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.
More colorful than a bouquet of flowers! And I’ll feel better not having to throw out stale water and dried stems later.
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.
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 the dark chocolate macaron. Excellent.
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.
- Monday: Introduction to French Macarons
- Tuesday: Where to Find Macarons
- Wednesday: How to Make Macarons
- Thursday: Interview With Macaron Specialist Dorie Greenspan
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:
- David Lebovitz does some experimenting for you regarding the “set” or “no-set” macarons with a chocolate filling.
- Shuna from Egg Beater talks about the French macaron and method.
- Kuiadore may not have any recipes of macarons on her site (you have to take her classes for that!) but she’s got some heavenly pictures of macarons for inspiration!
- Chocolate Macarons with Peppermint Ganache from Dessert First
- Some Christmas-themed macarons from Mad Baker
- La Tartine Gourmand has some lovely step-by-step pictures for making macarons.
- Paris Breakfasts does an excellent job of painting these lovely beauties and even toured a macaron shop.
Any tips for me in making macarons? What flavors would you love to see in a macaron?
nyc/caribbean ragazza says
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.
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. ;-)
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.
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?
Susan at Stickygooeycreamychewy says
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!
Michelle @ Us vs. Food says
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!
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)!
The fleur de sel caramel macaron was my favorite as well! I blogged about it here:
jen of a2eatwrite says
Wow! What fabulous photos and thanks so much for this post – these look absolutely wonderful.
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!!!
Chez Denise et Laudalino says
Love them! Check these out!
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
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.
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.
my melange says
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 ;)
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.
Sara … sorry but i had to , u’re tagged … would love to read your meme. more about it on my blog.
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.
steamy kitchen says
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!
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 :)
Does anyone know if LADUREE delivers in Paris?
Seanna Lea says
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!).
Babette Wilson says
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!
What a fantastic sweet!
I’m just wondering how much is it??
is it expensive?
melange sucre says
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.
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.
Stephanie - Wasabimon says
I had a macaron week too, recently!
Thanks for this lovely post. I like having a page I can refer to for more information. :)
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.
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).
Deni Schutt says
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.
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!)
Jim M says
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.
Tianne Pierce says
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!
Francesca Maggi says
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
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.
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.
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
I’m happy Ree had such a great teacher present – Helene is an expert and I’m sure whatever she learned is spot on.
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