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Delicious and light pumpkin meringue cookies
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces almond flour, sifted to remove large pieces
- 8 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
- 5 ounces egg whites, aged overnight at room temperature (about 5 eggs)
- 2 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Orange gel food color if desired
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Pumpkin Butter
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- a few drops of vanilla extract
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar more or less as needed for desired consistency
- In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.
- For the macarons preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 circles (I used a shot glass) on the parchment paper at least 1 inch apart. Turn the paper over and set aside.
- Prepare a large pasty bag, fitted with a plain tip. Set aside Whisk together the almond flour, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, granulated sugar and salt. Using the whisk attachment turn the mixer to medium (speed #4 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip for 3 minutes. The egg whites will not seem overly foamy at this point. Turn the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen-Aid) and beat for another 3 minutes. Turn the speed to 8 and whip for 3 more minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and food color if using, and beat on high for another minute or until stiff peaks form and the egg whites hold in the middle of the whisk attachment. Shake the meringue loose from the whisk and add all the dry ingredients at one time. Fold the ingredients together using a rubber spatula. Keep turning the batter until all dry ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is creamy. To test the consistency, drizzle some of the batter back into the bowl using the spatula. If the batter blends back into itself after about 1 minute, it's ready. You don't want it runny like pancake batter. If you think it needs another turn, do them one at a time until you reach the perfect consistency.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pastry bag and pipe onto the cookie sheets. Do not fill the circles completely. Fill to about 2/3 full as the batter will spread a bit. Once the whole sheet is full, rap the pan on a hard surface to pop any air bubble in the cookies. Allow the unbaked macarons to rest for 30 minutes before baking.
- Bake about 20 minutes. To check you can pull up on a cookie and if the top separates from the bottom, they are not ready. Bake another minutes or two and test again. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the parchment paper. I pick up the parchment paper with cookies intact and transfer it to a cooling rack to speed the cooling process.
- To make the buttercream beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed of an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the pumpkin butter, vanilla, and the 1 remaining teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Blend another minute until incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the confectioners' sugar. Beat until fluffy and smooth.
- Pipe the buttercream in mounds onto half the macarons. Top with the other matching half and twist to distribute. Store the macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow them to rest at room temperature about an hour before serving.
(base macaron slightly adapted from Bravetart)
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Do you have your Thanksgiving menu ready to go? Have you been to the store and bought all your necessities? I drove in the parking lot of our local Wegman’s Sunday afternoon then promptly turned around and went home. It was jammed packed and probably didn’t have any carts left! It looked like the day before a major snow storm. We’re going tonight – nobody shops on Monday nights … right?
Have a great week and thanks so much for stopping by!