Oh. my. goodness.
People, I have wasted hours scouring the internet for vegan meringue cookie recipes that do not use synthetic egg-replacers. Lordy. There is nada. And I know what you’re thinking: “Victoria, that’s really stupid because the main ingredient of meringue kisses is EGG WHITES.” I know. But I’m totally stubborn in life and I’m determined to make a suitable substitute to those airy, crunchy, lovely cookies. We’ll call this Attempt #1.
Usually (at least for me) an “attempt” signifies somewhat of a fail. An “attempt” in the kitchen in the paste has resulted in flat pancake cookies that crumble when you touch them, and dry DISGUSTING “cakes” in the hope of creating my first HippieCake (I initially tried using coconut flour. Big mistake.).
Furthermore, making macarons has been on my mind (and Bucket List) for quite some time. They are adorable. They are French (as am I, at least partially). I have thought about veganizing them as well (since the main ingredient is also eggs), as well as making the original classic recipe for my fam and friends.
Meringue Kiss Fail = Macaron Win.
I threw so many ingredients around in my head before actually writing a recipe down that I was sure HAD to work. Mixing the ingredients? Success. They even piped just as I hoped onto the baking sheet! All my meringue kiss hopes and dreams were coming true. Threw them in the oven for a little less than 10 minutes, and they looked perfect.
But the consistency? All wrong.
Meringue kisses are crunchy and light as air, with just a teeny tiny bit of chewiness. These were chewy and light as air, with just a teeny tiny bit of crunch on the outside.
Just like macaron shells!
So I grabbed some of the pumpkin puree I had in the fridge, mixed up a little filling, and BAM. We’ve got vegan macarons. And they’re pretty darn delicious, too.
And you macaron purists? I KNOW “real” macarons are made with almonds. I know. I’ll be giving that a shot, too. But remember that this was an accident, and actually the cashew compliments the pumpkin perfectly. So there.
Vegan Macaron Shells
1.5 cups raw cashews soaked in water for 2 hours
½ cup of the same water, reserved
½ cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp guar gum (or agar or cornstarch)
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Drain the cashews and reserve ½ cup of the water. Add all of the ingredients except the vanilla and guar gum to a food processor and blend until light and smooth (about 5 minutes). Add the final two ingredients and whip again quickly. Pipe small shells onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 7-10 minutes, in a rack on the top half of the oven, until bottoms are browned slightly. Let cool completely on baking sheet before removing carefully.
Pumpkin Spice Filling
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp almond milk
1/2 tsp stevia
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch each of cloves, ground ginger, and salt
Mix well and spread onto half of the macaron shells. Sandwich the other halves with the halves that have the filling on them.