Ahhh Pumpkin Spice everything! Tis the season, right?! For us there is nothing better than sweater weather, pumpkin chai in hand, just soaking up the smells and flavors of the season. Fall goes by way too quickly in my opinion, so we really try to take it all in before it’s too late to be socially acceptable to eat all the pumpkin things. Just kidding, I’ll still be baking with pumpkin come November, who are we kidding!? I’ve been dying to get to Disneyland at Halloweentime, because I’ve never seen it in person and it looks just darling. Plus, Disneyland always seems to have cuter snacks. Has anyone else noticed that?! I saw someone posting Pumpkin Spice Mickey macarons on Instagram, and I knew I either needed to make a trip out to California, or bake up a batch myself. Baking them myself was obviously the cheaper route, and I’m saving up for our Disney Cruise Line trip to Alaska, so baking them won. Maybe next time Disneyland.
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Pumpkin Spice Mickey Macarons
I wouldn’t call these copycats of the Disneyland version, because, well I’ve never tried them; but these Pumpkin Spice Mickey macarons were so delicious and I was really happy with how they turned out! And now I have an even better excuse to take that Disneyland trip to see how they compare.
We started with this recipe for the cookie itself. I will openly admit, macarons are such a science that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to make my own recipe for the actual cookie portion, but I absolutely love creating fun fillings for them. Since most of the flavor comes from the filling, you can really get creative with flavors if you have a good basic recipe for the cookie.
Pumpkin Spice Macaron Ingredients
We made our own Pumpkin Spice buttercream for the filling of these Mickey macarons, and I have the recipe below. Feel free to use whatever filling you like, this is just our Pumpkin Spice Buttercream that I always go to and I love how flavorful and cozy this buttercream tastes. For the filling, you’ll need
- Powdered Sugar
- Unsalted Butter
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Pumpkin Puree
- Mixer- This is the one I use for everything-I like the whisk attachment for this recipe
- Piping bags
Tips for making Pumpkin Spice Mickey Macarons
So before you completely write off making macarons because you think they’re too difficult, let’s talk about a few tips to make your life a little easier with these. Macarons are something everyone can learn to make successfully with a little bit of patience and practice.
Mickey Cookie Stencil
First of all, you’re going to want to create a stencil of a mickey head. This is going to be used for the backside of the parchment paper to help guide you when creating your mickey shapes. This is super important, so don’t try to freehand them. This will help them bake more evenly, but also will help you match them up when creating the little sandwiches that make up this delicious cookie. I like to start by stenciling the parchment paper first, so that I don’t have macaron batter just sitting in the bowl while I get the pan ready. We just used a piece of card stock to create ours, which made it super easy to trace.
Once you start making your macaron batter, there are a few crucial steps you want to pay attention to for the best results.
Use room temperature egg whites. You can play on the wild side and try cold egg whites, but I promise you, this is the first thing you can do wrong when making macarons. If your egg whites aren’t to room temp when you’re ready to start baking, you can always place your eggs in a bowl of warm water to get them there. Seriously don’t skip this step!
When you’re beating the egg whites, use a whisk attachment. This will help aerate them. And don’t overwhip them! When they get to a hard peak stage, stop. If you want to add color to the shells of your macaron cookies, you actually want to do this during this stage of whipping these up.
A note on adding color to the shells. The color will actually lighten while the whites are being whipped, and fade during the baking process. So add more than you think you need. Once you hit that hard peak stage, there’s no going back and you won’t want to risk adding more color and overwhipping them.
So now onto the dry ingredients. Have you ever worked with almond flour? If not, be aware, it’s very coarse. Because of this, and because you want the best, smoothest shell possible on your macaron, I always double sift my dry ingredients when making macarons. Some recipes tell you to sift once, I always sift at least twice. It’s a pain and can be time consuming, but macarons are not a treat you want to rush. I like to use a sifter like this, so it really helps get those lumps out. I actually recommend sifting the ingredients before you start whipping up your egg whites, so you’re perfectly whipped eggs whites aren’t just sitting in the bowl, warming up and being at risk for breaking.
Now that you have a perfectly smooth dry mixture and a perfectly whipped egg whites, it’s time to combine them! You have to fold the whites into the dry mixture, but without overmixing. I remember reading somewhere that the ideal amount of “turns” for the folding process is usually in the 60-75ish range. I always stick to that and it works like a charm!
Once you’re happy with the consistency of your batter(it should be just mixed and slightly runny) now you can pipe them! Use that prepped parchment paper we talked about earlier to help guide your cookie shape. Tap the pan on a hard surface, 2-3 times to get the air bubbles out. This should be done with a bit of force to really ensure you get those air bubbles out.
In the recipe we used here, she does mention that the macarons need to sit for an hour. Don’t skip this. Take a coffee break, get some chores done, take a nap, I don’t care what you do, but let those things rest! This is so important because if you don’t let them dry out, they won’t get that beautiful shell. If you’re experiencing a bit of humidity that day, I’d say let them sit for even an hour and a half. When you touch the tops, they should feel dry.
Once they’re ready to be baked, make sure the oven is fully heated and put on a timer. You don’t want to over or underbake these, because both situations will give you issues. Again this is why it’s so important that they’re all relatively consistent in size.
After you take them out, let them cool, and then you can start filling them! See below for our Pumpkin Spice buttercream recipe.
Decorating Pumpkin Spice Mickey Macarons
The original recipe doesn’t use any decorations for these macarons, but since we made the mickey shaped, we wanted to add a little something to them. You can add faces, using a black decorating marker, icing or dark chocolate, vines using green icing and top it off with a green stem using candy, or make your own out of chocolate. Let your creativity run wild!
Or if you feel that this process has taken you forever and you just want to eat them, that’s always an option too!
Hopefully this blog post will help give you the confidence to try your own take on making macarons. Remember, these are a labor of love, but they’re one of my favorite treats to make because they remind you to slow down, take your time and enjoy the process. Just like fall itself.
Pumpkin Spice ButterCream