I love macarons. Not to be confused with macaroons, the often Kosher coconut cookie. Don’t get me wrong, macaroons are tasty too, but they are no macarons (one “o”, not two). They look like little colorful hamburgers, don’t they? I have to admit, aesthetically these French delights appeal to me even if they were disgusting. But they aren’t. They’re amazing. I could photograph them all day long. I could also eat them all day long. They make me happy just looking at them!
One important thing I want to make sure I mention is macarons are gluten-free. I am on a special diet where I am trying to cut back on gluten, so this was awesome news for me and anyone else who needs to eat gluten-free.
Macarons come in all colors and flavors. They’re a type of meringue (on the top and bottom, with a “ruffled pied”) with a cream-like filling in the middle. If it doesn’t have the ruffled pied, it’s not a Parisian macaron. The French macaron was developed in France in the early 20th century by Pierre Desfontaines. The French macaron is a meringue-based sweet treat, whereas macaroons are coconut-based. It comes from the Italian word “maccherone” or Venetian “macarone”. According to the book, Mad about Macarons by Jill Colonna, says that macarons are easy to make once you have mastered the technique. There are several books on making macarons, which makes me wonder how easy it really is.
As for me, I cheated. Tricia and I went to the Macaron Bar located in downtown Louisville. We didn’t know that it wasn’t a full-fledged store, but more of a pop-up kind of thing, at least for now. It’s supposed to open as “the real deal” later. I have to admit I was a little disappointed — I wanted to see an entire freaking bakery filled with fun colors and flavors of macarons!!!!! Once I got past that, I was relieved to see that they at least had prepackaged macarons that were available for purchase on the spot. I got a ridiculous amount of my cream-filled faves, and they were amazing. My favorites were probably vanilla, pistachio and lavender. They have a seasonal flavor of mint-julep, which I wasn’t really fond of, but I am not a bourbon drinker. I saved the two I had left for a friend of mine who is a regular bourbon drinker. He thought they were “absolutely perfect”. The flavors combined made for the perfect mint julep, so he says. We are in Kentucky and it’s almost Derby time, so I feel I have to mention it.
One day I am going to one of the Macaron Bar’s Cincinnati locations. I may spend the whole day in that one store eating nothing but macarons. I’ll be on an awful sugar high and then crash. Maybe I should take a designated driver for that trip? Tricia and I had a great day together, truly a fun day in every way. Good friends and macarons — is there anything better? No, seriously. Is there anything better?!?!?!!
If you are braver than me and want to try your hat at making macarons, here are a few items below that might help. These are affiliate links, just so you know. They help to afford me the privilege to do what I do…and I love what I do. If you do try to make these — and I really hope someone out there is brave enough to try — please e-mail us and let us know how the experiment turned out, whether good or bad. Happy macaron-ing!!!!!
If you’re like me and just want to purchase them, here are some you can order. Because they’re so bright, fun, and tasty, macarons make great gifts!