Whole Pumpkin Macarons and Fleur de Sel Cinnamon Apple Cider Caramel Macarons
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: about 16 macarons
 
Basic macaron recipe from Helene of Tartelette
ingredients:
Macaron Batter
  • 90 grams of egg white (about 3 - but do weigh them!)
  • 30 grams of plain white granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 200 grams of icing or powdered sugar (1½ cups)
  • 110 grams of finely ground blanched almonds (1 cup + 4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)Add 1 tablespoon cinnamon to batter above for caramel apple macaronsAdd 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice to batter above for whole pumpkin macarons. I add either to almost beaten egg whites along with the sugar.
Fresh Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 cup fresh roasted pumpkin puree. If using canned, let drain in a colander overnight prior to making filling.
  • 1 tabelspoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Spicy, Toasted Baby Pumpkin Seeds
  • The seeds from one Jack Be Little pumpkin or pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
directions:
  1. In a food processor, run the nuts and powdered sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Run through a sieve if needed.
  2. Whip the egg whites until foamy, slowly add the granulated sugar, until they are glossy and stiff.
  3. Slowly sift in and fold the nut/sugar mixture into the whites with a wide spatula, in several increments. The mixture should remain shiny and flow easily (like lava/magma).
  4. Fill a pastry bag with the batter and pipe small rounds (about 1 to 1.5 inches - an Ateco #807 tip works well for this) onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  5. Let the macarons dry for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  6. When they are dry (touch one lightly, a dry shell will have formed - but do NOT push in), bake them for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Let cool, remove from the paper and fill 2 shells with filling of your choice.
For Fleur de Sel Cinnamon Caramel Apple Macarons
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to the batter (I add it to almost beaten egg whites with the sugar), then sprinkle half of the piped mounds with coarse sea salt (preferably fleur de sel), and a little extra cinnamon, prior to drying and baking.
For the Apple Cider Caramel Filling
  1. Add about 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and ⅛ teaspoon of cloves to the hot caramel (linked above) prior to setting. For filling consistency, only cook the caramel to about 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Let cool, then fill a pastry or ziplock bag (end snipped off once filled) with caramel and pipe onto bottom shells, topping each one with salted shells. For caramel candies, follow the directions linked above.
For Whole Pumpkin Macarons
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to the batter (I add it to the almost beaten egg whites with the sugar) and gently top half of the macaron batter mounds on baking sheet with three spicy, toasted baby pumpkin seeds, (directions below)
For the Fresh Pumpkin Filling
  1. Beat all of the ingredients together until smooth. In a saucepan, cook down the mixture until dark and thickened. Let cool. Spoon into pastry bag and pipe onto macaron shell bottoms. Top each macaron shell bottom with a seed coated macaron shell, then sandwich gently.
For Spicy Toasted Baby Pumpkin Seeds (or pepitas)
  1. Cut the pumpkin open and remove the seeds. Rinse to remove all the pulp then let air dry. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2. Combine the seeds with oil and the next 6 ingredients. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Spread the seeds on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.
notes:
MACARON TIPS:
Age the egg whites in a covered container at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours. I sometimes age them longer, uncovering the container for the last few hours.
I like to dry my tant pour tant (the almond meal-confectioner's sugar amalgamation) prior to making macarons. I let it sit out uncovered at room temperature the night before making them. I get super smooth shells that way for some reason.

Double baking sheets for better 'feet'.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2009/12/23/one-no-two-macarons-december-cookie-baking-and-my-fear-of-the-tripod/