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A new sweet obsession
January 31, 2014 - Nikki Younk
It's no secret that I love sweets. Candies, cookies, cakes - I'm a fan of them all. My passion for Japanese candies has been well-documented in this very blog. However, I now have a brand new obsession.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the macaron.
Take note that the macarOn and the macarOOn are two very different desserts. The more well-known macaroon is a ball of shredded coconut that is often dipped in chocolate. The French macaron is a fancy confection consisting of a creamy or fruity filling sandwiched between two almond meringue disks.
I sampled my first macarons last fall while I was in Chicago. They were absolutely amazing. The outer disks crack like eggshells when you bite into them. Immediately under the shell is a moist and chewy interior - kind of similar to the texture of a brownie. Then you hit the filling, which gives you a burst of flavor.
Macaron flavors can range from the mundane - chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, pistachio - to the adventurous - pumpkin, lychee, Earl Grey tea - to the downright delicious - orange creamsicle, funfetti birthday cake, strawberry champagne.
I’m unaware of any businesses in the local area, or the whole U.P. or northern Wisconsin for that matter, that make macarons. (If anyone knows of one, please let me know immediately!) Further complicating the matter, macarons don’t stay fresh for very long, so you can’t stock up when you do stumble upon a macaron merchant.
You can order them online, but at a cost of $2.50 to $3 per macaron plus the required next-day or second-day shipping, a dozen will run you at least $45. That might be an acceptable price if you want to treat yourself on a birthday or major holiday, but not for day-to-day consumption.
I’ve read that macarons are notoriously difficult to bake at home. However, I may have to take up the skill. It’ll give me something to keep busy with during this frigid winter.
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A photo of the macarons I purchased for my birthday earlier this month. Delicious!