Wednesday, October 9, 2013

pumpkin spice macarons

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons | design. bake. run.

i made my first pumpkin spice bread ever a couple of weeks ago. to make it, i had to open a giant can of pumpkin puree. okay, maybe not so giant, it was the 28 oz can though, but pretty big enough anyway. i had some leftover puree and didn't know what to do with it so i decided on making a pumpkin spice buttercream. now, what to do with the buttercream? okay, sure... why not some french macarons, just because.

so, here you have it! french macarons with pumpkin spice buttercream. what's not more fall or october than pumpkin?! okay, maybe apple pies or something (that's more fall?!). but pumpkin spice is pretty close too.

if you're a pumpkin spice lover (i'm slowly getting there, i think), you'll for sure love these cute little french cookies. as always, you must age your macarons for the best testing bite yet. i say wait at least a day or two before digging in. i typically let mine sit in the fridge for 2-3 days before consuming (of course, you gotta make sure you let them get to room temperature before eating). i love how light the texture of these macarons are. and when you bite into it, mmmm... it's perfectly chewy and soft and not mushy at all. oh, you must make sure you fill your macarons pretty good. definitely don't skimp on the buttercream. at least a 1:1 ratio of filling to cookie or 2:1 filling to cookie.

so, what do you say? go ahead and bake yourself a batch of these delicious goodies. or if macarons aren't your thing, you can just make the pumpkin spice buttercream and use it on some tasty cupcakes instead. but really, you should try the whole thing. it's yum. of course, i'm bias because i am i sucker for macarons or anything sweet (at least lately anyway). enjoy and happy baking! :)

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons | design. bake. run.
in an ode to autumn, what's more perfect than pumpkin spice?! these macarons are for sure the ideal little treats for this time of the year.

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons | design. bake. run.
these pumpkin spice macarons are great for fall gift-giving, especially to those pumpkin spice lovers out there. ;)

pumpkin spice french macarons with pumpkin spice buttercream


macaron batter:
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon gel or powder food color (optional)

pumpkin spice buttercream:
1-1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of salt
milk or cream (if needed)


to make the macaron batter/shells:
  1. line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
  2. sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal so there are no lumps. add in the pumpkin spice and stir it to make sure it's fully incorporated with the sugar and almond meal mixture. set aside.
  3. in the bowl of a standing electric mixer (or if you prefer, you can use a bowl and hand mixer), beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. while whipping, beat in the sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
  4. carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. if you want to color your macarons, this is when you'd want to add in your gel or powdered food coloring. the more color you add, the darker the batter or finished cookie color it will be. i typically just do 1/4 teaspoon of gel food coloring, sometimes 1/2. you could do more or less depending on your desire shade. when the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you're alone).
  5. pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1.35-inch circles evenly spaced one-inch apart.
  6. rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. then let it sit for at least 30-60 minutes depending on humidity before baking them in the oven. about 10-15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. bake for 15 minutes.
  7. once macaron shells are out of the oven, let them sit for 30-60 seconds before removing the hot baking sheet underneath. let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper.

for the pumpkin spice buttercream:
  1. cream butter and sugar together until well blended.
  2. then add in the pumpkin puree and spices. mix until everything is incorporated and you get the right consistency for buttercream. if the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. if it's too thick, add a little bit of milk or cream (about 1 teaspoon at a time) to thin it out until you reach your desired consistency.

to assemble the macaron cookies:
  1. before assembling these cookies, make sure to pair up all the cookie shells so they are as close as possible in size.
  2. using a knife, spread a good amount of the pumpkin spice buttercream on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. note: you can certainly put the buttercream in a piping bag and pipe the buttercream onto the cookie. it's a lot easier i think and less messy. but i can't be bother to do this so i almost always just spread it with a knife.
  3. let them stand at least one day (keep them refrigerated) before serving (serve at room temperature), to meld the flavors.

store in airtight container for up to 5 days. makes 20-24 macarons. happy eating!

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