International Craving: French Macarons, Minus the Plane Fare to Paris

As we clicked through the slideshow of Chocolate & Zucchini's Clotilde Dusoulier food shopping in Paris, we got jealous of those beautiful, sweet macarons she seemed to be enjoying so much.

Then, at the restaurant where we ate dinner last night, they served a plate of airy almond cookies at the end of the meal. Now we're really craving macarons...

We Americans usually say macaroon, which brings up images of sticky, coconut cookies — not at all the crumbly almond confections from France. We read this Introduction to French Macarons from our friends at Serious Eats as well as a few other explanations and learned that the words macaron and macaroon are interchangeable. But the coconut variety is a diversion from the real thing.

True macarons are delicate blends of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar. According to the Serious Eats article, the French bakery Ladurée was the first to make little sandwiches out of them with jam, cream, or ganache.

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Making them at home will most certainly require a reliable pastry bag and some patience. A few recipes we rounded up give measurements in grams, European-style, so you may also need a conversion chart. But what a beautiful outcome! Here are a few recipes, should you feel a craving coming on...

(Images: Kristin Hohenadel; Romulo Yanes for Gourmet)

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