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 our opinion, so we really try to take it all in before it’s too late. And frankly, we’re usually still baking pumpkin things through November. And when we saw these adorable Mickey macrons at Disneyland during Halloween, we knew we just had to try them out for ourselves.
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How to Make Mickey Macarons
Ok, so we wouldn’t call these copycats of the Disneyland version, because, we’ve never actually tried the real version. BUT these Pumpkin Spice Mickey macarons were so delicious that we really can’t imagine them being better! We were so happy with how they turned out! And now we have an even better excuse to take that Disneyland trip to see how they compare.
Start by making this Macaron Recipe. We will openly admit, macarons are such a science that we just feel safer using a tried and true chefs meticulous calculations then attempting to come up with this recipe from scratch. That said, 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 Buttercream
We made our own Pumpkin Spice buttercream for the filling of these Mickey macarons, and have the recipe below. Feel free to use whatever filling you like, this is just our Pumpkin Spice Buttercream that we always go to and love how flavorful and cozy this buttercream tastes. For the filling, you’ll need
- 4 c. .Powdered Sugar
- 1 c. softened Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
- 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 c. Pumpkin Puree
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 tbsp. Heavy Cream
- Mixer- we live by this KitchenAid Mixer and like the whisk attachment for this recipe
- Piping bags
Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting
- 1 c. softened butter
- 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp heavy cream or milk (if desired for texture)
- Step 1 In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment or using an electric mixer, whisk butter until fluffy
- Step 2 Add pumpkin puree until combined
- Step 3 Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing on low
- Step 4 Continue to mix until fully combined and creamy
- Step 5 Add spices and vanilla and mix until fluffy
- Step 6 Add heavy cream or milk if needed for desired consistency
- Step 7 Enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Mickey Macarons Tips
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.
Make a 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. We like to start by stenciling the parchment paper first, so that we don’t have macaron batter just sitting in the bowl while we ready the pan. We just used a piece of card stock to create ours, which made it super easy to trace.
Tips for Making Macaron Batter
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 we promise you, this is the first thing you can do wrong when making macarons. If your egg whites aren’t to room temperature 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. We always double sift dry ingredients when making macarons. Some recipes tell you to sift once, but sift at least twice. It’s a pain and can be time consuming, but macarons are not a treat you want to rush. We like to use this sifter, so it really helps get those lumps out. It’s actually best to sift the ingredients before you start whipping up your egg whites. So your perfectly whipped eggs whites aren’t just sitting in the bowl, warming up.
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 over mixing. The ideal amount of “turns” for the folding process is usually in the 60-75ish range. We 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 and pipe the batter into the Mickey shapes. 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 1 hour. Don’t skip this. Take a coffee break, get some chores done, take a nap. Just let the macarons sit and 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, let them sit for 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.
Add the Pumpkin Spice Filling
Once cooled, grab your piping bags and fill them with the pumpkin spice buttercream. You just simply pipe this in and sandwich your cookies together. Make sure to not overfill. Part of the loveliness of macarons are their delicate texture, so you want to keep that in mind when filling. Your cream should be smooth and perfectly blended.
Decorating Pumpkin Spice Mickey Macarons
The original pumpkin spice macaron recipe doesn’t use any decorations but since we made them mickey shaped, we wanted to add a little something to them. You can add faces using a black decorating marker, icing or dark chocolate. Or you can add vines using green icing and top it off with a green stem using candy. Or you can even make your own out of chocolate. Let your creativity run wild!
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 are one of our favorite treats to make simply because they remind us to slow down, take our time and enjoy the process. Just like fall itself.