Salted Caramel Macarons

Salted caramel oh how I love thee. You seductive diet breaker, you call me out of the depths of keto and beckon me in the middle of the night just longing for me to plunge my spoon into your jar. You are the like the forbidden apple of my Kitchen Garden of Good and Evil, but even a good girl has to have a forbidden fruit once in a while. These are a variation of other caramel macarons I’ve made in the past. This time I just flavored them with the wonderful salted caramel filling on their own. I sprinkled some sugar in the raw on top for visual appearance, but it’s totally optional.

Salted Caramel Filling

280 g granulated sugar

120 g heavy cream

200 g unsalted butter

1 tsp. Maldon sea salt

 

  1. Start by making a dry caramel by melting and caramelizing the sugar gradually. At the same time, heat the whole liquid cream.
  2. When the sugar is completely melted and it has a nice caramel color, gently pour the hot cream over the caramel while mixing with a whisk and paying attention to the mixture rising; be careful as it will foam up. 
  3.  Continue to cook for another few minutes, until the caramel is 245° F, then remove from the heat and add the unsalted butter and whisk thoroughly to combine, then add in the salt. Pour into a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap the chill until thickened.

 

Macarons

124 g confectioners sugar

140 g almond flour

108 g fresh egg whites (I don’t age mine)

110 g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

gel food colors in Espresso (dark brown)  and gold

optional sugar in the raw to sprinkle on top of unbaked macs

  1. In a food processor place the almond flour and confectioners sugar and run for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides so the mixture settles into the processor bowl. Repeat this 2 more times, then sift mixture through a strainer (it doesn’t have to be fine) over a large bowl (I use a 5 quart size stainless steel bowl). Preheat the oven to 300° F convection, 325° F for non convection setting. Prepare two baking sheets with Silpat mats. I use these mats by Velesco (you can get 2 for 13 dollars on Amazon).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar and whisk by hand to combine. Place over a ban marie and stir gently for about 5 minutes until the mixture reaches about 130° F or when you touch the mixture with your index and thumb fingers you don’t feel any sugar crystals. Remove from the heat and place on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and start the meringue by running mixer on  power level 4 (Kitchen Aide) and run for about 3 minutes.  Stop once to scrape the sides of the bowl to push down the mixture that appears on the sides.
  3. Increase mixer then to power level 6 and run for 3 minutes.
  4. Increase mixer to power level 8 and run for 3 minutes.
  5. Stop mixer and with a bamboo skewer or toothpick add in a bit of gel food color (I use Americolor).
  6. Increase mixer to power level high (10) and run for 1-3 minutes or until the meringue is stiff peaks and it has started leaving tracks in the meringue and a good portion has collected inside the whisk . A sign that meringue is ready is there will be a good amount collected within the whisk and if you turn the bowl upside down the meringue will not slip or move. If you stop the mixer and tap the whisk gently on the side of the mixer bowl it will look like a bird beak; the meringue is stiff but it has a slight hooked curve when holding the whisk horizontally. If the color does not appear to be mixer to your liking at this point I add in any color and mix gently by; being careful not to overmix.
  7. Add one half of almond flour/sugar mix and start folding with a rubber spatula until mixture starts to look cohesive. Add in the remaining half and continue to gently fold, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The batter is perfect when you lift up the spatula and tip the pointed end of the spatula down and ribbons of batter fall smoothly back into the bowl. I like to gauge its ready when I can count 6-7 continuous ribbons falling without breaking and I can “draw” a figure 8 with the batter when lifting the spatula and letting it fall into the bowl. Fill your pastry bag by using a heavy tall cup or mason jar to hold your pastry bag with the top folded over the glass. When preparing your bag after you drop in your round tip (I use Ateco 804), twist the bag right above the larger end of the tip and push it down into tip. Fold the top 4 inches of the bag over the jar or glass.
  8. Let the batter fall right into the bottom of the bag and continue filling to ensure you don’t get air bubbles. When ready to pipe and all of the batter is in the bag, twist the top of the bag and when ready to pipe, push down with your dominant hand to force the bottom of the tip to open.
  9. Pipe the batter onto prepared baking sheet with 30 macarons per sheet. Six across the long side, and five rows perpendicular. Take the sheet pan and let it drop onto the counter about 5-7 times, then look for any visible air bubbles and pop with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Bake the first tray right away (no resting), in a preheated (convection oven if you have at 300° F , 325° F for NON convection oven*) for about 16-18 minutes or until the cookie does not wiggle when attempting to check by carefully grabbing both sides of a cookie and gently testing. Let the tray rest on a wire rack and then bake the second tray.  After the cookies have cooled about 8-10 minutes turn them upside down and let the cool on the tray until completely cooled. (I find this helps prevent hollow shells). Cool the cookies completely and pipe the salted caramel filling between two cookies and sandwich together.
  10. Chill the macarons in an airtight container for 24-48 hours to impart flavor and help soften the macarons to desired chewiness. Bring to room temp to enjoy.

 


Oreo (Cookies and Cream) Macarons

There are times I crave an Oreo. I mean, seriously there is nothing like an Oreo. Now snuggle a piece of that favorite cookie down into a blanket of oreo buttercream between two crisp but chewy delicious macarons and I’m telling you it’s divine.  I spent the better part of a week working on my recipe. Made some with cocoa inside, some with spirls, non swirls, some without a piece of cookie inside….you get the idea.  Last week I went a little manic macaron nuts and became obsessed-baking off tons of shells playing around with some new colors I bought and although these little morsels are colored grey I did have to play around even with the amount of black I added until I was happy with that shade of grey. Fifty shades of grey indeed.  I realized what elevates these to another level is to break off a piece of cookie and snug it down into the filling before topping if off. The surprise inside bite of that cookie and cream is delish. The Husband proclaimed “Hey, these are a keeper!” He usually loves everything I make but when he hollers back that statement after the first bite I know he really loves the recipe. He yelled that from the other room the other night after I casually dropped one in his hand while passing through the kitchen.

Oreo Macarons

 

Oreo Macaron Shells

124 g confectioners sugar

140 g almond flour

108 g fresh egg whites (I don’t age mine)

110 g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

  1. In a food processor place the almond flour and confectioners sugar and run for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides so the mixture settles into the processor bowl. Repeat this 2 more times, then sift mixture through a strainer (it doesn’t have to be fine) over a large bowl (I use a 5 quart size stainless steel bowl). Preheat the oven to 300° F convection, 325° F for non convection setting. Prepare two baking sheets with Silpat mats. I use these mats by Velesco (you can get 2 for 13 dollars on Amazon).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar and whisk by hand to combine. Place over a ban marie and stir gently for about 5 minutes until the mixture reaches about 130 F or when you touch the mixture with your index and thumb fingers you don’t feel any sugar crystals. Remove from the heat and place on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and start the meringue by running mixer on power level 4 (Kitchen Aide) and run for about 3 minutes.  Stop once to scrape the sides of the bowl to push down the mixture that appears on the sides.
  3. Increase mixer then to power level 6 and run for 3 minutes.
  4. Increase mixer to power level 8 and run for 3 minutes.
  5. Stop mixer and with a bamboo skewer or toothpick add in a bit of black gel food color (I use Americolor).
  6. Increase mixer to power level high (10) and run for 1-3 minutes or until the meringue is stiff peaks and it has started leaving tracks in the meringue and a good portion has collected inside the whisk . A sign that meringue is ready is there will be a good amount collected within the whisk and if you turn the bowl upside down the meringue will not slip or move. If you stop the mixer and tap the whisk gently on the side of the mixer bowl it will look like a bird beak; the meringue is stiff but it has a slight hooked curve when holding the whisk horizontally. If the color does not appear to be mixer to your liking at this point I add in any color and mix gently by; being careful not to overmix.
  7. Add one half of almond flour/sugar mix and start folding with a rubber spatula until mixture starts to look cohesive. Add in the remaining half and continue to gently fold, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The batter is perfect when you lift up the spatula and tip the pointed end of the spatula down and ribbons of batter fall smoothly back into the bowl. I like to gauge its ready when I can count 6-7 ribbons falling without breaking and I can “draw” a figure 8 with the batter when lifting the spatula and letting it fall into the bowl. Fill your pastry bag by using a heavy tall cup or mason jar to hold your pastry bag with the top folded over the glass. When preparing your bag after you drop in your round tip (I use Ateco 804), twist the bag right above the larger end of the tip and push it down into tip. Fold the top 4 inches of the bag over the jar or glass.
  8. Let the batter fall right into the bottom of the bag and continue filling to ensure you don’t get air bubbles. When ready to pipe and all of the batter is in the bag, twist the top of the bag and when ready to pipe, push down with your dominant hand to force the bottom of the tip to open.
  9. Pipe the batter onto prepared baking sheet with 30 macarons per sheet. Six across the long side, and five rows perpendicular. Take the sheet pan and let it drop onto the counter about 5-7 times, then look for any visible air bubbles and pop with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Bake the first tray right away (no resting), in a preheated (convection oven if you have at 300° F , 325° F for NON convection oven*) for about 16-18 minutes or until the cookie does not wiggle when attempting to check by carefully grabbing both sides of a cookie and gently testing. Let the tray rest on a wire rack and then bake the second tray.  After the cookies have cooled about 8-10 minutes turn them upside down and let the cool on the tray until completely cooled. (I find this helps prevent hollow shells). Cool the cookies completely and pipe the buttercream between two cookies and sandwich together.

*A word about oven temperatures: EVERY one’s oven is different and after painstaking doing several batches of macarons I determined that in MY oven 300° F low convection setting is best for me. Check your oven temperature against a thermometer placed in the middle of your oven. Some people bake there’s at 285, 290, 310 etc. unfortunately it’s something that you have to play around with and determine what is best for you and your oven. 

Cookies and Cream Filling

60 g softened unsalted butter

150 g confectioners sugar

2 Tablespoons heavy cream

3 Tablespoons finely crushed Oreo cookie crumbs (discard filling)

extra Oreos broken into small pieces  (with filling)

In a medium bowl cream together the butter and confectioners sugar with a rubber spatula. Add in the heavy cream and stir vigorously to combine. Stir in the cookie crumbs.  Keep chilled until ready to use then stir gently and place into a pastry bag with a large open tip.

Fill and sandwich two cookies together with the buttercream and before topping with the second cookie place a small piece of oreo into the buttercream. If desired, roll the sides into crushed cookie crumbs. Let assembled macarons chill in a covered container in the fridge for one day for ideal texture. Serve a room temperature.

Here are some of my other batches where I swirled the batter with extra black color.

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Sometimes I like to dip one side of the assembled cookie into Oreo crumbs for a dark/light look.


Easter Milk Chocolate Malt Cadbury Macarons

 

 

Do you know how therapeutic it is crushing candy into tiny pieces after a mind bending day at work? Yeah. Therapeutic, I’m here to tell ya. I normally don’t buy Cadbury during other times of the year; although their chocolate is amazing. There’s something about these tiny little eggs that dare you to stop after eating just a few. The hard crunchy outer shell while being smooth, is thick enough that cracking one open with a side back tooth- launches that file used just for methodical eating-corner of your brain. For me, that’s the same file used for eating macadamia nuts; but that’s a story for another time.

Cadbury egg crushing/bashing with a meat tenderizer caveman style while being encased safely inside a ziplock bag did just the trick for getting over a bad day at work.

I was unsure if I wanted to fold them inside of chocolate ganache or use them sprinkle fashion showing off their pretty little pastel like dress colors. Obviously, I went with the later. It says-look at me Mommy in my pretty little Easter dress. Yeah, I’m weird. My candy talks to me.

I chose to flavor the ganache with a malted milk chocolate flavor to envoke the same flavor as a malted milk egg. Spring is here folks!

 

Easter Malted Milk Chocolate Cadbury Macarons

 

140 g fine almond flour

125 g confectioners sugar

108 g egg whites

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

110 g granulated sugar

gel food coloring of your choice (I used a mixture of teal and navy blue)

 

In a food processor place the almond flour and confectioners sugar and run for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides so the mixture settles into the processor bowl. Repeat this 2 more times, then sift mixture through a strainer (it doesn’t have to be fine) over a large bowl (I use a 5 quart size stainless steel bowl). Preheat the oven to 300° F convection, 325° F for non convection setting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites and cream of tartar and whisk by hand (using the mixer whisk) until foamy for about 30 seconds. Prepare two baking sheets with either parchment paper or Silpat liners.

Set the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment assembled to the mixer, and start the meringue by running mixer on power level 4 (Kitchen Aide) and start gradually adding in the granulated sugar- run/whisk for 2 minutes once all the sugar is in. Stop once to scrape the sides of the bowl to push down any sugar that appears on the sides.

Increase mixer then to power level 6 and run for 3 minutes.

Increase mixer to power level 8 and run for 3 minutes.

Stop mixer and with a bamboo skewer or toothpick add in your gel color.

Increase mixer to power level high (10) and run for 1 minute (Just to show it who’s boss!!) or until meringue is stiff peaks. A sign that meringue is ready is there will be a good amount collected within the whisk and if you turn the bowl upside down the meringue will not slip or move. If the color does not appear to be mixer to your liking at this point I add in any color and mix gently by hand; being careful not to overmix.

Add one half of the meringue to the almond flour/sugar mix and start folding with a rubber spatula until mixture starts to look cohesive. Add in the remaining half of meringue and continue to gently fold, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The batter is perfect when you lift up the spatula and tip the spatula down and ~ 4 ribbons of batter fall smoothly back into the bowl and the edges of the ribbons fade into the rest of the batter in 10 seconds.

Fill your pastry bag by using a heavy tall cup or mason jar to hold your pastry bag with the top folded over the glass. When preparing your bag after you drop in your round tip (I use an Ateco 804), twist the bag right above the larger end of the tip and push it down into tip. Fold the top 4 inches of the bag over the jar or glass. Pipe quarter size of your batter and let sit for about 15-30 minute until they are no longer tacky feeling with touching with a finger.

Bake in a preheated oven for ~ 15-16 minutes at 300° F- 325° F (see above). Allow to cool completely on the tray and then remove and sandwich with the malted milk chocolate ganache and roll each macaron edge into the crushed Cadbury egg pieces.

 

Malted Milk Chocolate Ganache

1 Cup milk chocolate chips

1/3 Cup heavy cream

3 Tbsp. Carnation malted milk powder

Crushed Cadbury Easter mini egg candies (for dipping macs into)

 

In a small saucepan scald the heavy cream and stir in the malt powder, combining well. Pour over the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and let sit for one minute, then stir slowly to combine. Let ganache firm up in the fridge until ready to use. Use a piping bag to pipe dollops of ganache to sandwich each cookie, then roll in crushed Cadbury egg pieces. Chill in the fridge in a covered air tight container to allow the macarons to “mature” for 1-2 days ideally before serving.

 

 

 

 


Peppermint Candy Cane Macarons

 

Okay, I have a confession- I still have leftover candy canes from last year. I mean, it’s not like they go bad….

Put them in a food processor or plastic bag and smash them into small pieces and get baking.

I’m part of a monthly book club/potluck and I’m asked often to bring macarons. This month we are doing a cookie exchange at our meeting, so I’m doing double duty by making these and being able to get another post in.

Peppermint (Candy Cane) Macarons

140 g finely ground almond flour

125 g confectioners sugar

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

110 g granulated sugar

108 g egg whites

 

In a food processor place the almond flour and confectioners sugar and run for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides so the mixture settles into the processor bowl. Repeat this 2 more times, then sift mixture through a strainer (it doesn’t have to be fine) over a large bowl (I use a 5 quart size stainless steel bowl). Preheat the oven to 300° F convection, 325° F for non convection setting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites and cream of tartar and whisk by hand (using the mixer whisk) until foamy for about 30 seconds. Prepare two baking sheets with either parchment paper or Silpat liners.

Set the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment assembled to the mixer, and start the meringue by running mixer on power level 4 (Kitchen Aide) and start gradually adding in the granulated sugar- run/whisk for 2 minutes once all the sugar is in. Stop once to scrape the sides of the bowl to push down any sugar that appears on the sides.

Increase mixer then to power level 6 and run for 3 minutes.

Increase mixer to power level 8 and run for 3 minutes.

Stop mixer and with a bamboo skewer or toothpick add in your gel color.

Increase mixer to power level high (10) and run for 1 minute (Just to show it who’s boss!!) or until meringue is stiff peaks. A sign that meringue is ready is there will be a good amount collected within the whisk and if you turn the bowl upside down the meringue will not slip or move. If the color does not appear to be mixer to your liking at this point I add in any color and mix gently by hand; being careful not to overmix.

Add one half of the meringue to the almond flour/sugar mix and start folding with a rubber spatula until mixture starts to look cohesive. Add in the remaining half of meringue and continue to gently fold, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The batter is perfect when you lift up the spatula and tip the spatula down and ~ 4 ribbons of batter fall smoothly back into the bowl and the edges of the ribbons fade into the rest of the batter in 10 seconds.

Fill your pastry bag by using a heavy tall cup or mason jar to hold your pastry bag with the top folded over the glass. When preparing your bag after you drop in your round tip (I use an Ateco 804), twist the bag right above the larger end of the tip and push it down into tip. Fold the top 4 inches of the bag over the jar or glass. Pipe quarter size of your batter and let sit for about 15-30 minute until they are no longer tacky feeling with touching with a finger.

Bake in a preheated oven for ~ 15-16 minutes at 300° F- 325° F (see above). Allow to cool completely on the tray and then remove and sandwich with the whipped white chocolate ganache and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of ganache inside and around the outside of the cookies.

Whipped White Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Filling: 

11 oz. white chocolate chips

5.5 oz. heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. peppermint extract

finely crushed candy canes

 

In a heat proof bowl place the white chocolate chips. Bring the heavy cream to just a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chips and let sit for 2 minutes, then stir gently to combine. If there are small pieces of chocolate not melted microwave on high in 20 second intervals until melted and stir to combine. Let ganache sit until set and then gently stir in the peppermint extract. Place the ganache in a stand mixer bowl and whip with the paddle attachment until lightened in color and it becomes thicker in texture. Place in a pastry bag to pipe. Place a circle of filling onto one cookie and top with crushed candy canes, then place another cookie on top to sandwich cookies together.

 


Pumpkin Spice Macarons

 

Are you a lover or a hater? We’re talking pumpkin spice. Please don’t be a hater, I’ll be crushed.

You know who you are. Yeah, you cinnamon haters. You spice deserters. Spice is life! Spice is my jam.  I could spend all day in a spice store-and I’m sure I have. Opening jars and sniffing. Certain cultures embrace spice. Just spend an afternoon in an Indian grocery store and you’ll know what I’m talking about; you’ll find me snorting the packages like a junkie.

You’ll wonder why I don’t give specific measurements for the buttercream in this recipe. It’s because everyone has a different barometer when it comes to cinnamon and the other spices that dance together in pumpkin spice blend.

I was poking around in Homegoods store (oh yeah the Gourmet foods aisle) one afternoon and found a jar of pumpkin curd. Now, I’ll be the first to admit you can make ALL kinds of curds, but I had never heard of pumpkin curd, so that jar found it’s way into my cart. It was rather loose for a curd, and also contained a bit of orange flavor, so I stirred a little bit (~ 2 Tablespoons)  of it into a basic vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and added little shakes of pps (pumpkin pie spice) until it tickled me just right.  You can substitute pumpkin butter in place of or even a spoonful at a time of pumpkin puree I think to achieve a flavorful buttercream.

 

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

107 grams egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

110 grams granulated sugar

124 grams confectioners sugar

140 grams blanched fine almond flour

1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

orange gel food color

 

In a food processor place the almond flour and confectioners sugar and run for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides so the mixture settles into the processor bowl. Repeat this 2 more times, then sift mixture through a strainer (it doesn’t have to be fine) over a large bowl (I use a 5 quart size stainless steel bowl). Preheat the oven to 300° F convection, 325° F for non convection setting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites and cream of tartar and whisk by hand (using the mixer whisk) until foamy for about 30 seconds. Prepare two baking sheets with either parchment paper or Silpat liners. I use these macaron mats by Velesco

Set the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment assembled to the mixer, and start the meringue by running mixer on power level 4 (Kitchen Aide) and start gradually adding in the granulated sugar- run/whisk for 2 minutes once all the sugar is in. Stop once to scrape the sides of the bowl to push down any sugar that appears on the sides.

Increase mixer then to power level 6 and run for 3 minutes.

Increase mixer to power level 8 and run for 3 minutes.

Stop mixer and with a bamboo skewer or toothpick add in your gel color.

Increase mixer to power level high (10) and run for 1 minute (Just to show it who’s boss!!) or until meringue is stiff peaks. A sign that meringue is ready is there will be a good amount collected within the whisk and if you turn the bowl upside down the meringue will not slip or move. If the color does not appear to be mixer to your liking at this point I add in any color and mix gently by hand; being careful not to overmix.

Add one half of the meringue to the almond flour/sugar mix and start folding with a rubber spatula until mixture starts to look cohesive. Add in the remaining half of meringue and continue to gently fold, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The batter is perfect when you lift up the spatula and tip the pointed end of the spatula down and ribbons of batter fall smoothly back into the bowl. I like to gauge its ready when I can count ~ 4 ribbons falling without breaking and I can “draw” a figure 8 with the batter when lifting the spatula and letting it fall into the bowl.

Fill your pastry bag by using a heavy tall cup or mason jar to hold your pastry bag with the top folded over the glass. When preparing your bag after you drop in your round tip (I use an Ateco 804), twist the bag right above the larger end of the tip and push it down into tip. Fold the top 4 inches of the bag over the jar or glass.

 

Let the batter fall right into the bottom of the bag and continue filling to ensure you don’t get air bubbles. When ready to pipe and all of the batter is in the bag, twist the top of the bag and when ready to pipe, push down with your dominant hand to force the bottom of the tip to open.

Pipe the batter onto prepared baking sheet with 30 macarons per sheet. Six across the long side, and five rows perpendicular. Sift a light dusting of cocoa powder over each piped macaron round. Take the sheet pan and wrap against the counter for 13 times. Repeat x 2 more times of 13, then look for any visible air bubbles and pop with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. Allow the macarons to rest for 10-30 minutes, then bake in a preheated (convection oven if you have at 300° F , 325° F for NON convection oven*) for about 16-18 minutes or until the cookie does not wiggle when attempting to check by carefully grabbing both sides of a cookie and gently testing.

Let the tray rest on a wire rack and then bake the second tray.

Cool the cookies completely and pipe the buttercream between two cookies and sandwich together.

*A word about oven temperatures: EVERY one’s oven is different and after painstaking doing several batches of macarons I determined that in MY oven 300 F convection setting is best for me. Check your oven temperature against a thermometer placed in the middle of your oven. Some people bake there’s at 285, 290, 310 etc. unfortunately it’s something that you have to play around with and determine what is best for you and your oven.

 

Pumpkin Spice Buttercream

3 egg whites (large eggs)

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter

pumpkin curd or pumpkin butter to taste

pumpkin pie spice to taste

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine egg whites and sugar. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl and place on mixer and beat until stiff meringue forms and bottom of mixer bowl is cool to touch; about 5 minutes. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla,  then beat until smooth. Fold in the pumpkin curd/pumpkin butter or puree; whichever you are using and taste it as you go along, adding in little shakes of spice mixture to your liking.

Note: you can make the buttercream a day or two ahead and keep chilled in the fridge, just let it come to room temperature and stir vigorously with a spoon or re whip with the whisk attachment.