Okay, I’m going to put this disclaimer right up front: THESE ARE HARD! Not specifically this pumpkin version, but rather macarons in general. They’re the most temperamental bake I’ve ever made. But I think I’ve finally gotten it right! This batch was the best I’ve done yet. Of course I’ll list all of the ingredients and instructions, and I’ll add any of the tips and lessons I’ve learned along the way too.
First thing you may notice about this recipe is that it’s measured in grams. Strange, but necessary. I’ve tried it with approximate conversions to cups, I’ve also tried it in ounces, but it’s only ever worked when done in grams – like I said, it’s an extremely exact bake. I get the perfect measurements using a kitchen scale and it works like a charm!
I triple sift the dry ingredients at the beginning. I’ve also heard of running it through a food processor as well. (I don’t like adding to my dish load – especially since this already dirties up so many! – so I don’t use a food processor. But the most important part is to get the dry ingredients as fine as possible.)
Make certain the eggs are room temperature!! This either requires setting them out hours in advance, or using a hack and placing them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes. 😉 I’ve seen some recipes call for soft peaks in the meringue, but mine always works best with stiff peaks.
Be sure the piped cookies sit long enough to form a skin on the top layer. The minimal amount of time I’ve ever let them sit is 30 minutes, but I highly recommend more like 45-60 minutes. If they’re still wet and still stick to your finger to the touch, leave them be! Also, yes you should actually slam the baking sheet against the countertop. Getting the air bubbles out is crucial. I do it as many as 12 times, and I got through with a toothpick to pop any more bubbles I see too.
The riskiest steps in making macarons are in under- or over-mixing, both with the meringue and adding in the dry ingredients. Honestly, it just takes practice to find the perfect stopping point. Mistakes are inevitable, you’re going to have to mess it up a few times before you get it right. But you’ve got to start somewhere! And remember, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. 😉
This exact recipe came from Confessions of a Confectionista
For the macaron shells:
58 grams almond flour
115 grams powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
72 grams egg whites, room temperature
36 grams granulated sugar
For the pumpkin espresso buttercream:
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 cup powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream
For the whipped cream:
1/4 cup cold heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Add almond flour, powdered sugar, and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and break apart any big lumps. Sift mixture into a clean bowl. Discard any large pieces that do not pass through the sieve.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites, sugar, and orange gel paste on low speed for 3 minutes, medium speed for 3 minutes, then high speed for 3 minutes. The beaten egg whites should stick to the whisk when you remove it. Tap the whisk against the side of the bowl to release them into the bowl.
Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg whites. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, until the batter is smooth and lava-like. Be careful not to overmix. The batter should slowly fall off your spatula when you pick it up and any peaks in the batter should settle down within 20 seconds.
Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto the parchment paper(or silicione mat). It is helpful to use a guide here, so all your macarons are the same size.
Once all the rounds are piped out, slam the baking sheet against a flat stable surface, then rotate, and slam again. This is done to force any large air bubbles to the surface. Let the piped macarons dry on the countertop for 45 minutes to an hour. The macarons are properly dried when you touch the top of the mounds and the batter doesn’t stick to your finger.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place the baking sheet with piped macarons on an empty baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes. Oven temperature varies, so keep an eye on them. To check if they are done, touch the top of the macaron. If it wobbles, it’s not done yet.
Let cool completely on baking sheet before removing.
To prepare the filling, using an electric hand mixer, beat butter and pumpkin puree on medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until incorporated. Add espresso powder, vanilla, and beat until well-combined. Add heavy cream and beat until fluffy.
In another small bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
To assemble the macarons, match macaron shells into pairs of similar sizes as best as you can.
Spoon buttercream frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small round decorating tip. Spoon whipped cream into another piping bag fitted with a small round decorating tip.
Pipe a circle of buttercream around the circumference of the flat side of half the shells. Pipe a dollop of whipped cream into the center of that circle. Top with opposite shell.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to let the flavors develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.