Macarons. Little almond/meringue based cookies with creamy fillings that seem to be all the rage these days or for the past several years at least. There are elite shops set up that sell just macarons in all varieties of flavours and colours, the most famous of these being Pierre Hermé (left and center pics below) and Ladurée, both out of Paris, natch.
Researching these cookies, one is left with the distinct impression that they require not only skill of the highest degree but intricate steps and rituals known only to the anointed. Mere mortals can expect endless failure, best to leave it to the pros, kids.
And at prices tipping the $2 – $2.50 mark per cookie, it’s understandable that those who make them want to keep them pretty exclusive. It would, for example, cost you about $700 for the cookies visible in the photo of the display case seen above. Of course, you’re also paying for the high-brow location, the perfectly appointed stylish shop (yes, it is lovely), extra fancy packaging and a fairly large dose of lah-dee-dah.
Inspiration for Macarons
Enter Stella Parks of BraveTart.com and pastry chef at Table 310 in Lexington, KY. Her viewpoint: They’re just cookies, people! There’s nothing magical about them (although they are pretty damn tasty) and you don’t need to set up a sacrificial altar to the macaron gods to make them successfully.