(I asked Marie to share a few words about what the heck these crumbly and creamy treats are, and she has this to say…)
We chanced on a beautiful display of macarons the other day after dinner and had to pick some up. They look like little jewels in the case, in all those pastel shades. We chose four (vanilla, blueberry, raspberry and strawberry), and then asked which are most popular – apparently the strawberry is one of the top sellers. I should have taken the green tea as well – it must have been excellent. I liked the vanilla one best of those we got.
Macarons are different from macaroons, though they wind up being used interchangeably. Macaroons are chocolate-covered coconut cookies that aren’t too incredibly hard to make at home, and macarons are fussy, delicate, and require some specialized equipment.
I remembered that my beloved NPR had done a brief piece a while back on the takeover of cupcakes by macarons in the trendiness race (here, if you are interested) but I can think of two major differences between the trends. First, any moderately handy cook can make lovely cupcakes, so if you want a beautiful centerpiece for your party, a cupcake tray or tower won’t drive you crazy before your guests arrive. Macarons are an entirely different matter – temperatures must be exact, ingredients need time between stages, and the variables are much more intricate. So it seems much more reasonable to shell out the kind of cash it takes to get a box of these than to pick up some pretty cupcakes. If you want an article that does a fairly good job detailing the challenges of making them yourself, here is one.
Apparently, several of the Korean-owned bakeries along Buford Highway have been offering macarons for the last few years. Mozart in Doraville is one, and White Windmill a mile or so north is another. These are typically sold individually wrapped for about $1.50 each. They are completely wonderful and we could each put away about a dozen if left unchecked.
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s terrific for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!