I stumbled upon this today (okay..so maybe I was stalking the Nicholas Sparks Facebook page…). Has anyone read the book?! It looks like this movie will be good!
And do we even need to talk about how excited I am about this movie??
Or this one? I really enjoyed this book and I think it will make an excellent film! And I’m guessing a pretty fun soundtrack too
Got any upcoming movies that you’re pumped about?! Please share!
Those are pumpkin spice macarons.
Yes, I went there. It could possibly be the best dessert ever.
These things were a little scary to make. Remember last August when I threw my friend Crystal her bridal shower? Well I had originally planned to make some gorgeous teal macarons with a chocolate ganache filling, but then disaster struck. I knew pretty much nothing about making macarons, except I knew they were finicky and you have to weigh everything just so (not to mention age your egg whites for hours!). I have a few ideas of went wrong…maybe it was trying to color them such a dark color or perhaps it was just that I started to make them at 10pm after a full day of work/baking? But basically I had a goopy teal mess all over my kitchen and was so convinced I had failed that I didn’t even bake them. Total kitchen breakdown. After that I swore them off as “too difficult”.
But after Ari and I picked up a few macarons after breakfast last week, I decided it was time for me to give it another shot. This time I spent a solid couple of hours researching tips and tricks for making macarons and which were the most crucial things to remember. I stepped into the kitchen ready to succeed!
Almost every recipe out there says you should age your egg whites. Well I didn’t. I skipped it and they came out perfect. The myth has been busted my friends! I’m no expert but here a few things that I found to be most important:
- Weigh your ingredients very carefully
- Don’t change the ratio or wet to dry
- Sift your almond meal. Macarons are too delicate to handle the big chunks
- Oven temperature is suuuper important if you want adorable little feet on your macarons.
- Mix very carefully – undermixed batter will be too stiff and overmixed batter is too runny and impossible to pipe.
- Silicone baking mats work wonders for your macaron “feet” (I LOVE my Silpat)
Rather than making a plain shell, I flavored mine with a little pumpkin pie spice. It was a safe way to go since it is a dry ingredient and would change the texture. To get the color and the pumpkin flavor I filled the shells with a pumpkin butter cream (with a tiny dot of orange coloring to really make it pop). They came out exactly as I had hoped they would. Let’s just say that there will definitely be more macaron making in my future
Happy macaron making!
- 4 ounces (115g) almond flour or blanched almonds
- 8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 5 ounces egg whites (144g), temperature and age not important!
- 2½ ounce (72g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp (2g) kosher salt
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 300° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, along with two sheet pans lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl and set aside. If a significant portion won’t go through your sifter (more than 2 tablespoons) you’ll need to grind them up until they do.
- *If you are using whole almonds, process the almonds and powdered sugar for about a minute in the bowl of a food processor. Take out the mixture and sift it, reserving whatever bits don’t pass through the sieve. Add these bits back to the food processor and run the machine for another minute. Sift again. You should have about 2 Tbsp of slightly chunkier almond bits, but just add those into the dry mix. Then sift in pumpkin pie spice.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt and turn the mixer to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid). Whip for 3 minutes. They will not seem especially foamy at that point. Increase the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip another 3 minutes, then crank the speed to 8 for go another 3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and add in vanilla extract and whip for a final minute on the highest speed. At the end of this minute, you should have a very stiff, dry meringue.When you remove the whisk attachment, there will be a big clump of meringue in the center, just knock the whisk against the bowl to free it. If the meringue has not become stiff enough to clump inside the whisk, continue beating for another minute, or until it does so.
- Now dump in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Use both a folding motion (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a rubbing/smearing motion, to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. This should take about 30-45 turns/folds and should be lava like in texture – this enough to mound up on itself, but fluid enough to melt back down.
- Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag. Pipe the batter into circles on the baking sheet. Keep in mind batter will continue to spread just a bit. Refill the piping bag after piping out half of macarons.
- After piping your macarons, take hold of the sheet pan and hit it hard against your counter three times, rotating 90 degrees after each tap.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. Let cool on the pans before peeling the macarons from the parchment.
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and pumpkin at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Beat in extract, pumpkin pie spice and salt until well combined about 15 seconds.
- Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
- Match up macarons in pairs based on size and shape. Fill a pastry bag fitted with the buttercream and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with the other half.
- Macarons are best a day or so after making. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.