because some days, my basic-ness knows no bounds.
i tried a recipe i found on pinterest for these macarons, utilizing the italian method. i’m a french method girl through and through, which was proved once again when i attempted the former. despite the fact that i broke out my kitchen scale (which is more traditional, and exacting than my usual practice), and have plenty of experience, they were awful. i ended up tossing the whole exploded, cracked, dry, batch. macarons are a very “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” kind of cookie and strangely enough, the american measurements and french method work best in my kitchen.
i stillllll wanted these though, so i went ahead and reverted to my original recipe, and tweaked it to suit this inspired flavor:
| ingredients |
3/4 cup of almond flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 egg whites (room temperature)
pinch of salt
sprinkle and shake of pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
orange gel food coloring
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin puree
1-2 cups powdered sugar
optional: maple syrup (i used this bourbon whiskey maple variety)
| method |
line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats, and set aside. prepare a piping bag with a 1/2 inch round metal tip, held upright in a tall glass.
in a clean mixing bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice. then whisk until combined. (i like to sift the almond flour into a bowl first, then measure it out to ensure if have 3/4 cup post-sift, then sift in the powdered sugar and add my pumpkin pie spice.)
in your uber clean mixing bowl, whip the egg whites on low speed for a minute or two, until foamy. add in your pinch of salt, and without turning the mixer off, slowly pour the sugar in a steady stream into the whipping egg whites. continue to whip, turning the mixer up to medium speed after a couple minutes*, then high speed, until you have achieved stiff peaks. *when your mixture has reached soft peaks, is usually when i add in the gel food coloring, then continue to whip until a stiff peaked meringue has formed.
now for one of the most important steps!! add half the almond meal mixture to the bowl of meringue, and gently fold to incorporate. once fully absorbed, dump in the other half of the almond meal, and continue the "macronage" process, until the batter runs slowly like honey. getting the consistency of the batter perfect is really crucial for properly formed macarons.
transfer the batter to your piping bag, and gently pipe macarons an inch apart, slightly smaller than you would like (the batter will spread a little when you tap your pan.) once all of your batter has been piped, pick your baking trays up and gently smack them on the counter to release any air bubbles. this will also cause the batter to spread ever so slightly, and smooth over any peaks that may be left in your batter. if it is the correct consistency the tops will become perfectly smooth. i bang the trays on the counter about four times, turning the tray each time so as to get each side evenly.
now in order to form the signature macaron feet, the batter needs to rest at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes. (on a particularly humid day this can take longer - almost an hour.)
while the macarons are resting, i preheat the oven. this is where things can also get a little tricksy - most recipes suggest you bake at 300-325 for approximately 15-18 minutes. i've found through trial and error my oven works best at 300 degrees, for about 16 minutes.
once the shells have formed their skin, and are no longer tacky to the touch, i pop them in one tray at a time to bake. the macarons are done when you gently press the top and they do not wiggle, and easily come away from the silicone mat. some people say this is where parchment paper works best, they are easier to remove. for silicone you may need to wait a few minutes for them to cool in order to remove them successfully. allow the macarons to cool for a few minutes, before setting aside to cool completely.
pair your macarons up by size and fill with desired filling! sandwich together and enjoy! macarons should be stored in the fridge (for up to one week) and brought to room temperature prior to eating.
once your macarons have cooled, prepare your filling. beat butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until smooth. beat in the espresso powder and pumpkin puree, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is evenly incorporating. add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low speed to incorporate, then whipping on medium-high a few minutes more. add a touch of maple syrup, to taste, and mix to combine, scraping one final time to ensure everything is evenly mixed. load into your piping bag and fill your shells!