Salted Caramel Pumpkin Macarons
The flavours of pumpkin and caramel come together perfectly in these Salted Caramel Pumpkin Macarons made by The Food Duchess! Ready for sharing, gifting or just indulging in these macarons are as delicious as they are beautiful. Make them for your next fall or holiday event!
- ½ cup (100g) White Sugar
- 2 tbsp (30g) Water
- 3 tbsp (43g) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature and cubed
- 2 tbsp (29g) Heavy Cream
- ½ tsp Vanilla
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 105 g Sifted Super Fine Almond Flour
- 105 g Sifted Confectioners Sugar
- 100 g Egg Whites
- 100 g White Sugar
- 3 g (1 tsp) Egg White Powder, otherwise known as meringue powder (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- Orange and Brown Food Colouring
- 1 cup (227g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- ½ cup (115g) E.D.SMITH® Pure Pumpkin
- 4 cups (480g) Confectioners Sugar
- ½ tsp Pumpkin Spice
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp (28g) Heavy Cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla
In a large saucepan over medium heat add sugar and water. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to boil.
Once the mixture begins to boil turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the mixture to boil, ensuring not to stir it, until it turns amber in color (stirring the mixture will cause crystallization, so refrain from stirring).
Once the mixture has become amber in color (360°F on a candy thermometer), add the cubed butter and mix very vigorously to combine. (Be careful, however, because the mixture will bubble and rise up rapidly when you add the butter). If the butter seems to be separating from the caramel, remove it from the heat, then whisk vigorously until it comes together.
Next, carefully add in the heavy cream (it will bubble rapidly again), vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth and well-combined. Remove the caramel from the heat, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cover tightly, and allow to cool to room temperature before using to fill macarons. When cooled add to a piping bag.
Macarons: Dry Ingredients
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat (if you have enough, prepare 2 baking sheets).
Over a large mixing bowl on a scale, sift almond flour until you reach 105g. Discard any large pieces of almond flour. Repeat with the confectioners sugar. Add the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, then whisk the almond flour, confectioners sugar, and spices until very well-combined. Set aside.
Making the Meringue
Add egg whites, white sugar, and egg white powder to the bowl of your stand mixer, and whisk together. Place the bowl over top of a simmering pot of water (bain-marie), ensuring a tight seal and ensuring that the bottom of the stand mixer bowl is not actually touching the water.
Continuously whisk the mixture while it heats up over the bain-marie, heat the mixture until it reaches 140°F (60°C). When temperature is achieved, remove the bowl from the simmering water pot and place onto your stand mixer, fitted with the whip attachment.
Beat the mixture, starting on low. Once soft peaks have been formed, increase the speed to medium. Once medium peaks are achieved, increase the speed to high. Beat on high until stiff peaks have formed. Add in the vanilla, and beat until just combined. Add in the food colouring, if using, and beat until just combined.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and place a sieve over top. Pour the dry mixture into the sieve, then sift the dry ingredients into the meringue.
Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. To fold, scrape around the sides of the bowl in an entire circle, and then cut through the centre.
Be gentle and careful not to overmix or over-deflate the meringue. The mixture is ready to be piped when it ribbons off your spatula, meaning that the batter, when lifted with a spatula, should keep flowing off the spatula in ribbon shapes nonstop, without drizzling off too quickly. If it is coming off in large V shaped chunks it still needs to be folded further. Another test is the figure 8 test: If you can lift some batter up and use it to draw several figure 8’s without the stream breaking, it is ready!
Piping and Drying the Macarons
Add mixture into a piping bag with medium sized round tip. Pipe small circles of batter onto a cookie sheet fitted with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Ensure piping bag is held straight up and perpendicular to baking sheet. Using a stencil or a macaron mat makes this process much easier and fool proof, try to make my macarons around 1½” in diameter.
Tap the baking sheet multiple times against counter to remove any air bubble from the macarons. If some air bubbles still remain, use a tooth pick to gently poke them out.
Preheat oven to 300°F, or 275°F for convection oven. While oven is preheating, allow the macarons to sit and form a skin. This skin will ensure the macarons bake up and not out, giving them those classic “feet”. This skin should form anywhere from 8 minutes to an hour. You know the macarons are ready to be baked when you can touch them lightly without having the batter stick to your finger. Keep checking them to see if they have formed a skin– overly dried macarons are just as much of a problem as under-dried macarons!
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Your bake time will depend on the size of your macarons. Check at 15 minutes, and if they are not ready then keep checking every minute. The macarons are ready when the tops are firm and do not move around their base at all.
Allow the macarons to cool completely before attempting to remove them from the sheets/mats/parchment. When cooled, find “perfect pairs” of macaron halves and set aside to be filled.
Add the butter and pumpkin puree to your stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat until light, fluffy and creamy – about 5 minutes. Add in the spices and confectioners sugar in intervals, until very well combined and smooth.
Finish by adding the cream and vanilla, then beating until well-combined. Add to a piping bag fitted with a short star tip.
Assembling the Macarons
Pipe the pumpkin buttercream in a ring shape onto ½ of the macaron shells (bottoms of perfect pairs). Pipe a dollop of salted caramel into the centre of the piped buttercream ring.
Top each bottom with its corresponding top. Drizzle the tops of each assembled macaron with any leftover salted caramel, then sprinkle with flaky salt. Place into the fridge overnight to mature and meld together.