Pecan Pie Macarons and Giveaway Winners
I know! Macarons…again! Before you roll your eyes and quit reading, indulge me for a minute, there is a story behind it. A lovely meeting with a fellow Daring Baker and an afternoon spent baking macarons…and a lot of them! Before I get to that, I must announce the winners of the Confetti Cakes For Kids Cookbook for which I let the Random Number Generator pick the five lucky you’s.
#9: Dorothy from The Fat Free Tester Squad
#19: Allie (no blog)
# 76: Ruby from Ruby’s Tuesday
#106: Sugar Chef
# 266: Erica from The Underground Cupcake
Congratulations ladies! Please send me an email at marinette1 at comcast dot net with your mailing address and I’ll pass on all your info to the publisher.
Now…the rest of the story and the Pecan Pie Macarons. When I can’t sleep at night, I usually don’t count sheeps, I think of flavor combinations for macarons instead. Seriously. You think I’d joke about that?!! Problem is, the world in my head and the world around me don’t always agree with each other but I knew this one would work. I have been meaning to make a pecan pie inspired macaron for ages but you know how it goes….your mind wonders off and before you know it you are baking something else that you "just had to make". I wanted these to have a French twist and instead of figuring out how to put the traditional pecan pie filling into a mac, I used salted butter caramel sauce. It’s not like I need an occasion to make them but I pretexted C’s birthday to put a few many of these together for her. However, it took a few years and an afternoon baking with a new friend to get my head together with my hands and my time on that one!
A few weeks ago, I was reading my favorite American in Paris, David Lebovitz, when I read Kim’s comment about how she had slaved for two days over macarons and most of them flopped. Kim writes one of my favorite blogs, A Yankee In A Southern Kitchen and lives in the same town. "Get out!"….Seriously! We "met" over the internet last year and tried to get our schedules together to meet and it never happened. As a joke, I have started a list of all the dishes I would like her to make me when we meet. Crabcakes, Cola Ribs, Tomato Pie, and so many more are already on the list. After reading about her misadventures in macaron making, I sent her an email saying that if she needed help next time, not to hesitate and I’d be happy to give her a hand. Last week, Kim asked if we could get together this past Monday so I could give her a macaron 101 lesson. Yes, yes, yes!
Her kitchen is a foodie’s dream: spacious, well equipped, bright with a huge window giving on the serenity of a beautiful garden. Now, let me add that meeting Kim was truly wonderful: cheery, full of Southern charm and hospitality and sweet as pie. Her daughter M. joined us and we spent the afternoon measuring, grinding, folding, piping, sprinkling, filling. We troubleshooted what went wrong the first time she made them and also figured out the proper settings for the ovens which was no small business. We made plain macarons Bourbon vanilla buttercream, pecan macarons with coconut cream cheese buttercream and peanut ginger macarons. The afternoon was graced by lovely weather, great conversations and laughs. I left with a skip in my step.
That evening as I was mentally registering all the delicious moments of the afternoon, I got a craving for the pecan macarons we made and decided it was time to make the Pecan Pie inspired one I have been thinking about. It also helped that I had plenty of egg whites and salted butter caramel sauce already made. The shells were half almonds and half pecans from our tree and the extra pecan boost was a little piece of pecan brittle in the middle. Hugh…yes….they are sweet….but dang! One is just perfect with a cup of coffee! So here’s to new friends, new adventures and new experiences!
Pecan Pie Macarons:
Makes about 20
For the shells:
3 egg whites (about 90 gr)
40 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
55 gr almonds
55 gr pecans
For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Combine the almonds,pecans and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down.The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.
For the filling:
Half a recipe of Salted Butter Caramel Sauce
100 gr (1/2 cup) sugar
80 gr (3/4 cup) chopped pecans
Make the sauce and refrigerate until cold so it won’t ooze out of your macarons when you sandwich them together (mine only did because it was hot upstairs where I photograph).
For the pecan brittle: Place the pecans on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy saucepan on high heat and cook until you get a golden caramel. Immediately pour it over the pecans and let sit until cold and hard. Crack the brittle in small pieces to fit inside your macarons. Place a about a tablespoon of sauce on one shell, add a piece of brittle and top with another macaron shell.
Anonymous October 16, 2008 um 6:13 am
Please don’t apologise for a macaron recipe… I LOVE your macaron recipes! Can answer a question for me? Once you have made them I have read you should leave them for a day to meld the flavours… is this true and if so do you keep them in the fridge? Thanks so much
Meeta K. Wolff October 16, 2008 um 6:15 am
I believe you on counting flavor combos for macarons. Funny I’ve been dreaming about them too. I know I keep saying this but I really need to give them a try!I love this flavor combo! Now go back to bed and count some more macaron flavors!!
Lunch Buckets October 16, 2008 um 6:16 am
Thank you SO much for posting this – I do believe it might be the extra little push I need to finally give macarons a try!
Peabody October 16, 2008 um 6:17 am
Don’t those just look like some kind of incredible!
Helene October 16, 2008 um 6:18 am
Anonymous: after they are filled, I keep mine in the fridge, especially if they have buttercream or other dairy inside. I do like them the day after, and I have heard others say that. I guess the best way to know is to do a test! Good luck!
Judy October 16, 2008 um 6:38 am
Oh my gosh. You’re killing me with all these macarons! Hmmm, maybe I should barter my services for macaron lessons instead.
jenniferhoiyin October 16, 2008 um 6:50 am
wow. I don’t like caramel, but I love yours!
K and S October 16, 2008 um 6:54 am
I will never tire of looking at the macaron you make!
Finla October 16, 2008 um 8:05 am
I think it is wonderful if you can bake with one of your blog friends.
I have never tried to make macroons same reason as Kim; always think it will be a disaster with me.
Will try them on a rainiy day when i have nothing to do at all.
Y October 16, 2008 um 8:06 am
They do sound sweet! But I’m sure one itty bitty one wouldn’t hurt the teeth too much.. especially when they’re pecan pie flavoured 🙂
Bron October 16, 2008 um 8:44 am
Oh Helen, I’m simply adore the idea of this flavour combination… what a super gift for Autumn they would make! Love your work!
Rosa's Yummy Yums October 16, 2008 um 8:56 am
Wow, those Macarons are truely gorgeous! I bet they taste heavenly! I’m such a fan of pecans and caramel…
Anonymous October 16, 2008 um 9:56 am
Merci pour tes messages très sympas, je suis très touchée car j’admire énormément ton blog et ton talent.
Superbes tes macarons ! moi qui adore ça je salive devant mon l’écran …
a très bientôt
Sunshinemom October 16, 2008 um 10:03 am
Must have been an enjoyable afternoon if it led to such beautiful results!
Anonymous October 16, 2008 um 10:17 am
I envy you having friends to bake with. How wonderful to spend an afternoon together creating such fantastic macarons.
Gorgeous photos and recipe, Helen!
Philo aux fourneaux – Blog culinaire October 16, 2008 um 10:28 am
Tu vois le caramel qui coule le long de ton macaron ? Et bien ce n’est rien à côté de ma salive en découvrant tes sublimes photos !
Cannelle Et Vanille October 16, 2008 um 10:28 am
that photo says gooeyness like nothing i have ever seen before. makes me want to start licking my fingers now. beauty!
Anonymous October 16, 2008 um 10:56 am
Nice trans atlantic combo!
Aimée October 16, 2008 um 11:11 am
Congrats to the winners.
Sounds like a wonderful afternoon baking with a fellow blogger. That’s a priceless tutorial she got!
A huge fan of pecan pie, I’m sure these would go down very easily. 🙂
Manggy October 16, 2008 um 11:30 am
Oh, WOW! I should be so lucky! That sounds like one of the most fun afternoons EVER! The fact that you got gorgeous macarons out of it is the cookie on top of the ice cream. (Er, I’m making that saying starting right now…) And the flavor– such an American classic!
LizNoVeggieGirl October 16, 2008 um 11:49 am
That kitchen sounds lovely…. oh my!!
KEEP POSTING THE MACAROONS, PLEASE!!! I always love the decadent, luscious varieties that you come up with :0)
Bridget October 16, 2008 um 12:28 pm
Are there any more houses for sale in your town? 😉
Patricia Scarpin October 16, 2008 um 1:51 pm
I bet you had so much fun – how wonderful, Helen! I wish I could have such a beautiful lesson with a talented teacher. 😉
Oh, and as far as macarons are concerned, the more, the merrier!
MyKitchenInHalfCups October 16, 2008 um 2:04 pm
Some kind of wonderful: new friends, new adventures and new flavor macaron flavors like this! You are a marvel Helen.
Yes, it’s not hard for me to picture you counting macaron flavors ;0) Count on . . .
Maria October 16, 2008 um 2:18 pm
I just love all of the macaron flavors you come up with. SO creative and of course delicious! Congrats to your winners too!!
I haven’t made macarons since my wedding in June. I insisted on making them for my reception:) It was fun but a lot of work. I think I am ready to go at them again!!
Mallory Elise October 16, 2008 um 3:45 pm
grrrrrrrr i want a pecan pie. Thanksgiving is only one month away hooray!
the one ooozing out looks like a very cute rebel macaron.
The Short (dis)Order Cook October 16, 2008 um 3:55 pm
Aw. It’s so great to meet blogging friends. You guys sound like you had a great time.
My husband loves pecan pie. I looked at the recipe and thought, "If I made these, how long would they last?" I think my husband would gobble up the whole batch in less than a day.
cindy* October 16, 2008 um 4:25 pm
yum! i l-o-v-e pecan pie, but it is just too much to eat a whole slice. these are perfection!
Deborah October 16, 2008 um 4:37 pm
Now these look amazing!
Anonymous October 16, 2008 um 5:06 pm
mmm.what lovely looking macarons! and congrats to the winners.
chililime October 16, 2008 um 5:32 pm
Oh, this is perfect for the big bag of pecans I just bought yesterday. Yum!
Syrals October 16, 2008 um 5:34 pm
Hi I really like your recipes. When I tried your white chocolate brownie recipe, it came out very tasty!And so, blogrolled you. Hope you do not mind!
Esi October 16, 2008 um 6:12 pm
This makes me smile so much. There are so many amazing people in the blog world and to be able to connect with someone in person must have been truly wonderful!
tara October 16, 2008 um 6:23 pm
What a great story to accompany these gorgeous macarons! Love the flavour combination, and they are too pretty for words.
Lisa October 16, 2008 um 6:27 pm
Great story! I am a regular on both your blog (lurking mostly) and Kim’s too. Sounds like a lovely day – and no, they’re not too sweet – I just had dulche de leche cake with coffee for breakfast! 🙂
Sylvie October 16, 2008 um 6:53 pm
I’ve still never made macarons, so keep those recipes coming. It just means that it’ll become harder and harder for me to choose which will be my first ever macarons.
Snooky doodle October 16, 2008 um 7:06 pm
wow gorgeous as usUAL. YUMMY 🙂
Ivy October 16, 2008 um 7:31 pm
Pure genius! As always, I must say.
I keep meaning to try one of your macaron recipes. This one may be the one that sticks and I actually get around to making. 🙂
La Cuisine d'Helene October 16, 2008 um 7:51 pm
They looks so good. And congrats to the winners.
Half Baked October 16, 2008 um 8:52 pm
Brilliant! pecan pie macaroons sound divine! Lucky Kim to get macaroon making lessons from you;)
Anonymous October 16, 2008 um 8:58 pm
Quelle merveille !!! et quelle fabuleuse association de gout !
Clumbsy Cookie October 16, 2008 um 9:15 pm
I also think of flavous combinations when I can’t sleep. I’m glad I’m not alone in this! Your afternoon with Kim sounds so much fun! And peacan pie macarrons are just too good to be true!
Anonymous October 16, 2008 um 9:38 pm
Just discovered your blog. It’s now on my favorites! I have never made macarons either, and I think this will be a great way to spend an upcoming day off. A previous poster asked about storing them in the fridge-along with that, another question-whether stored in the fridge or not, how long will these last? Is it a cookie that needs to be eaten within a day or two?
My Sweet & Saucy October 16, 2008 um 10:22 pm
What a perfect choice for this time of year! These would be such a great addition to any dessert tray!
PheMom October 16, 2008 um 10:56 pm
How fun to have an in person get together! These macarons sound dreamy!! I think I would love this kind.
Zoe Francois October 16, 2008 um 11:12 pm
I never tire of your macarons. One of these days I will actually satisfy my craving and make some!
Congrats to all the winners!
Lori October 17, 2008 um 1:31 am
Pecan pie is really sweet too. But one like you said with a cup of coffee is just perfect.
You are the macaron Queen! I love to see them on your site. I have never found anything I didnt like on your site!
Kitchen M October 17, 2008 um 2:31 am
I’m planning on making macarons this weekend. 🙂
Ginny October 17, 2008 um 3:27 am
As always, you astound me…I really need to try macaroons soon!!! plus I love pecan pie! 🙂
Nina Timm October 17, 2008 um 3:33 am
Do you wanna make a trip to my kitchen and give me a hand too??? I don’t think of flavors for madarons when I go to sleep, but recipes yes, yes, yes!!!!
That Girl October 17, 2008 um 3:34 am
Who’s rolling their eyes? I LOVE your macarons!
Brilynn October 17, 2008 um 3:48 am
Your macarons are always gorgeous!
I only wish I lived in the same town so that I could get a macaron lesson too!
PAM October 17, 2008 um 4:40 am
What a fun day you two had!! I love salted caramel and have been making batches & batches of caramel corn with fleur de sel lately. Great flavor combo for your macaron.
Anonymous October 17, 2008 um 11:42 am
Your post redescribing the afternoon left a skip in my step as well. Such fun baking together, laughing, eating macarons. You are a wonderful teacher. I am hooked waking up everyday wanting to make them. Seeing that we are now friends and you are making a list of foods you want me to cook for you. I am going to do the same! I think I will start with the Pecan Pie macaron-caramel is my favorite.
Sara October 17, 2008 um 1:35 pm
I love pecan pie and I love macarons, so I would be in heaven with these. Would you believe that I haven’t tried to make macarons yet? I need to work on that soon.
Helene October 17, 2008 um 2:19 pm
Cindy Ruth: if the filling does not contain dairy you can leave them out and eat them during the day. If there is dairy, store them in the fridge in an airtight container preferably. They are best eaten within a couple of days but can be kept up to 3-4 days depending on your choice of filling again. If they are in the fridge, take them out 20 minutes before eating.
Thanks for stopping by!
Anonymous October 17, 2008 um 4:36 pm
Er, hope you do not mind me eavesdropping on the storing issue. I was wondering if storing them separately would help? We usually store the macarons in an air-tight container at room temperature. And the filling covered, in the fridge. We spread on the filling on and do the sandwiching when we want to eat them.
We like our macarons crunchy, therefore the separation. I think that in turn allows them to be kept up to a week perhaps, if you can keep your fingers away that long.
Helene October 17, 2008 um 5:00 pm
Helena: I don’t think it is a question of help per se. Maybe more a question of practicality and ease of pre. You can definitely store the shells and filling separately. If your filling is hard, bringing it back to spreadable consistency might interfere with one’s cravings!! They usually stay crunchy for a couple of days. I like mine a little softer so there is less of a mess when I eat them while walking around the house 🙂
The shells can be kept out of the fridge for 5 days without a problem, after that they turn a little stale. They can stay fresh longer in the fridge of course.
They can also be frozen, filled or not. The shells tend to become a little sticky sometimes depending on the humidity but never a lot.
Anonymous October 17, 2008 um 8:23 pm
You could do a macaroon post every week, and I would be a happy man! Great looking stuff as usual. I can certainly say I have never had a pecan pie macaroon before!
Alexa October 17, 2008 um 9:15 pm
Actually, I never tire of seeing your macarons. This is an ingenious combination of flavors and one I would gladly sink my teeth into. Kim is one lucky lady to have had you to tutor her. I am wondering if my cooking would entice you to fly this way for some western hospitality… (lol)
raining sheep October 18, 2008 um 2:31 am
I actually love macaroons but have never made them. Since caramel, as far as I am concerned, is to die for, I know I would love these. Remember to stop by my blog as I have a little bloggy surprise this week. Cheers.
Cakebrain October 18, 2008 um 4:31 am
I will never tire of your posts about macarons! They’re so inspiring! You so creative with your flavour combinations!
Amber October 18, 2008 um 4:51 am
Okay, if one is perfect with a cup of coffee, what are eight macarons perfect with? Because eight cookies is my number of choice even though I don’t feel so good afterwards, I feel good during. I have never had a macaron, but the pecan brittle calls my name.
Thank you for your help. Still no oven, hopefully tomorrow.
Mallory Elise October 18, 2008 um 3:39 pm
cute banner, youre a teacher now with a little chalkboard. hehe
Maggie October 18, 2008 um 4:13 pm
These look fantastic! I’d love to sign up for macaron lessons. The instructions in the recipe are very helpful and inspire me to finally give them a try.
Helene October 18, 2008 um 6:13 pm
Mallory: or I am a bad student writing my name on the board.
Laura Paine Carr October 19, 2008 um 4:58 am
O Lordy, not that you need another comment, and I haven’t even read the whole post, but do NOT ever, ever ever apologise for a macaroon recipe ever ever ever again. Be sorry that you do not live close enough for me to come over with my French Press, I’d even bring cream.
Parisbreakfasts October 19, 2008 um 3:48 pm
It’s clear and simple.
I am moving to Charleston, home of crabcakes and Tartelette’s macarons.
pixen October 19, 2008 um 4:29 pm
You’re always my Macaron Specialist! Never apologised for something you are very good at. Though I must make some one day, please don’t ever give up for new Macarons recipes! Thank you for sharing.
mimi October 19, 2008 um 7:18 pm
these macarons look absolutely divine, as do all your macaron creations! but i especially love the flavor combo on these. now if only i lived in the same town too! 😉
Anonymous October 20, 2008 um 3:02 pm
Hahaha! Yes, I do agree with the hard filling. It seems to take forever to soften, especially when you have unexpected guests!
Ingrid_3Bs October 27, 2008 um 5:06 pm
How nice to be able to meet and spend quality time with someone whose blog you read and enjoy!
May I inquire about the recipe for the coconut cream cheese buttercream? I have I missed it in a previous post? Help?! Pls!
Can I admit to something crazy? I have never had a macaron let alone tried making one! Hopefully one day I’ll get out of my rut and give them a try. Perhaps that day you’ll be visiting FL. I too have a large, airy, and sunshine filled kitchen! 🙂
Anonymous November 6, 2008 um 5:09 am
I just discover your blog – oh my what a great day – and am eager to try the macarons this weekend.
The technique of lettingn them sit out reminds me of anise cookies that my German grandmother would make. The would sit out overnight to get little feet and were very crunchy.
PASTRY CHEF FATOS SULUK November 7, 2008 um 8:23 am
I m sorry..apologize..I’m very bad speak English..I’m making lover to you..I m like mad macaronnn! Request, describe "Fortune Cookies" making…I can’t making fortune cookies and I feel blue..
Thank you!!! bye…I m hopefully true tell-dictionary :)))
You Fei November 14, 2008 um 11:46 am
I’ve tried making macarons 3 times and by far having the greatest success on the thrid attempt (using your recipe!) =D
However, I still met with a few problems. I baked them at 300F for around 12 min. They had feet, but they started spreading to the sides and extended sideways. Also, the skin had a light crips and the insides, soft and moist. BUT, there was a HUGE air pocket =( Any idea what went wrong?
Btw, I have never tasted any macarons so have no idea how it should taste. Just got my knowledge off the web =) I read somewhere it should be crisp outside but chewy inside. Yet i read elsewhere the it should not be chewy, but soft and "melts" in your mouth. So..it’d be nice if you could point me in the right direction.
Lastly, I LOVE your blog and your generosity in sharing your recipes. =DD
Helene November 14, 2008 um 3:03 pm
You Fei: the air pocket seems to be due to one too many folds. There is that step right between the proper nuber of spatula turnes and too many (they crack) where you can still overfold and end up ith air pocket. Make sure to tap your sheet on the counter top before letting them rest, it helps.
People have different opinion on how they like their macarons so experiment and pick the way you like best. It is easier and les messy to eat them if they are a little chewy on the inside so you end up with less crumbs on your self!!
Hope this helps!
You Fei November 15, 2008 um 1:02 am
Thanks for your tips and i’d definitely give them a try again and let you know if things goes well =)
Oh ya, what about the feet that extend sideways? are they also due to overfolding?
You Fei November 15, 2008 um 1:02 am
Thanks for your tips and i’d definitely give them a try again and let you know if things goes well =)
Oh ya, what about the feet that extend sideways? are they also due to overfolding?
Anita (Married… with dinner) November 17, 2008 um 6:04 pm
the brittle photos are stunning, Helen. Wow.
gigi lange November 17, 2011 um 12:12 pm
i have been afraid to even try macaroon but after seeing your recipe for these pecan ones i thought i'd give them a go.boy am i glad i did they are scrumptious and easier then they look. keep posting. now that i found your blog i will keep checking in for more goodies.