.99
Rating (average of 5 reviewers) -  1.5

P.S. – We also went to see the hilarious political satire group “The Capitol Steps” after dinner.  If you are ever in the DC region you should see them.  Of course, given the current political climate they have a LOT of funny material to choose from.  It’s almost too easy, really.  If you want to hear one of their songs you can have a listen here (this is not my favorite one, they had one with Ruth Bader Ginsberg that cracked me up.) Jeb song  Learn more about them here:  Capitol Steps site

P.P.S. – Sales pitch from Chris – if you are in the Northern Virginia area stop by TOBY’S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND COFFEE in Westover.  You can get a Salted Caramel Ice Cream for $2.65 (small).  Chris works there.  J


  1. Oh no! Those sound like an epic fail..!! The frozen small macarons are so good- but no microwaving needed, just rest at room temp til they defrost. I totally love the idea of huge macarons though...

    I keep buying packets of the marinated olive duo thanks to you guys! ;) they're my favorite snack while i make dinner lately

    1. That is because the MARINATED OLIVE DUO IS AMAZING!!!!

  2. Those giant macs are better if you just eat them after they sit out for a little bit. Don't even bother making them 'molten.' Promise.

    1. While I agree with your premise that they would be BETTER if left out instead of being made "molten", would they be GOOD??? I think I, for one, am too nervous to attempt them a second time. :(