Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Macarons

If you've seen It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, you know that if your pumpkin patch is 'sincere' enough, then The Great Pumpkin will visit you and bring you lots of presents. So putting two and two together, I figured if I made sincere enough macarons out of sincere pumpkins that came from a sincere enough pumpkin patch, The Great Pumpkin might visit Josh and I's humble apartment. 

I am sorry to say, The Great Pumpkin has not yet graced me with his presence, but I am still waiting. Like Linus, I am standing in my pumpkin patch of a kitchen with my sign, still semi-hopeful.

However, I think I have figured out why The Great Pumpkin has remained so elusive. My pumpkin macarons are too good. At some point, during the multiplication of all that sincerity, my macarons turned into the equivalent of a young actress who recently left her small town, hit it big in Hollywood, and now thinks she is the -ish. Dang it macarons! You ruin everything. It's your fault The Great Pumpkin hasn't come! Now I am going to devours you! Hahaha! And give you away unexpectedly to friends and family! A true Halloween horror story. The end. Actually, not quite, the recipe is below.

Macaron Ingredients
  • 3 oz Almond Meal
  • 5.25 oz Powdered Sugar
  • Pinch of Cream of Tartar
  • 99 grams of Egg Whites, aged 1-2 days
  • 65 grams Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Powdered Orange Food Coloring
Pumkin Ganache Ingredients
  • 8 ounces White Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned Pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
Macaron Directions

1. Place one oven rack directly in the center of your oven, place the other rack on the notch right above the first rack and place a large cookie sheet on the top rack. (This is to prevent the macaron color from browning.) Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare two cookie sheets with silicon mats or parchment. Prepare a pastry bag fitted with a large tip and stand it up in a large glass.

2. Sift the almond meal, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice together into a medium bowl, set aside.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on med-hi until soft peaks form. Then slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until very stiff peaks form, then remove the bowl from the mixer.

4. Fold in the vanilla, 1/3 of the almond meal mixture and your food coloring until almost incorporated. Then add the next 1/3, and more food coloring if necessary, and fold until almost incorporated. Then add the last 1/3 and fold against the side of the bowl until just fully incorporated. It should be the consistency of thick magma like paste.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pastry bag and pipe large circles about an inch and a half in diameter onto your prepared pans. Rap the pans a couple of times to release air bubbles. Let the macarons set for 20 minutes on the counter.

6. On the center rack, bake the macarons for 13 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the second sheet.

Pumpkin Ganache Directions

1. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Set aside.

2. Place the cream, brown sugar, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Add the cream to the ganache and fold until fully incorporated. If there are still chunks in the ganache, return to the heat and stir until smooth. Pour the ganache into a shallow bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the ganache. Place in the refrigerator until thickened, about an hour.

3. Take the ganache out of the fridge and whip it with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand beaters until it gets lighter in color and a little fluffier. 

4. Spread a moderate amount of the buttercream between two macarons. Store the completed macarons in a sealed container in the fridge for a day before eating them to set the texture. (If thats not possible, it's not a big deal.) Remove them from the fridge 10 minutes before serving them to bring them back to room temp.

5. Package them and give some away as gifts! I got these cute autumn take out boxes at Michael's.

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