Dark Chocolate Spider Macarons with Pumpkin Cardamom Buttercream Filling

HALLOWEEN!!!!! We shift gears now from Diwali to Halloweeenn! It is that time of the year, where one festival comes after the other. There are pumpkin patches everywhere, halloween costumes, parties, spooky movies on TV, etc. Every year Sara Cornelius of Cake Over SteakĀ organizes a virtual pumpkin party, where more than 100 bloggers make various pumpkin recipes, be it sweet or savory! You can get more than 100+ recipes of what you can do with pumpkins! Who knew that pumpkins could be used in so many wonderful ways! There are so many wonderful recipes that I want to try from this list! šŸ™‚ I am always amazed by people’s creativities and this is one list to go by, if you are looking for pumpkin recipes. Here is the Virtual Pumpkin Party list from Sara’s blog. You can get the 2017 list of recipes here as well.

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Another recipe that I came up with for Sunset Magazine were these Frankenstein Cookie Bars, for which you can see the video here. These bars are super cute, and really fun to make with your kids as well. The cookie is a lime and coconut cookie with a matcha frosting. They are chewy, and delicious and are perfect for your next Halloween party as well!

 

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My kids had a blast putting on the black licorice legs, and eyes, and orange mouth, to give it the spider look! My favorite spider was the 3 eyed spider haha! They took them to school a few days in a row and their friends wanted the macarons as well ! šŸ™‚ I had so much fun creating these macarons for the Virtual Pumpkin Party 2017. I cannot wait to see what everyone is creating and be a part of this fun event every year!Ā  Next year though, I think I will create a savory pumpkin recipe ;).

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I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a chance to try it out. I have put a lot of macaron tips as well in the Notes below the recipe. It took me a few attempts to get my macarons right, but once you get it right the process is so addictive. Do not be intimated to try them. Do not give up. They are not difficult. Once you get them right, there are so many fun flavors to try! Also, please feel free to message me if you need help with the macaron process.

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In other news, my 1st grader has a Pumpkin Patch field trip this week and I am so excited to go for the trip and see the budding kiddos having fun at the patch. I went with my 3rd grader, 2 years ago and it was a great experience for the kids as well as the parents. They are going to be a Witch and Ninja this year, I cherish these memories with my kids, because one day, they will outgrow wearing costumes, and being excited about it. These little things make life fun, and something to look forward to.

 

Hope you all have a safe Halloween!

XO

Amisha

 

 

Dark Chocolate Spider Macarons with Pumpkin Cardamom Buttercream Filling

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces confectioners sugar
  • 4 ounces almond flour
  • 3 tbsp dark cocoa powder(I use Hershey's dark cocoa)
  • Black coloring ( optional )
  • 4 large(4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3.5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin-Cardamom Buttercream filling:
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar ( the buttercream should not be runny, it should be firm, but pipeable at the same time)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

    For the macaron shells:
  1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees. Line baking sheets with the paper templates, and top with the parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour, and the dark cocoa powder until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture three times into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granuated sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrap down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract extract and black coloring and increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form for atleast 10 minutes.
  4. To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture, one-third at a time, over the egg white mixture, and fold using a large spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated check for the correct consistency, the batter should be firm, have a glossy shine and drip smoothly from the spatula. Make sure that the entire almond mixture is incorporated. This step is very important.
  5. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag filled with a 1/2 inch plain round tip(#12), and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gentle tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Do this step atleast 5-7 times. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes atleast. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched. If they have a tip, gently pat it down with your finger.
  6. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 13-15 minutes.
  7. Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
  8. For the buttercream filling:
  9. In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter, pumpkin puree and salt and whip until light and creamy about 2 minutes.
  10. Add the sugar, spices and vanilla extract to a whipped butter and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth about 2 minutes.Use a pastry bag to pipe the macaron shells, one at a time, and top with another macaron shell gently.

Notes

NOTES:

1) Make sure that you whip the meringue thoroughly. The best way to check after 10 minutes of whipping is to remove the whisk, stir the meringue vigorously with the whisk and turn it upside down. The merigue should stay stiff like a peak.

2) Make sure that you fold the almond mixture and it is well incorporated with the meringue and the end mixture is smooth and falls off the spatula with ease. It should look like a ribbon falling off the spatula.

3) When using the pastry bag to pipe the macarons, hold it absolutely vertical, and center to the holes on the template and slightly above it, and not touching the paper to pipe it. You need to squeeze just a tad bit to release the batter onto the parchment paper.

4) Make sure that you tap the tray atleast 6-10 times to release any air bubbles in the macaron shell.

5) You HAVE to let the macarons rest for atleast 30-45 minutes to form a nice shell.

6) It is very important to rotate the tray halfway through baking to make sure that the macarons are baked evenly.

7) DO NOT remove the shells off the parchment paper as soon as the tray comes out of the oven, else you will break the shell. Wait for 2-3 minutes atleast for it to cool down.

8) You can keep the shells covered and do the frosting the next day as well. The shells will keep for a couple of days.

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