As the US Thanksgiving approached, I wanted to create something unique to celebrate this festivity. Don’t get me wrong I love traditions and I love the typical dishes, which are served for this holiday. But I figured everyone is making the same thing, so let’s be a little bit different.
So, here are my Thanksgiving special Pumpkin Spice Macarons, made with roasted butternut squash and some edible flowers I’ve been dying to experiment with. And if you can get over the fact that there’s A LOT of sugar in these little cookies, I have incorporated some healthy spices, including turmeric, in the shells themselves!
PUMPKIN SPICE MACARONS
Ingredients, Shells (makes about 60 shells)
- 150g egg whites, aged overnight
- 100g fine caster sugar
- 180g ground almonds
- 270g icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- edible marigold leaves (garnish)
Prepare your baking sheets and cut parchment paper to fit. Set aside.
Measure out all of your ingredients. Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar together, making sure you discard any large pieces of ground almonds. If there are many, weigh them and add more ground almonds for the same amount. Sift these also. Add the spices and turmeric. Do not mix.
In a clean bowl (no oil, water, or specks of any residue), beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the caster sugar and beat until glossy peaks form. You know they are ready if you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing falls out. However, do not overbeat or your macaron shells will be dry and crack. With a spatula, fold in the almond mixture. Work the mixture (macaronnage) from bottom up, until you achieve a smooth texture that forms a “ribbon” on the spatula. Do not over mix, though! If the mixture is too liquid, the macarons will come out flat and without pieds (feet) that make a macaron what they are. If the mixture is not blended enough, or dry, the shells will crack.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag. If you’re using disposable bags, cut the tip straight across. Pipe desired width circles onto the parchment sheets. Sprinkle with edible marigold leaves, if desired.
Let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature. This stage is called crouter. You should be able to touch the macarons after about 20 minutes and they will not stick to your fingers. This step produces the pieds.
Preheat oven to 160C (fan setting). Bake shells for 10-12 minutes. Test after about 5 minutes. If you’re using more than one baking sheet, rotate their positions in the oven, so all shells bake evenly. You will know they are ready, when they do not wiggle to the touch. But do not overbake, or they can crack and burn. Allow to cool completely before filling with the ganache.
PUMPKIN SPICE BUTTER-CREAM GANACHE
- 100ml coconut meal
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup pumpkin meat (previously baked, or used canned)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons butter
Mix all of the ingredients, except the butter in the blender. Transfer to a bowl. With the mixer, beat the butter into the pumpkin mixture, until creamy. Set aside or in fridge to harden if too soft.
Peel the shells off of the parchment paper and place the shells upside down on a clean surface. Transfer the ganache mixture into a piping bag and pipe the ganache onto half of the shells. The other half of the shells are the “cover” of the cookie. Et voila!
I hope you enjoy!