Well, my macaron treasure hunt earlier this week was a great success. I managed to hit six stores before I had to run to school. I could’ve done more if it was during the weekend, but the organizers decided that Macaron Day must coincide exactly with the Jour du Macaron held in Paris. Oh, well.
I carefully plotted my course on google maps ahead of time, in order to be efficient. My first stop was Bouchon Bakery in Rockefeller Center. They sell both large and regular-sized macarons.
I bought a regular-sized pistachio and got a free vanilla one. Unfortunately, the freebie was very tiny.
Their window display had an adorable tableau featuring a “macaron bunny.”
My next stop was also in Rockefeller Center, just across the street. La Maisson du Chocolate makes delicious macarons that all have a chocolate ganache filling. (They politely asked me not to take photos, so I am unable to depict their elegant boutique.) I was very pleased to see that their free chocolate macaron was normal-sized. I also bought a salted caramel.
I next walked eight blocks uptown and visited the FB Chocolate Bar. It belongs to Francois Payard, the pastry chef who organized this event. For the freebie, they offered six flavors to choose from and they all looked equally appealing.
They, too, had an inviting window display.
Tough choice, but I decided to go with the day-glo green pistachio.
My next stop, just a short walk away, was the Macaron Cafe. As its name implies, this place focuses exclusively on macarons. They offer a dizzying array of choices, from the traditional to the whimsical.
They had a nice pyramidal display of goodies, though it looked like someone had been snacking on on it.
Since they had so many options, I decided to go with something unusual this time, so I selected a creme brulee and a nutella (one free, one purchased). I liked how they tied up my treats in a cute little bow.
With that, I had covered every participating location in midtown, so I hopped on the subway two stops to the Upper East Side. A stone’s throw from the train station was my next stop, Butterfield Market. I realized later that these macarons also came from Francois Payard.
This time I chose a rose lychee.
Lastly, I took a short walk and picked up another chocolate macaron at La Maisson du Chocolate’s Upper East Side location. After that, it was absolutely necessary for me to quit messing around and go to school. My goal for next year is to try to make it to some of the stores downtown.
Every December 31st, I go to Ladurée on the Champs Elysées and buy a box of macarons for the retirement home staff, which costs me about 45€ for no more than about 30 macarons. I figures it's the least I can do for the people who have to change diapers and mop up pee on the most festive night of the year.
Well, honey, those are sure pretty French Moon Pies!
Sorry -- I am a terrible person! However, my base thought prompted me to go back & read the article, so now I know that it's a more elevated confection. Is the cookie part somewhat crisp? And is it tinted or iced?
Ah, you noticed I never actually delivered a verdict on them. Francois Payard's were really good; the shells were delicate and the ganache was creamy. Bouchon's were tasty, but I thought the shells were a little dense. Macaron Cafe gets points for most variety, and also for biggest cookies. The flavors I chose were a bit too sweet for me, but I would like to go back and try other flavors. The macarons at La Maisson du Chocolate were the most luxurious, and an obvious must for chocolate lovers. I think my absolute favorite out of all of them was the salted caramel from La Maisson; the combination of sweet and savory was divine.
Ok, that was a really long answer! It's hard for me to say because I liked them all.
What a lovely report & photos!!! I have only had Laduree and may try others this coming christmas in Paris. I also have been wanting to try making them myself. If i EVER do it - I'll post photos for sure !
So how was the Nutella one? My favorite from Laduree so far was the salted caramel and surprisingly the Licorice (it was delicate not overpowering)....