Chocolate and pumpkin goodness are what’s held in these chocolate pumpkin pie macarons. It’s a great way to enjoy the pumpkin season and savor the flavor of pumpkin pie in precious bite-size gems.
I made dozens of small macarons 1.25 inches in diameter and some 1.75-inch ones. The recipe is pretty generous as I’m of the mindset that if I’m going to spend the time and effort making something, I would prefer to produce more than fewer, particularly when it comes to macarons.
Especially with Thanksgiving coming soon, abundance is what comes to mind. The nice thing about macarons is, they freeze really well so it’s something that can be made weeks ahead of time and kept in the freezer.
I’ve made these chocolate macarons before, but I’m recapping the steps anyway just for easy reference.
Baking macarons is one time I measure my ingredients by weight. Even the egg whites are measured to the exact weight. What’s key to making macarons, at least for me, is the consistency of the batter. It has to be thick, but should flow slowly back when you cut your spatula across it. If the batter is too thick with hardly any flow, your icing tip will likely leave a mark and you won’t get a smooth surface. Likewise, not sifting the dry ingredients well enough will give you a rough surface. On the other hand, if the batter is too slack, it tends to produce imperfect macarons as well and you likely will not get the classic feet that is characteristic of a macaron. Assuming the ingredients are measured exactly and the meringue whipped to stiff peaks, combining the meringue with the chocolate paste is the crucial step that will determine the viscosity of the batter. They both have to be combined and mixed to that perfect point when the batter is still on the thick side but loose enough to flow.
The quickest and easiest way to make the filling is to blend the ingredients in the food processor. Pure canned pumpkin with its deep beautiful orange color makes it really convenient. I mixed it with some almond meal/flour, powdered sugar, powdered milk, cinnamon, salt, melted butter and a dash of vanilla. It tastes really, really good, I could have sworn it was pumpkin pie filling. Be generous when filling the macarons.
If you slice a chocolate pumpkin pie macaron in half, this is how the cross section looks. You’ll get beautiful chocolate and orange crescents with distinct layers of chocolate sandwiching the pumpkin filling.
It’s a macaron harvest. Happy Thanksgiving!
- 246 g finely ground blanched almond meal/flour (2 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons)
- 246 g powdered sugar (2 cups + 2 tablespoons + 2 ½ teaspoons)
- 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder (½ cup + 1 teaspoon)
- 100 g egg whites at room temperature (3 egg whites)
- 246 g granulated sugar (1 cup + 3 tablespoons)
- 66 g water (1/3 cup)
- 100 g egg whites at room temperature (3 egg whites)
- 1 ½ cups almond meal/flour (135 g)
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (175 g)
- 1 cup powdered milk (95 g)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup / 1 stick melted unsalted butter (113 g)
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin (225 g)
- Optional: one drop of orange gel food coloring
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Draw or print-out circles to make a template to be placed underneath the parchment paper.
- If measuring by volume, sift the almond meal/flour by itself, then measure out the required proportion. If measuring by weight, weigh the ingredients then sift afterwards. Do the same for the powdered sugar and cocoa. Whisk all three measured dry ingredients in a bowl to combine, then sift them again all together.
- Add first set of egg whites to the dry ingredients and mix with a silicon spatula until it forms a paste. Cover and set aside.
- Place the second half of egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whip attachment.
- Place granulated sugar in a small sauce pan. Add the water and gently swirl it around just enough to dampen the sugar evenly. Turn heat on to medium high.
- Start whipping the egg whites on low. Using a candy thermometer, when the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 220°F, increase the mixer speed to medium until the meringue is thick and starts to take shape. Reduce the speed to low and wait for the temperature of the sugar syrup to reach 235°F.
- Once the sugar reaches 235°F, increase the mixer speed to medium high and pour the syrup in a thin, slow and steady stream into the egg whites aiming for the egg whites directly between the side of the bowl and the wire whip. Beat meringue until it has turned glossy and reached stiff peaks. Do not over whip.
- Using a silicon spatula, take about a third of the meringue and fold it into the chocolate paste. Fold by cutting down the center and folding the mixture over, at the same time scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Rotate the bowl as you fold the mixture over.
- Add half of the remaining meringue folding in to blend. Repeat with the rest of the meringue. The batter is ready when you draw a line with your spatula down the center and it slowly flows back, like flowing lava. It should neither be very thick nor very slack. Do not over mix.
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Divide the batter among 3 or 4 large pastry bags fitted with a medium round tip #12.
- Place your circle template underneath the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Hold the piping bag perpendicular, straight towards the center of the circle. Pipe the batter just until you reach the inner part of the circle. If you leave a mark in the center of the piped batter, this will slowly dissipate and smoothen out by itself in a few minutes. Pull out your template from underneath the parchment paper and transfer it onto the next cookie sheet.
- Gently tap the cookie sheet holding the piped batter on your work surface to release any large air pockets.
- Let sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes, or however long it takes for the surface of the piped batter to dry and form a skin.
- Repeat piping the rest of the batter on the rest of the cookie sheets. Remember to pull the template out of the last cookie sheet.
- The piped batter is ready for the oven when you lightly touch it and your finger remains dry.
- Bake each cookie sheet one at a time for 15 – 17 minutes (15 minutes for small 1.25-inch macarons or 16 minutes for larger 1.75-inch macarons).
- Rotate the cookie sheet halfway into baking after the feet have formed.
- Remove from the oven and let the macarons cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- In a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, powdered milk, almond meal/flour, ground cinnamon and salt.
- Add the melted butter blending to combine thoroughly.
- Add the pureed pumpkin and vanilla extract then blend further until the mixture is smooth, thick and well combined. If filling needs to be slacker, add additional pumpkin one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If filling needs to be thickened, add additional powdered sugar or almond meal/flour one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Blend in one drop of optional orange gel food coloring.
- Divide the filling between two large piping bags fitted with a medium round tip #12. Pipe the filling onto one macaron shell and top with another to form a pair.
Keep in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator (I prefer to freeze them).
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Macarons