I don’t know why, but I recently got the crazy idea to make macarons from scratch. I’ve made them before for my 30 by 30 list (evidence here, including further evidence that my photography skills are now vastly improved), but the last time I didn’t really know what I was getting into. These pretty little cookies can be temperamental to say the least, but I found a few good posts and did some research, and got to work.
I won’t share the entire recipe, because I basically used this one from The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie. But I did adjust and learn some things, so I thought I’d share those here. First off, a few serious macaron lessons. Always, always weigh your ingredients. It’s kind of crucial for the wet and dry ingredients to be in their exact proportions, so don’t just wing it. Use a kitchen scale and be precise. Also, you need a good sifter to get the dry ingredients as fine as possible.
The last time I made macs I used parchment paper and got the most beautiful feet. This time, I baked on Silpat mats and I just wasn’t as happy with the feet I got. (For those of you wondering, “feet” on a French macaron are those little bubbly, raised areas on the underside of each rounded cookie.) I did a bit of research around the web and found people who swear by both methods, but I think next time I attempt these I’ll make them on parchment.
Another little alteration I made to this recipe was to color half of the batter. If you want to try the same, separate your batter into two halves partway through the section where you are mixing your wet and dry ingredients. Then use gel food coloring (liquid will make your mixture too wet) to color one half. This is the gel coloring that I love. Be sure that as you’re mixing in the color, you don’t exceed the number of recommended stirs/folds, because then your batter will be too runny. Our copper-colored macs were a little runnier than our plain cream-colored macs, and I think I overmixed them a bit. I also think that’s why the feet on the copper ones aren’t as tall. I piped them in two different sizes, which I thought was fun! I love the little tiny ones.
One note on the buttercream frosting here — the pumpkin flavor is great but they’re SUPER sweet. If you like them a little less sweet you might want to explore a different option for the filling.
Finally, I added a pretty gold paint splatter! Did you even know that there’s edible gold food paint? We’ve used it before right here. To get the effect, we used a small fan paintbrush, dipped it in a little bowl of edible gold paint, and flicked it over the top of our finished macarons. Do this a few times to cover the whole batch and you’ll have a really pretty gold splatter effect that kind of takes them to the next level.
So there you go! I have to say, the actual taste of the recipe is one of my favorite macaron flavors I’ve had, for reals. Because macs use almond flour they usually have a really strong almond taste, but the pumpkin pie spice and the pumpkin buttercream frosting in this recipe make them really fall-y and delicious. Hope you try these out. xoxo