Macarons

July 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

The road to my heart is marked and littered with the absentminded and unintended brush strokes of dirty paintbrushes and the crumbs from macarons.

Macarons are my favorite confectioneries.

Fayyyyvouuurite.

This delectable sweet is my weakness.

However, it should not to be confused with the macaroon. There’s an extra “o” in the second word, yes, but man oh man does that extra “o” make a difference. It’s a letter! One letter! How can that one letter do so much damage and cause such a huge difference? For one, that “o” signifies that the cookie is the American version, which has coconut as the main ingredient and tastes like cake-y in its moist, dense structure. I love coconut; I especially love toasted coconut, and I love anything sweet so I like macaroons, but those little coconut cookies have nothing on my beloved French confectionery that look like little jewels. The lack of the extra “o” signifies the French version of the macaroon– it is the French spelling–, which has ground almonds as the main ingredient and has a filling sandwiched between two cookies that have a light, meringue airyness. The French macaron is gorgeous in its color saturation, delicate in its structure, and so incredibly varied in its multitudes of flavors that range from the traditional, for example: French vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry, to the super creative such as green tea, lavender, black sesame or even cayenne pepper.

In the DC area, places to find good macarons are:

Patisserie Poupon
1645 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20007

Praline Bakery & Restaurant
4611 Sangamore Rd
Bethesda, MD, 20816

However, to find the best macarons in DC, please go here: Michel’s Patisserie

My favorite place for the macarons in DC– the best macarons in DC, actually– is Michel’s Patisserie because of the combination of classic, like chocolate, French vanilla, and raspberry, and interesting flavors such as red velvet, lychee, and matcha in each box. The macarons from Michel’s are lovely because they have a crisp outershell but are so creamy inside and with just the right amount of chew. The almonds have been finely, finely ground and there is no grainyness, which is an unfortunate characteristic in some macarons I’ve eaten from Patisserie Poupon. There is no physical storefront however. Instead, the macarons are available for free pickup from several places in and around the DC area: DC, Arlington, Reston, and Alexandria. They are also available for delivery, nation-wide even! However, please don’t consider this option if the recipient lives in California; instead order from ‘lette, with storefronts in Beverly Hills and San Francisco.

UPDATE: For images of Michel’s Patisserie’s macarons, please go here.

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