I made a caramel buttercream with powdered sugar, shortening, meringue powder, vanilla extract, and Smuckers' Simple Delight salted caramel topping. I've done this before with no problem but this time, the frosting beaded up like there was sand in it, and I couldn't get a decent texture back. It tasted fine but it was a gross texture.
I think I may have put the powdered sugar in the mixer first, then added the shortening, extract, and powder, blended it, then slowly added the caramel. I usually put the shortening in first then add the other ingredients. I don't know if this would have made a difference but it's the only thing I can think of that would have made this happen. Any ideas before I try a new batch?
Is there no liquid in this recipe? My speculation is the meringue powder...its hygroscopic so it would absorb whatever water it could find...and there's some in the caramel...probably just enough to gum it all up. Maybe dissolve the MP in just a bit of water next time. If I use MP in anything I combine it with water and let it sit overnight to dissolve completely.
I'm pretty loose with the vanilla, and I'll add some water if I don't like the consistency, but I don't do that till the end.
I tried again and left out the meringue powder and it turned out fine. You were right, that was it. Now that I think about it, I probably didn't use that last time I made it.
Thanks for the help!