Fully embracing the pumpkin spice life.
I don’t know why my macarons look so desaturated here.
One of the trials by fire for a new oven is to make macarons. You get to know your oven intimately – if the oven has hot spots, if the oven is hotter or cooler than the stated temperature, if the oven just straight out hates you…
For the filling I adapted Cristina Tosi’s graham biscuit frosting recipe but used Trader Joe’s pumpkin Joe Joes instead, and also threw in some pumpkin butter for some extra fall flavour. I really like this frosting recipe as it gives a flavourful frosting that’s easily customisable with the choice of your biscuit, and also holds up well at room temperature without being too sweet.
- 115g almond flour
- 230g powdered sugar
- 144g egg whites
- 72g sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2g salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- Food colouring (I used a mix of orange and brown)
Pumpkin Cookie Frosting
- 80g crushed Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe Joes (biscuit only, creme removed)
- 10g milk powder
- 15g white sugar
- 115g butter (85g+30g)
- 30ml pouring cream/heavy cream
- 80ml milk
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 2 tsp Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Process almond flour until fine (this step might be optional if your almond flour is fine enough) and sift. Combine with sifted powdered sugar and pumpkin spice.
- Combine egg whites and beat until bubbly. Gradually incorporate sugar, vanilla, salt, and food colouring while beating. Whip until stiff.
- Dump in dry ingredients at once and fold until the macaron batter flows like lava.
- Pipe the batter onto baking paper placed on a baking tray to form 1 inch rounds. You might want to print a template out underneath if, like me, you can’t estimate sizes.
- Drop the baking tray from a couple of inches in the air onto the counter to burst air bubbles in the macaron rounds.
- Let dry for 30mins, or until the macaron rounds are dry to the touch.
- Bake at 150°C for 18 mins, or until you can cleanly peel the baking paper away from the macarons.
- Cool on pan before removing.
Pumpkin Cookie Frosting
- Toss biscuit crumbs, milk powder, sugar together.
- Melt 30g butter and whisk into cream.
- Add the butter/cream to the dry ingredients and toss until clusters form.
- Transfer to food processor and blend until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the remaining 85g butter, light brown sugar, icing sugar, pumpkin spice, pumpkin butter, and salt until fluffy. Scrape down, then with mixer on low speed, add the crumb mixture and beat until the frosting lightens in colour.
- Refrigerate until ready to use, let warm to room temperature when ready to use.
- If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you just swap out the biscuit for a biscuit of your choice. I’ve used this recipe with other biscuits before and it’s pretty forgiving, just adjust with butter or icing sugar if the consistency is wrong (the former if the frosting is too stiff, the latter if the frosting is too runny). Also consider the temperature of the frosting. If you live in a warm country, you might want to refrigerate the frosting until it is a pipeable consistency.
- The source I got the macaron recipe from claims that she didn’t have to let the macarons dry before baking, but I have never succeeded in getting a good batch of macarons without letting them dry first. They just end up cracking with no feet. So I’d really recommend letting them dry before baking. If you live in a humid country (like me when I was in Singapore) you could try being in an air conditioned room with a dehumidifier to speed up the drying.
- Processing your almond flour helps keep your macaron shells smooth. I find that even the almond flour that’s sold as “fine almond flour” isn’t quite fine enough for macarons, but that could be dependent on brand. Large chunks of almonds could also cause your shells to crack. But yeah I didn’t have a sieve with a fine enough mesh in my current kitchen so the shells ended up a bit bumpy anyway.
- I always thought that macarons tasted better after a night in the fridge once it’s filled. The shells absorb a bit of the moisture and flavour from the buttercream which makes the whole thing taste better and have a chewier texture. But they taste fine on the day as well.