Pumpkin Chai Macarons

So here I am, it's a week away from Thanksgiving, and I am realizing that fall is slowly fading into nothing more than a memory as winter begins to show its bitter face. I don't mind though. Despite the fact that Starbucks is already fully decked out in holiday cheer, yes, I did wear my snowflake bow tie to work today, I refuse to stop enjoying fall. I have until November 23, the day after Thanksgiving.

So...here is our newest fall recipe...Pumpkin Chai Macarons!

When I moved to New York City and worked in the advertising industry, I had the pleasure (sometimes extremely stressful, so much that I worked 80+ hour work weeks...) of providing my company with food, treats, wine, champagne, bourbon for company meetings, client presentations, and happy hours. New York loves it's pastries...cupcakes and macarons.

Macarons are absolutely delicious. My foodie buddy Angie has recently informed me that I am slightly crazy. But that's okay! I like a challenge. Macarons are French meringue-based pastries. Some say the difficulty is in the time-consuming aspect, some say the egg beating to proper consistency, no matter what, don't get down. If your first batch doesn't work, try again!

When making my first batch, I did not make a template to help standardize the macarons sizes. Do not do this. It may seem silly, but draw out circles on the underside of your parchment paper. Flip over the paper and pipe the macaron batter on the other side of the parchment paper. The result will be much more uniformly sized macarons!

So, while this recipe may not be a "5 steps to an easy dinner" recipe, it is worth the effort! Once you have the basic recipe, try different combinations!

Chocolate Peppermint, Pistachio, Saffron Macarons with Blood Orange and Honey Buttercream...that may be a recipe I will being attempting in the very near future!

Until next time...happy eating!

Pumpkin Chai Macarons

Macaron Batter 1 cup powdered sugar 1/2 cup almond flour 3 tablespoons chai leaves (the contents of about 4 teabags) 2 large egg whites, at room temperature 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
  3. Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and chai tea so there are no lumps, this will also chop the tea leaves; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.
  4. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
  5. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  6. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
  7. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

Pumpkin Cream 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin 1 teaspoon orange zest freshly grated Pinch of cinnamon Pinch of nutmeg

  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add cream cheese, butter and confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add pumpkin, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat until incorporated.