Laduree Macarons and Finding the Perfect Macaron Recipe

February 13th, 2008 · Tags: Discovering Food · Food · France · Tips · Travels Abroad

An exhaustive look at Parisian macarons (with pictures of Laduree macarons), lots of recipes from around the web and how to make them in your own home!

**Update** Since writing this I’ve made a few kinds of macarons myself: Chocolate Macarons Recipe, Colorful Cinnamon Easter Egg Macarons Recipe, Dark Mint Chocolate French Macarons Recipe, and Hazelnut Macarons with Nutella and Spicy Nut Centers.

When I was in Paris, France several months ago, I took some time to make as many stops as possible on David Lebovitz’ 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris list.

One of my top priorities was to try Parisian macarons so I could get them straight from the source. I had been reading about them for months on other food blogs. Laduree was across the street from our hotel, so it was the obvious and very dangerous choice for my macaron de-flowering. Inside it was darkly lit and I meekly pointed at first the size box that I wanted and then it was point-by-color to fill up the box. I knew to ask for the caramel which I was definitely missing living in Italy.

The Laduree box before opening. I loved the packaging available in the Laduree and Pierre Herme shops for the macarons. Some were very elaborate and would have made nice gifts. I wanted just a plain box since I was going to be eating them. ALL FOR ME.

The Laduree box of macarons

More colorful than a bouquet of flowers! And I’ll feel better not having to throw out stale water and dried stems later.

A box of colorful Laduree macarons

The money shot. Laduree’s caramel macaron was by far my favorite. I was disappointed in Pierre Herme’s caramel macaron as it was a creme de caramel – caramel cream filling and not a pure caramel like Laduree’s.

Close-up of a Caramel Macaron from Laduree

Inside the caramel macaron. I’m a bit of a messy eater, but these macarons were really fragile so it was hard to get that perfect bite.

Inside Laduree's Caramel Macaron

Inside the dark chocolate macaron. Excellent.

Inside a chocolate Laduree macaron

Much as I wanted to, I couldn’t finish all the macarons that I bought, so I was able to courier them directly to Italy where I shared them with Robyn and Sara. I loved Dorie Greenspan’s interview about how and why to love macarons. I think she’s right you need to experience the beauty and authenticity first-hand in Paris to understand the craze! I do now. So now I’m ready to start making them myself! After extensive “research” I am still deciding if I need to draw circles on parchment paper or use a Silpat or to let macarons set before baking or run cold water under them after baking. The ingredients in macarons are fairly simple, it’s the technique that seems to be the time-consuming part. Until you get it right. **Update** Since then I’ve made a few kinds of macarons myself: Chocolate Macarons Recipe, Colorful Cinnamon Easter Egg Macarons Recipe, Dark Mint Chocolate French Macarons Recipe, and Hazelnut Macarons with Nutella and Spicy Nut Centers. Serious Eats had a “Macaron Week” right after I got back from Paris, including where to find macarons in the U.S. Robyn, who above tasted my macarons, was the mastermind of the list.

It wouldn’t be a complete mention if I didn’t mention Tartelette and her macarons. She jumpstarted my own obsession, and she actually used the word “magma” in her recipe, as in “batter that flows like magma.” How cool is that? I think magma should be used more in recipes. You can search the category “macarons” on her blog for her many creations. Other macaron recipes and pictures:

Any tips for me in making macarons? What flavors would you love to see in a macaron?

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37 Comments

37 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    nyc/caribbean ragazza // Feb 13, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    There is a macaron place in Beverly Hills that I noticed for the first yesterday. It might be new. I have never had one! The caramel one looks delicious.

  • 2
    Melanie // Feb 13, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I found a place in SF that sells Macarons last year and went there specifically for them. While not Laduree, it’s pretty damn good and the owner used to work for Pierre Herme in Paris. ;-)

  • 3
    Christina // Feb 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I’m looking forward to your creations. Sounds like you’ve done your research. I’m thinking a macaron with some coffee flavored chocolate. Sounds good right about now when the temperature is low. Or, if I need freshness — is peach possible? I’ll trust you come up with something great.

  • 4
    Stacy // Feb 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    oh my gosh I LOVE those things! those look so good. but they do look kind of hard to make. definitely the caramel and a dark chocolate! oooo what about using the pistachio creme?

  • 5
    Susan at Stickygooeycreamychewy // Feb 13, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Be still my heart! Macarons are one of my favorite things in the whole world. Someday, I will work up the courage to attempt making my own. I remember my first trip to Laduree last summer. I was awestruck! I bought so many, I was eating them on the whole plane ride home!

  • 6
    Michelle @ Us vs. Food // Feb 13, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    The money shot was a little too much for me; I think I need a cigarette now, and I don’t smoke. They are so very good, and I am so very scared to try them at home!

    What flavor is the bright reddish-pink macaron? It’s so vibrant!

  • 7
    Lieludalis // Feb 13, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    A friend is coming to visit from Paris this weekend and the only thing I asked her to bring me is a box of macarons!

    Great post , I was excited to see it (they’ve become a mini obsession for me)!

  • 8
    Jenny // Feb 13, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    The fleur de sel caramel macaron was my favorite as well! I blogged about it here:
    http://thecupcakery.livejournal.com/5095.html

  • 9
    jen of a2eatwrite // Feb 13, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Wow! What fabulous photos and thanks so much for this post – these look absolutely wonderful.

  • 10
    Robyn // Feb 13, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks for the link love! I’m going to use your “money shot” for a POTD, haha. ;)

    I don’t really have macaron making tips since I’ve only made them myself once from start to finish. I’d just say….follow the directions very carefully. Or make sure the almond flour is REALLY fine. I went NUTS doing this (nuts..haha..oh jesus) and in the end it still wasn’t fine enough.

    OH wait, I lied…I’ve tried ot make macarons twice. The second time I got the flour finer, but I FAILED because I put cream of tartar in my meringue not realizing how stupid that was. I thought it would make it easier to form te cookies or something but then they don’t bake correctly. Dumb dumb. AND THAT IS WHY YOU ALWAYS FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!!!

  • 11
    Chez Denise et Laudalino // Feb 13, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Love them! Check these out!
    http://chezdeniseetlaudalino.blogspot.com/2007/05/macarons.html

  • 12
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Feb 14, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! I can’t wait to start experimenting – it’s one of my goals for this year. Now I just have to get all the equipment together.

  • 13
    Cakespy // Feb 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    I love the mighty macaron. But it is a bummer because I feel like they tend to go stale fast. Le sigh. When they’re good, they’re great–and it looks like you had some great ones.

  • 14
    my melange // Feb 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I Love macarons!! Not only the taste but the look of them. I have been to several different places to compare in Paris. My favs are the 2 you mentioned. Laduree and Piere Herme. I too have written quite a bit about them on my blog. I’d give you the links, but I don’t want to be known as one of those who shamelessly promotes their blog ;)

  • 15
    kate // Feb 15, 2008 at 10:46 am

    well good luck with the macaron making Sara. I’ve never attempted this one yet.I’m still intimidated by them. Cant wait to see how yours turn out.

  • 16
    kate // Feb 15, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Sara … sorry but i had to , u’re tagged … would love to read your meme. more about it on my blog.

  • 17
    BB // Feb 15, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Does anyone know of any shops that deliver these in Paris? I know they can be particularly fragile so some don’t deliver. I’m wanting to send some to a friend living there as a gift but can’t find any who deliver.

  • 18
    steamy kitchen // Feb 17, 2008 at 3:19 am

    ok. that’s it. I simply must try my hand at making macarons. mainly because i don’t think i’ve ever ever ever tasted a properly made one. All the ones I’ve had are way too sweet!

  • 19
    Erin // Feb 26, 2008 at 5:01 am

    A little late.. but to the person who suggested pistachio creme.. yes!! After two months in pistachio-flavoured Europe I have to say these are by far my favourite macarons. There is a small patisserie on Avenue Ledru Rollin in Paris that does pistache-framboise (raspberry) gourmet macarons. Seriously.. there is nothing else you need in life :)

  • 20
    Amy // Oct 1, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Does anyone know if LADUREE delivers in Paris?

  • 21
    Seanna Lea // Mar 2, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I just made my first batch of macaron this weekend using the recipe from Cannelle and Vanille, which came out really well (though I tried bringing some to work in a snack baggie, which did not stop them from being crushed!).

  • 22
    Babette Wilson // Mar 2, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    I grew up in Paris and I loved the colorful macarons for a long time. Each time I go home to Paris, I visit Laduree or Pierre Herme for a bunch of treats! This year I worked on the macarons: so far I made the rapberry, pistachio, lemon and chocolate: quel delice! I made a macaron croquembouche and I have the bug..I will be making passion fruit, salty caramel, praline, apricot, vanilla, strawberry,ginger…you name it!

  • 23
    Areej // Apr 10, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    wooow!
    What a fantastic sweet!
    I’m just wondering how much is it??
    is it expensive?

  • 24
    melange sucre // Aug 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

    So I searched and searched for macarons online. Ordered one of each and they were either dry with too much flour or good, but the shipping was $50 to get them to me. Yikes. What to do…start my own macaron store. I can eat them whenever I want and now I share them.

  • 25
    Angelina // Feb 19, 2010 at 4:15 am

    If you are ever in Portland you need to try macarons at Pix Patisserie. Their fleur de sel caramel was the best thing I have ever had.

  • 26
    Stephanie - Wasabimon // Mar 11, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I had a macaron week too, recently!

    http://www.wasabimon.com/archive/welcome-to-macaron-week/

    Thanks for this lovely post. I like having a page I can refer to for more information. :)

  • 27
    Chocoparis // Mar 24, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Thanks for the gorgeous photos. Ladurée and Pierre Hermé are certainly the most well-known makers of macarons, but Arnaud Larher is also worth a visit next time you’re in Paris. He has two shops in Montmartre, one of which is devoted almost exclusively to macarons.

  • 28
    kimberlyloc // May 20, 2010 at 2:46 am

    I’m just now learning (and tasting!) macarons. I love them! I visited San Fran and got a taste at Miette and La Boulange…but I’m still loving my Kansas City-area bakery’s creations (see my blog for details).

    Thoughts?

  • 29
    Deni Schutt // Jun 1, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Jetlag ,after 3 weeks in Paris, my dreams are of macarons.
    A friend still traveling in France has sent pics of ones from the south…..hmm, they just get better.
    Tapping this out at 3am seems crazy…..thanks for the inspiration I will have to experiment make them.

  • 30
    Jill // Jun 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I just bought a macaroon cookbook, which oddly seems to be translated from Japanese, but looking forward to trying my hand at it and finding some fun flavours! yum! (my kids call them hamburgers!)

  • 31
    Jim M // Jun 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    We purchased from Jean-Paul Hévin’s shop in Les Galaires Lafayette and they were simply exquisite. It was that VERY hot Tuesday a few weeks ago and ate a few while sitting in the shade at the Tuileries. My better half feels the gentle warming they received in transit made them extra fragrant. They rescued a hot, miserable day.

  • 32
    Tianne Pierce // Nov 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you for this virtual trip to Laduree. I’ll be there in the next couple of weeks and this is always on the list. My kids are all looking at this post saying, “Yummy!” and beg me to send them some. This is like ultimate indulgence- thank you!

  • 33
    Francesca Maggi // Feb 6, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I stumbled upon an outstanding Parisian confectioners shop…right in Rome! Just *behind* the Bocca della Verità, right at the intersection with the Circus Maximus. Making all the macaroons as above. Divine.
    I found another one, right near the Spanish Steps off of Piazza Magninelli, but, it appeared to be closed down.
    Burnt by the Tuscan Sun

  • 34
    Cathi // Feb 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    My friend Jackie, of Maison Burdisso, makes excellent macarons, Here in Houston, with the high humidity, that’s quite a feat.
    All of her flavors are delicious — she brings them back from France. She makes many different flavors, and classics like chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, pistachio, the fruit flavors are all very true. She even makes cassis or blood orange macarons.
    Her florals are amazing: when was the last time you tasted bleuet, or poppy, lavender, violet, tulip, rose?
    Jackie sells at our local farmers’ markets 3 days a week. Or you can special order.

  • 35
    Sue // Jul 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I had never heard of them till The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) posted about them on her blog awhile back. She just posted this about a workshop given this last weekend at her ranch. Looking forward to trying them.

    http://thepioneerwoman.com/confessions/

  • 36
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Jul 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I’m happy Ree had such a great teacher present – Helene is an expert and I’m sure whatever she learned is spot on.

  • 37
    Albertocook // Oct 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hi,

    I’ m Alberto from Italy.

    You Have a Best website.

    You have many delicious recipes.

    I have a blog is a blog of real italian recipes of my family, if you wont take some recipes you can take is a honor for me.

    Bye from Italy CIAO.

    Sorry for my english

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