For some reason, the world went a little nuts for Parisian macarons in the past year and everyone, from New York to New Delhi, seemed to be fascinated by these little sandwich cookies.
Notice that I said “Parisian” macarons, since you won’t find these too far outside of Paris. Folks in the rest of France make more traditional macarons, made from a simple meringue with sugar and nuts folded in, then baked until crispy. Parisian Macarons, as most of us know them, are said to have been invented at Ladurée, and they claim to sell 12,000 of them daily.
When I Love Macarons! came out this year, the first run sold out immediately and the publisher scrambled to print more copies. Solid proof of the popularity of macarons, for sure. The book is a translation from a Japanese edition, written by pastry chef Hisako Ogita. It’s a slender volume, but has plenty of full-color photos and takes us step-by-step through the process of making macarons.
Especially helpful is a great page with descriptions of troubleshooting tips, including pictures of common failures and how to avoid them. Bakers who’ve had a few ups and down making macarons would find this information of particular interest.
I am not exactly sure why so many people want to make macarons. I usually tell them—“Come to Paris!” and buy them here. They’re not really something people would consider making at home: like baguettes and croissants, you’ll find them at many neighborhood bakeries and pastry shops, and even in the frozen food department of the grocery store. It’s like making your own hot dog buns if you live in America. It’s just something most people don’t do.