If you are a usual follower on my blog, then you’ll know that I love to bake (and eat) macarons. If you are just arriving here for pumpkin week, I’ll explain my love for macarons: I discovered that I needed to learn how to bake these treats when I found out the cost of them in the store – normally about $2 each. When you love macarons like I do, it can be quite the costly investment to satiate your hunger for them!
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I was inspired by the pumpkin macarons in the Williams Sonoma catalog:
But at $40 for a box of 12, I thought to myself… I can make those! So I did. They obviously used a black airbrush to get the pumpkin faces onto their macarons; I used a black food marker.
- silicone spatula (I use this one)
- parchment paper or silat (I like this silpat made in France)
- electric mixer (your hand will get tired whipping the meringue, I use a Kitchenaid, I actually use this super professional one in cherry red, but the entry level model is a nice start too! )
- a food scale (yes, you need this. I use this one)
- Food coloring (the gels or dry powder works best, not the liquid store stuff)
- A macaron template (either make one or get one here or here. It makes piping easier)
- food processor (for the cream filling, I use this one)
Macarons Recipe – adapted from Laduree
275g ground almonds
250g powdered sugar
210g egg whites
210g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1. Mix almond meal and the powdered sugar in a food processor. Be careful not to grind too long, otherwise it will form a paste.
2. Sift the almonds, pumpkin pie spice, and powdered sugar. Set aside. (I admit I did not do this step this time and that is why mine are a little bumpy!)
3. Weigh out granulated sugar.
4. Weigh the egg whites. Beat them slowly on a low speed until foamy. SLOWLY add the granulated sugar to the egg whites as you beat. Once all mixed, increase speed to medium and beat until a firm meringue forms. You want a firm meringue with glossy peaks but not stiff peaks. They should defy gravity and remain in the bowl if you turn it upside down. If you tilt your bowl to the side and they are sliding out, keep beating.
5. Add the food coloring gel and mix.
6. Then fold in 1/3rd of the almond/sugar mixture into the meringue with a silicone spatula. Once combined, add another third of the almond mixture. Add last bit. This batter requires more deflation during this step since it creates such a poofy meringue.
7. Add the batter to a piping bag. Pipe in rows using your template onto parchment paper.
8. Pick up the pan and beat until the counter. The cookies need to rest on the counter between 30-60 minutes. They are ready to go in the oven when they are dry to touch (the shell shouldn’t stick to your finger)
9. Set the oven to 300F.
10. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, one sheet at a time. They are done when they look kind of matte and seem firm when you lightly tap on them. You can always rescue a slightly overcooked one with the maturation process that comes later, but you cannot rescue an undercooked one!!
11. Remove from paper once completely cool. If they stick to the paper, they aren’t cool yet. Or you undercooked them.
Pumpkin Spice Filling – adapted from Sweet and Savory by Shinee
• 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tbsp pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
• 1 tsp heavy cream
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Cream the butter using a wire mixer on your mixing machine. Cream until light and fluffy.
2 Add all of the other ingredients. Beat until well combined.
3 Pipe or spread your filling onto the macaron shells!
HINTS! The macarons taste better if enjoyed the next day. Spread your filling onto the shells, then store in an air tight container in the fridge overnight. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can store in an airtight container in the freezer for several months (HINT HINT bake some now for Thanksgiving later!)
Have you tried the Williams Sonoma pumpkin macarons?
See you tomorrow with more pumpkin week!
Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
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