I know an awful lot about macarons for someone who really doesn’t care for them. I know that they’re made with egg whites and blanched almond flour, that the little “foot” that puffs from each side of the sandwich is impossible to achieve on the first try, and that the cookie is pronounced maca-ron — not maca-roon. The good samaritan in me can never let that last point go unaddressed. If the subject comes up too early at a dinner or cocktail party, I usually spend the rest of the evening trying to prove that I am not a jerk despite interrupting a conversation with, “Actually, macaroons are those dense coconut cookies that are sometimes dipped in chocolate and often eaten at Passover. They sell them at Ralph’s.”
I recently figured out why I feel so strongly about macarons. You know how people smile more at pretty people? I’ve never experienced it first hand in Los Angeles proper, but bring me out to the boonies where there are a lot of Walmarts, and I can tell you all about it. People want to be nice to you, they want to help you, and more applicable to the subject at hand, they want to like you. So macarons are the Limited Too-wearing, training bra-fastening, lip-gloss-dabbing seventh grade girls of the cookie world. Everyone wants to slow dance with the macaron. Meanwhile, my mother is over here ruining my life by refusing to buy me Lipsmackers throughout my entire adolescent career. (Not sure how we started talking about me,) but to this day, when I walk past them in the drugstore, I’m tempted to buy myself ten sticks of glittery raspberry-cherry-vanilla lip balm.
Photos: L) Bottega Louie, Downtown LA, R) Mille-feuille, Greenwich Village
I like to think that I give credit where it’s due, and I do admire how pretty these cookies are even if I don’t like how they taste. Metaphors aside, the fillings are often waxy, and the shells do this weird crumble/melt thing that I don’t appreciate. Nevertheless, I often find myself taking pictures of them when I pass by an uppity bakery, and at $3/each, they make adorable gifts. I’m just saying, the repressed late bloomer in me kinda hopes the macaron will get fat in college and fall out of popularity soon.