In my attempt to keep blogging more often, I joined up with the Daring Bakers/Daring Cooks challenges.
And promptly, failed to blog in Oct with having participated in both challenges. Go team me! So, going with the better late than never theory, I made goodies in Oct, and I want to share them. Because they were tasty.
For the bakers challenge, we were to make French macaroons. I’d only had these a few times before, and never tried to make them, but luckily, I had everything I needed in the house already. Yes, I keep almond flour on hand. I’m weird like that. I debated for a while, what kind did I want to make… chocolate seemed like a good idea, but I was (yes, I’m about to say this) bored with chocolate. I wanted something different. Since it was Oct, and thus fall, I was starting to get more into that mood, and some rifling through my spice rack provided the answer:
Ginger macaroons, with pumpkin buttercream filling. Oh. My. God.
I finally buckled down to attempt these tasty little treats one night around 3am, and on the first try, I had feet! I rejoiced, there were FEET! ON MY COOKIES!! Lots of people said feet were hard to achieve on the first shot, but I managed, I was very happy about it too. I may have danced around the kitchen a little, 4:00 in the morning, in my pajamas. No one ever said I wasn’t a dork.
I did a lot of reading and research on making these cookies, to be honest, because there were some serious variations on how people’s were turning out, and even a bit on recipe itself. My recipe was a simple one, that I borrowed from Tartelette, who seems to really know her macaroons. Plus, I like weighing things in recipes like this:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almond flour
1/2 Tbs ground ginger
The egg whites: I did let them sit out on the counter overnight, covered, which I think helped. When I was ready to go with them, into my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment, and beaten until foamy, gradually added the granulated sugar, until I had a lovely meringue.
I ran the powdered sugar and almond flour through a sifter, got the little chunks of almond out of the flour, which probably also helped, as to not weigh down my batter. Combining these with the meringue, I hand-folded them as quickly as I could to incorporate (47 strokes was my magic number). Into a piping bag — ok, a ziplock bag with the tip cut off — and piped onto baking sheets lined with parchment. I left my cookies sitting on the counter for half an hour, then slipped them into the oven (at 280f) for 20 min. I didn’t have much trouble removing them from the parchment, luckily, when they were done, and most importantly, they had feet! Yes, I found this exciting at that hour.
My filling was pretty simple, a lovely pumpkin buttercream:
1 stick butter, room temp
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla
1+ lb powdered sugar
Cream butter, pumpkin, spices and vanilla, then slowly add sugar until it forms the consistency you want, and no longer separates. I ended up with a bit of this left over (half or more of what I’d made), so keep that in mind. Filled the cookies with it, and then there was happy nommage. Very happy.
Daring Cooks challenge post to follow shortly, I need to actually eat some dinner here, I’m making myself hungry.