Pumpkin Spice Macarons with Pumpkin Cheesecake Buttercream Filling

Monday, October 26, 2015

I am a huge fan of Pumpkin. I know many say that it's a marketing ploy and that the PSL at Starbucks is mostly pumpkin syrup (aka sugar), but despite all of this I couldn't resist creating some Pumpkin Spice French Macarons for all of you!

French Macaron Baking Supplies:
Electric mixer (hand/stand mixer will do as long as you have a whisk and regular beater attachments)
Good heavy/thick baking sheets that won't warp in the oven
2-3 Silicone macaron baking sheets (I got these ones from Amazon and love them!)
Silicone spatula
Hand whisk
Kitchen scale
Set of mixing bowls
Sieve or flour sifter
Pastry bag and round tip with attachment

Shells Baking ingredients: 
100g Almond flour (I prefer Mama's Almond Flour Blend. It's much finer than other almond flour/meal)
200g Powdered/confectioner's sugar
40g plain granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice
3 egg whites at room temperature (approximately 100g)
2 drops of Orange Gel Food Coloring (optional)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Buttercream ingredients:
1 stick of room temp butter
1 teaspoon vanilla (clear vanilla is best)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
3 c. powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 8oz packages of room temp Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Let's begin!

If I forgot to leave my eggs out overnight, I start by prepping my eggs in a glass of warm water and leaving it on the counter. 

 Then I use my flour sifter to sieve the measured almond flour and powdered sugar together. Next, I add in the 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin spice and hand whisk the dry ingredients together. 

Set the dry mixture aside and you can separate the egg whites, add the pinch of salt and begin whipping. Once you get a foamy texture, start adding in the 40g of granulated sugar. I usually do this in 3 installments and whip the whites into a meringue. This will take a while, but be careful not to over whip or your macarons will be dry and crack. Just keep whipping and checking until you have slightly stiff glossy peaks. Right before they are totally done, I add in a couple drops of food coloring. This step is optional, but I like the look of orange shells with the pale orange pumpkin cheesecake buttercream.

Once your meringue is finished, put aside your electric whisk and get out your spatula. You will gradually begin to fold in the dry mixture into your meringue. It's important to add this incrementally and mix in each portion well before adding another. I usually do this in 3 portions, but again it is important not to OVER mix in this stage as well. This is how it looks when it has to come together.

This is what you want... smooth slow flowing lava texture. A good test is to check the consistency of the batter by lifting up your spatula. Does the batter flow slowly in ribbons or in chunky globs? You want ribbons :)

Finally, it's time get out your trusty pastry bag and round tip. I like to prop mine up in a tall flower vase so I can pour the batter into the bag with one hand holding the bowl and the other scraping the sides with the spatula. 

All that's left is place the silicone molds on your baking sheets and pipe into the molds. Tap the sheet on your counter to let any air bubbles loose and let these babies dry for 30 minutes.

There's something to gratifying to me to fill these little circular molds and see their beautiful rows of perfection...

 Most standard French macaron recipes will tell you to bake them at 325 deg F for 10 minutes, but you should take into consideration if your oven runs hotter/colder than others. I happen to know that mine runs hot, so I set the temp to 315 deg F for the first batch, and for the 2nd and 3rd trays I put a wooden spoon handle in the oven door. I find this method works best for me, because my 2nd and 3rd batches were repeatedly coming out cracked from my oven being on longer and therefore too hot. I mean just the whole sheet of them would be cracked! Horrible!!! The wooden spoon method has proven itself several times over to me, so now I never bake my subsequent batches without it. 

While the shells are baking, I usually start my Pumpkin Cheesecake Buttercream Filling:

Using my stand mixer, I beat the room temperature butter and cream cheese together until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Then on a lower speed, start adding in the powdered sugar in increments. Keep adding bit by bit until all of it is incorporated.
Lastly, add in the canned pumpkin and the salt and spices. That's it, you're done! This usually makes more filling than I need for one batch of macarons, but it keeps well in a mason jar in my fridge for weeks until I can make another pumpkin macaron batch.

Back to the shells...
Once the cookies are 100% cooled, you can start to carefully peel them off the silicone mats. I have tried to jump the gun and peel them off when they're mostly cooled and found the cookies don't come off the mat. Instead the tops pull off and you ruin the beautiful macaron feet. Just BE PATIENT! I know it's hard!

Divide your cookie shells evenly into two groups: tops and bottoms and beginning pipping the buttercream. Finally, sandwich them together and voila! Now technically, I should warn you that they need to be refrigerated overnight and then brought to room temperature before tasting, but let's be real... Everybody tastes the first one, right?!

Again, I can't explain to you the layers of flavor one experiences when you bite into these pillows of heaven, so I strongly encourage you all to give it a try. If you make your own batch, please share with me below or by using the hashtag #blissfullyevercrafter. I'd love to see your creations!

Blissfully Ever Crafting,

Jennifer Lynn

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