I may or may not have mentioned to you before that I have what I like to call a cooking “bucket list”. You know? A list of things that I want cook before I die ;) Well french macaroons have been towards the top of that list for quite some time and I was so excited to finally get to experiment with them. Have you ever heard of French Macaroons? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say: “A macaron (/mɑːkɑːrɔːn/ mah-kah-rōn; French pronunciation: [makaˈʁɔ̃]) is a sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring.” Want to know what the funny thing is about my desire to want to make these so badly? I’ve never even eaten one! I simply wanted to do it because they are SO pretty!!
Here’s the thing. These little babies are TESTY. I mean if you don’t do this right or that right.. the whole thing could be a flop. So you can imagine my surprise after the stress if making sure everything was done perfectly in the prep stage when we pulled these babies out of the oven and they had FEET!! What’s that you say? It had feet. Well here’s the skinny on that: “The confection is characterised by smooth, squared top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the “foot” or “pied”), and a flat base.” Of course this isn’t your run of the mill throw it together recipe, but it is fun and I wanted to share. I posted the Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting recipe already, which was not only used for these macaroons, but also was tasty on my Rhodes Mini Pumpkin Monkey Bites. It is THE perfect addition to these macaroons!
Pumpkin Buttercream French Macaroons
Get fancy with fall flavors and make these delicious Pumpkin Buttercream French Macarons! Your tastebuds will thank you!
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- ¼ c. white sugar
- 2 c. confectioners sugar
- 1 c. almond flour
- pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 c. butter softened
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
- Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Sift together almond flour and powdered sugar; removing the larger lumps of almond pieces. Discard those, you want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty top to your cookie.
- Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 6-10 mins. Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Then add the food coloring.
- Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. Be careful, if you under mix your macaroons they will be lumpy and cracked when they bake and they won't have feet. If you over mix, your macaroons will be flat and won't have feet (the mark of a well-made macaroon). A good measure is 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding.
- Transfer batter to a pastry bag. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking. Let them sit out for 20-30 mins, or even up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can't spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up, which is what creates the feet!
- Bake for 20 mins. Whatever you do: DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray. You will also want to avoid opening the oven door while baking.
- Meanwhile mix the buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat softened butter for 2 minutes. Add pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract and slow add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add pumpkin puree and beat until fully incorporated. Add more powdered sugar as needed. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ " in diameter)
- Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell and you have your French Macaroon! If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.
[My 2 Cents]
This is one of those recipes you really need to plan around. You want to be prepared. Have all of your ingredients out and ready to go before starting so that things will run smoothly. If you forget to take your eggs out of the fridge, it's ok! There's a way to quickly create room temperature eggs in a pinch! All you have to do is submerge your refrigerated eggs in warm water for 5 mins. I watched many youtube videos (and I would highly recommend watching Beth's Entertaining because her tutorial is excellent) to help me stay ahead of the game in macaroon making. Another thing I learned is that the color does fade a little as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.
Adapted from Beth's Entertaining