I find it impossible to pass by a bakery selling macarons and resist stopping in for a sample. Or two. Making them at home isn't all that difficult, but there are a few tricks of the trade that can set you up for success. Equal parts enlightening and inspiring, this colorful cookbook from the French blogger Mercotte is all you need to get started making your own crunchy cream-filled confections.
• Who wrote it: Mercotte
• Who published it: The Taunton Press
• Number of recipes: 22
• Recipes for right now: Salted Butter Caramel Macarons, Fennel and Star Anise Macarons, Mango Passionfruit Macarons, Crunchy Praline Macarons
• Other highlights: Mercotte keeps it simple: a basic recipe, lots of tips, and it's go time. This is as it should be with macarons, which have a reputation for being finicky, but really just need some TLC.
Once you've mastered the basic technique, the variations on color and filling-flavor are nearly endless. If you, like me, tend to freeze in the face of so many possibilities, the variations that Mercotte details in this book are a great place to start. Particularly crave-inducing are the advanced recipes toward the end of the book with multi-colored macarons and painted macaron shells.
• Who would enjoy this book? Bakers addicted to macarons
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Sweet Macarons: Delectable French Confections for Every Day by Mercotte
• Visit the author's website: Mercotte (French)
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(Images: Emma Christensen)