Makes about 2 cups (enough for about 4 dozen macarons)
2 large egg whites
6½ ounces (13 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly cooler than room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup canned pumpkin puree (at room temperature)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Large pinch ground cloves
Orange food coloring, preferably paste or gel
Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until they form soft peaks.
Meanwhile combine the sugar and about 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over moderately high heat. Bring to a boil and cook to the soft ball stage (235-240°F) on a candy thermometer.
Gradually pour the syrup into the egg whites with the mixer on a low speed. Scrape down the sides and beat on high speed until the meringue is at room temperature. Gradually add the butter and salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly. Beat until completely smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the remaining ingredients adding enough orange food coloring to give the buttercream an attractive color. If the buttercream seems to be separating beat on high until it comes back together.
Recipe copyright by Michael Kronkl