I was pretty excited how these Macarons turned out. They are not pumpkin-flavored; just a plain shell colored orange with powdered food coloring. If you wanted pumpkin flavor you could add some pumpkin pie spice; I'm not sure how much though. I did a dark chocolate ganache filling so it would be close to a black color for Halloween. One needs to used powdered food coloring in the shell, rather than liquid or gel, or the macarons might have too much liquid and not turn out. I wasn't sure how much to add, so I used a scant teaspoon, and probably could have gotten away with less, but they turned out well.
My daughter helped me make these and even helped pipe them out. We want to make pistachio ones next! Happy Halloween!
Orange Halloween Macarons
110 g almonds meal/flour200 g powdered sugar
1 scant teaspoon powdered orange food coloring50 g granulated sugar
100 g egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged (left out) a day at room temperature
1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
2. Pulse almond flour, powdered sugar, and powdered food coloring in a food processor until evenly mixed. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape the seeds out using a paring knife. Add the seeds to the granulated sugar and whisk to combine.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to whip until a shiny, stiff, glossy meringue forms (but not dry).
4. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and add the almond mixture. Using a rubber spatula, briskly and quickly fold the almond meal into the egg whites. After a few brisk strokes, slow down and then gently incorporate the rest into the batter.You want a batter that flows and "ribbons" for at least 5 seconds.
5. Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (I use Wilton 12). Pipe the batter into 1 1/2-inch rounds, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Whack the baking sheets on the counter a few times, then allow to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until a hard shell forms. (While you wait, prepare ganache, below.)
6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 280 degrees. Bake the macarons 10-12 minutes, depending on size. (Should be dry and lift away easily from parchment when done.) Allow to cool completely on the pan before using a small spatula to remove them. Match the cookies according to size and pipe filling on half, using the other half to form a sandwich.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
6 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, heat and stir the cream until it barely comes to a simmer. Immediately pour over chocolate in bowl and cover bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Then, whisk until combined and smooth. It might take a little bit, but it should turn dark, smooth, and shiny. Set aside to cool until needed. I set it in the fridge, since it needs to be on the thick side for the filling.
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