Our new favorite obsession...Macarons! It's easy to love these colorful French macarons. There's even a Macaron Day on March 20th! Celebrated in New York City, Paris and other cities to create excitement for the Parisian cookie, while benefitting great causes, so mark your calendar!
What are macarons? Macarons are delightfully sweet cookies with an airy texture, soft crunchy shells and a slightly chewy center. The shells can be sandwiched together with a variety of fillings, but typically ganache, butter cream frosting, cream cheese, jelly or curd are used.
Macarons have become a newer trend in the United States, but they are not new to the world! Macarons (pronounced mah-ka-rohn) in English, or some say macaroon (mah-ka-roon). I prefer the first pronunciation using my best French accent! They are sometimes confused with Macaroons (a chewy, coconut confection) but they are not alike, except that they are both delicious cookies!
These sweet French sandwich cookies are available in a variety of colors and flavors, so they are becoming popular as a wedding reception, bridal or baby shower dessert. They are also perfect at a brunch/lunch or tea party.
Macaron Menu Card by Mysty and Bella Designs
Matching or coordinating your colors using these Pâtisserie creations will delight your guests, and add a delicious addition to your dessert table. Macaron towers and stacks are also an elegantly creative way to showcase them! Many couples are using Macaron towers in lieu of traditional wedding cakes. You can also add macarons to the outside of traditional cakes or on top to add additional sweetness and decoration!
They can be used as escort card bases, lollipops or wedding favors. Personalize them with your initials to create a unique treat and wedding favor.
Macarons date back to the early 1500’s in Italy. The word “macaron” is believed to originate from the word “macaroni” in Italian, due to a similar recipe used for both. The word means “fine dough”, and the difference is that the Macaron recipe used almond paste or almond powder. The cookie was introduced to France in 1553 by the chef of Catherine de Medici. Catherine grew up in Italy where the almond paste cookies originated, and moved to France when she married the Duke of Orleans. In 1547 she became the Queen of France.
The macarons became known as French Macarons in Paris. Originally a single rounded cookie, in the 1890’s they were assembled as two cookies with a jelly or curd filling in the middle. This double-decker version became a Parisian sensation when the luxury french bakery, La Maison Ladurée, added a chocolate ganache filling between two macaron shells in 1952, and then later created a variety of colors and flavors as we see today. The French bakery continues to sell fifteen thousand of these delightful cookies, known as the “Ladurée Macarons” every day! The macaron is the biggest selling sweet treat in Paris.
Macarons have become popular in the United States, and can be found in many French bakeries and pastry shops. You can even find them at Whole Foods Markets! There are also Ladurée Boutiques in New York and Miami, if Paris is a bit too far! Shopping on line for macarons is also a great option, and they can be delivered to your door!
Test your baking skills!
I have to admit that I’m a little intimidated about making the macaron myself. I enjoy baking, but I have seen my share of failures when it comes to meringues and pastry dough. I’m intrigued by the variety of colors and flavors that I could dream up, and that part sounds like a lot of fun. It’s also a great ego booster to show off your accomplishments to friends and family!
Those who are up to the challenge, I would recommend watching the how-to recipe videos on line (there are several good ones!) or check out some of the step-by-step recipe guides on line (with photos!) before you attempt them. There are also great cookbooks available too! There are some steps that you will need to follow to ensure success, along with the right tools. One tip: always use parchment paper on a baking sheet, instead of using cooking spray or oiling the pan, since these finicky cookies do not like oil! The next challenge is to find a recipe that you like, since there are a variety of recipes out there. Some recipes use almond flour or almond meal, while others use blanched or slivered almonds that you can grind yourself in food processor. There’s a French and an Italian version also, so I would recommend experimenting with a few recipes if you don’t find the one that you love right away!
Macarons are found in home decor as pillows, bedding designs, clothing, jewelry, accessories and even bar stools! Art prints featuring the colorful macaron are also available to decorate your walls. They are the design inspiration on greeting cards, like the Thank You Card from Mysty and Bella Designs!
It's easy to LOVE macarons! These cute sandwich cookies with a large assortment of colors and flavors are the perfect choice to add color and sweetness to your wedding, event or party!
Check out our Pinterest board "Macaron Mania" to see more photos, ideas, recipe and video links at https://www.pinterest.com/mystyandbella/
Visit our website to see more Thank You cards, Wedding Invitations, Menu Cards and more at http://www.mystyandbelladesigns.com
Photographs by Mysty and Bella Designs