Well hey there October! Aren’t you looking mighty… cold, damp and splashy. Just the way we like you!
So, I have a confession to make. I am a little embarrassed to admit it to you though, because lately I’ve gone a bit overboard. Ok. Phew, here goes– I have a bit of an obsession… with pumpkins.
Like, truly obsessed! Give me a hot pumpkin latte to sip while I’m walking to work or the scent of pumpkin spice wafting through the house on a drizzly October morning and I couldn’t be happier. It warms my soul. Are you like me?
Of course, I can’t get enough of the harvest-themed baking at the moment. Pumpkin smoothies, butternut-squash muffins, pumpkin tartlets, vegan pumpkin brownies, healthy harvest power cookies, you name it, I’ve dabbled with it. I admit, I think I am a little out of control. (Maybe you already know that based on the inundation from my Instagram feed, or my Pinterest page.) Pumpkin fever? I’ve got it. PS. It’s contagious.
My excuse for this slightly manic food-phase I’m going through is that pumpkins are “healthy,” right? Also, Thanksgiving is around the corner (best chance all year you get to gorge yourself on Grandma’s pumpkin pie..so loosen those waistbands!). Needless to say, I have a ton of baking to hand out. My little goodies have been disappearing off the counter like it’s free-lunch Tuesday. Come line up and get them! (Before others do..)
I’ve made a handful of recipes this past week that are shining stars in my eyes. (Of course they all include a little pinch of pumpkiny goodness.) I can’t wait to share the best ones with you over the next week or so. A lot to love! Today’s recipe is one of my favourites from my October-Pumpkin-Baking-Fest. It is sure to impress.
Crispy and puffy with a delicate spice, these desserts are best enjoyed late in the evening when nibbled alongside a steaming mug of chai tea or some dark decaf coffee. They are deeply flavourful, macaron in nature, creamy with a chewy shell, and are perfect little bite sized treats to melt on your tongue.
Pumpkin Buttercream Meringues
Yield: 25 macarons Time: 2 hours Temp: 300 F
1/2 cup almond flour 1 cup icing sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ginger 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground cloves 4 egg whites 1/3 cup granulated sugar (white sugar) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 300° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain circular tip, along with two sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
2. Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and spices in a bowl and set aside.
3. Mix egg whites, sugar a salt in a stand up mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed. Increase to high and whip for another 6 minutes.
4. Add vanilla, then whip for a final minute on high speed. Your meringue should be stiff, dry and peaky! If not, continue to whip until it resembles cloudy puffs.
5. Remove paddle attachment from mixer, and hand fold dry ingredients into the egg whites. Be gentle, and mix for about 30-40 turns, until the mixture is lava like in texture – this enough to mound up on itself, but fluid enough to melt back down.
6. Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag. (Get ready to get messy!) Pipe the batter into circles the size of sand dollars, spaced out evenly on the baking sheet. Refill bag and continue piping until all batter is used.
7. Let patties rest on your counter for 15 minutes to “nap.”/spread out. Shhh the cookies are sleeping!
8. Bake for 18 minutes on 300 degrees F, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. Let cool on the pans before peeling the macarons from the parchment.
9. Once meringues are completely cooled, ice and then sandwich between equally sized cookies! Mmm. Enjoy!
1/4 cup butter 3 tbsp pumpkin purée 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp ginger (OR: 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice) 3 cups icing sugar 1 tbsp heavy cream
1. Beat butter and pumpkin at medium-high speed in a stand up mixer until smooth, (about 20 seconds.) Beat in vanilla extract, spices and salt until well combined (about 15 seconds.)
2. Stop beater and slowly add icing sugar, beating on low until all is combined. Add the heavy cream and beat for about 4 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
3. Match up macarons in pairs. Fill a pastry bag fitted with the buttercream and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream onto one side of the shell, then sandwich between its pair.
Recipe adapted from: Foodie Misadventures
I brought half a dozen of these desserts to my friend’s apartment for a “harvest themed” dinner party on Sunday night. (remember when I said I was obsessed? Ya..) We found that the little pumpkin meringues were exquisite treats après dinner feasting, when paired with pumpkin craft beer… mmmm!! Decadence!
I hope you have a wonderful week full of puddle splashing, pumpkin treats and maybe a slow cooker meal to keep you sane on your busy week nights.
PS: I can’t wait to check out this Vancouver brewery that just opened for business.
PPS: This bag made me laugh out loud. baahha..