For Thanksgiving this year, I cooked a non-traditional meal. I baked a small chicken Filipino-style with a layer each of bacon, sliced onions, and sliced tomatoes in the bottom of a Dutch oven. The chicken is seasoned with soy sauce, lemon juice, and sea salt. Dessert was pumpkin flavored macarons instead of pie and because we are limiting our sweets intake, the small size of the macarons are just perfect.
adapted from i ♥ macarons
2/3 cup almond flour
1½ cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon powder
dash of ginger powder
2 tablespoons dry and crumbled pumpkin puree or 1 tablespoon pumpkin powder
3 large egg whites, room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
15 drops liquid red food dye
20 drops liquid yellow food dye
- Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet. Draw 1-inch circles ½ inch apart [use a water bottle cap as a guide]. Cut 2 more sheets of parchment paper but leave unmarked.
- In a food processor, grind almond flour and powdered sugar together to a fine powder. Sift the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve twice. Stir in cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.
- In a small bowl,mix together the food dye; set aside.
- In a standing mixer bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until frothy. Add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Add food dye and stir lightly. Beat meringue until stiff, firm, and glossy.
- Stir pumpkin puree into almond mixture. Add half into the meringue. Stir with a spatula while scooping it up from the bottom of the bowl. Add the rest and mix it lightly in a circular motion.
- Macaronnage: Press and spread out the batter against the bowl's sides. Scoop the batter and turn it upside down (folding method). Repeat 15 times.
- Macaronner: When the batter becomes nicely firm and drips slowly as you scoop it with a spatula, the mixture is done.
- Fill a disposable pastry bag with the batter and snip a .4-inch opening. Clip the top of the bag to prevent the batter from coming out.
- Place the parchment with circles on the baking sheet. Place an unmarked parchment on top of the parchment. Pipe the batter using the circles as your guide. When full, carefully remove the parchment underneath. Rap the baking sheet firmly against the counter. This helps the macarons hold their rounded shape and helps the pied (little feet) to form. Repeat with the next baking sheet, parchment, and piping. You can fold and reuse the marked sheet which will save you time drawing circles. Leave the batter to dry on the kitchen counter for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Touch the batter lightly and if they do not stick to your fingers, they are ready. Bake 1 baking sheet at a time for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove from the baking sheets. Fill with pumpkin seed paste or pumpkin paste filling
Pumpkin Seed Filling
1 cup raw pumpkin seed
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon light olive oil
4 tablespoons cacao butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon soft butter
- Toast seeds in an even layer in a preheated 275°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes; do not let seeds become brown. Leave to cool completely. Process to a paste. Add oil and maple syrup and process for 1 minutes. Add cacao butter and butter; pulse until blended. Transfer into a pastry bag with a small round tip. Refrigerate until needed.
- Pipe onto cooled macaron halves; top with plain cookies. Refrigerate macarons and serve the next day at room temperature.
Pumpkin Paste Filling
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon powder
pinch of allspice
pinch of ginger powder
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons melted and cooled cacao butter
2 tablespoons soft butter
- Blend first 6 ingredients until fully combined. Stir in butters and mix until blended.Transfer into a pastry bag with a small round tip. Refrigerate until needed. Pipe onto cooled macaron halves; top with plain cookies. Refrigerate macarons and serve the next day at room temperature.