Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pumpkin Macarons


This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

Sometimes I feel silly posting about things like cookies after leaving work where I just spent the day reporting on terrorism and gun violence and all the innocent people who have lost their lives because of these things.

I try to remind myself that there is still plenty of good and plenty of love in this world. And amongst the stories of devastation, there are stories of compassion and heroism. It's important to continue to find joy in the little things even if that joy is something as simple as sharing a recipe with your friends and family.

So that is why I'm sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Macarons.



I feel like I reached a big milestone in my baking career over the weekend when I made macarons for the first time. They became the new "it" cookie a few years ago, and I always wanted to try making them. But I never did because everyone told me how difficult they are to make. I don't know why I listened to everyone else. Baking, in my opinion, is 90% just following directions, and like with anything, if you follow all of the directions you'll achieve the desired results.

That being said, here are a few tips I learned to focus on while making macarons.
1. Make sure your ingredients are all room temperature. I've talked about this in other recipes, but it's very important when you're trying to make the meringue base for the macaron shells. Room-temperature ingredients mix a lot better together.

2. You absolutely must sift the almond flour and powdered sugar. I don't normally sift anything, but macaron shells are so delicate and any chunks of ingredients will weigh them down and prevent them from rising.

3. Don't forget to tap your baking pan hard on the kitchen counter before piping your shells. This will release air bubbles and prevent the tops from cracking.

4. If the tops of your shells crack, there's a good chance you undermixed the batter. Bake just a few macarons first if you're not sure, and if the shells crack, mix the rest of the batter a little more before piping more shells.

5. You must let your macarons sit out on the counter top for around 30 minutes to an hour before baking; this will prevent them from spreading once they get in the oven and will help them rise

I thought macarons would be the perfect cookie to decorate for fall because they have a solid-colored flat top on which you can add designs. I made the pumpkin macarons into jack-o-lanterns using a gel icing pen, but it would also be fun to write spooky messages or draw a cobweb. 



Pumpkin Macarons
Yield: Makes about 24 macarons
Ingredients
For the shells
  • 1 cup almond flour (100 grams)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (227 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 egg whites (105 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • Orange food coloring
For the buttercream
  • 1/2 cup Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (227 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
For the shells
  1. Prepare baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone mat; set aside
  2. Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice; discard larger lumps that won’t go through sifter and set aside
  3. Beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy; add cream of tartar and salt and continue beating. Slowly add sugar and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add orange food coloring.
  5. Slowly fold flour mixture into egg white mixture; the consistency should be like lava — fluid but also thick enough to form mound. For some people this is between 50 to 70 turns with the spatula.
  6. Transfer batter to piping bag and pipe 1-inch circles; bang baking sheet hard against counter about 3 times too release air bubbles
  7. Let macarons sit out for about 30 minutes to an hour before baking to ensure they don’t spread in oven
  8. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  9. Bake macarons for 18 minutes; let cool on baking sheet before carefully peeling off
For the buttercream
  1. Beat butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until light and creamy
  2. Add powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt
  3. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, then increase to high speed and bear until buttercream is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
  4. Match up macaron shells by size and shape; add buttercream mixture to piping bag and pipe a quarter-size amount of frosting on one shelf before sandwiching it with the other shell
  5. Store macarons in refrigerator for up to 1 week 
Recipe adapted from Entertaining with Beth







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