These taste exactly like pumpkin pie—it’s kind of crazy. If the multiple steps seem daunting, you can always cheat by filling them with a quick or store-bought frosting: Just use a simple vanilla and add the pumpkin spice mixture and canned pumpkin. No one will know the difference.
to make the cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Pulse the almond flour, salt, and confectioners sugar in the bowl of a food processor 8 times for 8 seconds each time. Sift to remove any additional lumps (we skipped this step).
2. Whip the egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed until glossy stiff peaks form (approximately 4 to 6 minutes, depending on mixer speed).
3. The next step is folding the dry ingredients into the meringue and adding the orange and brown food coloring. It is important to fold the different components just enough, but not too much, or the macarons will crack. To make sure that you have reached the right point, once the ingredients appear combined, lift a large portion of the mixture about 6 inches above the bowl with a spatula. If it breaks when falling, continue to fold. When folded just enough, the mixture should fall right back into the bowl, with no stiffness, in a single continuous drip. Don’t worry if there are still swirls of color. As you pipe, the batter will combine further, and you might even get some tie-dye swirls.
4. Place the cookie batter in a piping bag fitted with a metal tip and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Dana’s Bakery silicone mat. Pipe into 2-inch circles, about 1½ inches apart. Once you are done piping, slam the baking sheet down to remove excess air (slam 8 times, from 6 to 8 inches above the table). Let the macarons sit to get a skin for 15 to 30 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes, until the macarons just come off the baking sheet when you lift them (the centers will have risen and they will not have any dark indentations). Cool completely before removing and filling.
to make the filling:
1. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip until they form soft peaks.
2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and ¼ cup (57 grams) water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until syrup reaches 238°F (115°C).
3. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg white mixture. Continue whisking for about 8 minutes, until mixture has cooled.
2. Add in the salt and cold butter and whip on high speed until fluffy and emulsified, about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin purée and spices to taste.
Originally featured in Halloween-Worthy Macarons