I love how the trees seem to keep track of the days. It’s barely Fall and the leaves are beginning to change to bright Autumn yellow. If you blink here in Cleveland you will miss them as they fall to the ground creating crunchy pathways. It’s that time of year for pumpkin, apples, and mulling spices. What better way to celebrate the season with pumpkin macarons.
Not simply almond macarons spiced with cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves. These macarons are nut free as they are made with pumpkin seeds, and sandwiched in between each cookie pumpkin cream cheese. What a simple recipe to warm your day.
- 1 cup confectioner sugar
- 1 cup ground pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Sift the confectioner sugar and ground pumpkins together 3 times and set aside. For even better consistency grind the flour and sugar together in a food processor before sifting.
- Whisk egg whites until they are foamy. Sprinkle in the sugar. You should sprinkle in the sugar so that it doesn’t fall directly to the bottom. When all the sugar is added add a pinch of cream of tartar. Whisk until your egg whites are a stiff peak, but not dry. You will know you have a stiff peaks if you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing falls out of the bowl. Or stop the mixer and dip the whisk to see if the meringue stands up straight.
- Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture INTO the egg whites. Fold unto you no longer see any of the flour mixture. Repeat this with the remaining 2/3 mixture.
- Lift your spatula with some of the batter scooped onto it. The batter should drip slowly like molten lava. If the batter is to thick you will need to fold some more to release some of the air. If your batter is too thin you have overbeaten your batter and your cookies will bake like wafers.
- Fit a piping bag with a coupler and a #12 round tip.
- Twist the bottom of the bag and tuck it into the tip. This will keep the batter from dripping out while you are pouring it into the bag.
- For easy pouring you can place the bag into a wide mouth cup. Pour the batter into the bag. A size 16 or 18 bag will fit all of your batter.
- Close the top of the bag by twisting the top.
- Line sheet tray with parchment paper. The endless debate of whether to use parchment or silicone all depends on your personal success. I have tried the silicone mat templates and have never been able to successfully bake macarons on them. I only use parchment paper.
- Pipe circles 1” to 2 “ wide. (be sure to space the cookies an 1” – 2” apart) When piping the circles keep you hand steady in the middle of the piped batter. You do not need to go around in a circle. You can also pipe them at a 45 degree angle. If you have “nipples” on top of your cookie this is an indicator not enough air was pushed out when you were folding. The next step should resolve it, if not once the cookie dries you can lightly push the nipples down.
- Rap the sheet! In baking when your recipe calls for rapping the sheet you want to bang the sheet tray on the table to release air bubbles. Don’t be shy pick up the tray and drop it on the table. Well not too high. You should see air bubbles come to the top
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let your macarons dry for 20-30 minutes. After you pipe the macarons touch the centers and you will find they are sticky. After 20 minutes touch them again to see if they are no longer sticky. You should have a nice dry shell forming. This will help create the pretty feet and keep the macaron from cracking (although there are other reasons why macarons crack).
- Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 minutes and then turn your macarons and bake for another 6 minutes. No 2 macarons are alike and neither are ovens. You definitely don’t want to use the convection setting of the oven. You will have to be attentive to your macarons to see if they are baking too slow or too fast. I know in my oven 300 degrees is too high so I lower the temp and smell the cocoa to know they are done.
- Remove from oven and let the macarons cool on the sheet tray. If you take the macarons off of the sheet tray too soon you will be left with tasty hollow shells.
- Fill with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling.
The Sugar Peddler
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