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Sunday, February 20, 2011

When one "o" is enough: Paulette Macarons

By Tom

I love macarons, those little French cookies made of whipped egg whites and almond powder filled with buttercream. In my mind I know that while the cookies are low-fat, the filling ain't, and the whole thing is sugar central. I'm sure at any moment that someone will come up with incontrovertible evidence that the food coloring used with cause one to develop humps, or rabies or Dutch elm disease.

Or just cavities.

I don't care! They're so darned good! You walk into the perfect whiteness of the shop to the clean, rich smell of meringue and ganache; you'd never think there was a smell to them unless you've smelled them in a room where there was nothing else sold. Then there are the colors: bright jewel tones that telegraph neatly the flavors. I was taught in making food displays that odd numbers are better than even so I always order three: one is impossibly Calvinist, two is just mean. Three is just this side of decadent. Just this side. Finally there's the first bite; slightly resistant crust bursts into chewy goodness with the flavor of your choice shining through that then matches or contrasts to the rich buttercream filling depending upon the art of the chef. Trust me, it's art.

I don't go here a lot. Well, I do but I try to keep it within reason. I figure that once or twice a month I can spend six bucks (no coffee or tea with these; like good scotch I take it straight) and the (please don't tell me the actual number) calorie count if I walk there and back.

Researching this I've found that Paulette has opened mere blocks from work. That little bit of info is going to be really dangerous. I'll just keep telling myself "It's Atkins friendly, it's Atkins friendly".

I might have to start walking to work. Or two laps of the continent..

What are your favorite sweet treats in your neighborhood?

Image by Tom.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Last time at LesHalles in Lyon I had gingerbread flavoured macarons with Foie Gras filling. Now how decadent is that ?! I immedietely bought a Macaron book - but have to admit that I haven't tried to make any yet...
I'm off to the kitchen : my HB wants to have pancakes for breakfast

5:28 AM EST  
OpenID olfactoriastravels.com said...

I LOVE Macarons.
My favorite flavors are hazelnut and pistachio. We have very good ones here in Vienna, I try to be good, but once a month I deserve a little box of five. I admire your restraint of eating only three. ;)

8:41 AM EST  
Blogger rosarita said...

Oh, those look and sound fabulous. I've never had one. Some day when travelling I'll have that experience...

Down the hill from my house is a *candy kitchen*, a lunch establishment w/a long candy counter filled with hand made chocolates. It's been run by the same family continuously since 1906. My favorite treat are the rumballs: a smooth chocolate & rum cream filling, dipped in dark chocolate, then rolled in toasted Brazil nuts.
Thanks so much for these Sunday posts! They let me recall so many good things....

9:08 AM EST  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

In a walking distance from my house, I have a French Patisserie. They are making French breads and some US-style sweets. I don't do sweets much, but their cranberry-orange scone is really good!

11:40 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Gehring said...

I cannot believe that you can stop at three:))))))) I could not. No willpower at all when it comes to those little gems:)

12:16 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Tom, it's a good thing I don't have these things near me! My local farmer's market sometimes has these addictive Aussie treats, the name of which I can't recall at the moment, but they are slices of vanilla pound cake dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in coconut. In other words, crack. Good thing I can only buy them on Sundays!

3:01 PM EST  
OpenID benedictxvii said...

I've been craving macarons for months. I decided that I would reward myself for surviving another semester with macarons.
The closest place that sells them is an hour away, but it's worth it.

6:27 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Lady Jane=

Those sound deadly

8:54 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

olafcoria-

ah but I go twice a month!

8:55 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

rosarita-

I love that sort of place, and thanks for the complement!

8:55 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

a.k.a. Warum

a patisserie is a wonderful thing.

8:56 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Beth-

In the interest of keeping the measure of my waist lower than my area code, I must.

8:57 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

D-

those sound incredible!

8:58 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

benedictxvii-

let us know how that that turned out!

8:59 PM EST  
Blogger Carrie Meredith said...

I was just posting on Twitter this weekend how I am totally determined to try Paulette's macarons, I need to have a dozen shipped to me (nowhere near one). I am particularly interested in the Earl Grey tea macaron. I was going to just let it go, but after reading this, I'm afraid I've got no choice now but to give in. :)

10:07 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Carrie-

I do love the earl grey ones, I hope you will write how you find them.

Best

T

11:50 PM EST  
Anonymous marian said...

Payards flourless chocolate cookies top my list, but their Chinon cake is a close second.

3:06 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

marian-

yum!

2:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Lori. said...

I have no shut-off valve when it comes to Paulette macarons, the sweet wedding almond ones especially. I prefer the Bottega Louie Earl Grey macarons to the Paulette ones, but that might be because they are usually preceded by a couple of dry Bottega Louie martinis.

2:08 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Lori-

I am going to check out Bottega Louie forthwith..

12:22 AM EST  
Blogger TSR said...

Yes, Paulette's Macarons are a birthday treat for me. They are -- special. Someday I'll try making macarons, but it won't have the same panache.

11:55 AM EST  
Blogger LadyMacaron20ten said...

I found your site and loved this post - check out my blog http://ladymacaron20ten.blogspot.com if you'd like to try making macarons at home:)

5:38 AM EST  

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