At the height of the cupcake revolution, someone somewhere [read: I don't remember where I saw it] proclaimed the French macaron as the new cupcake. Now, I’ve been on cupcakes since I first learned of their awesome existence because I’m freakishly obsessed with cake so I wasn’t really feeling the whole new proclamation [I believe I scoffed when I first read that] and wrote it off. Because, really? A macaron? It’s just a pretentious cookie. A pretentious cookie that looks like Spongebob’s Pretty Patty.
But then the macaron just about exploded all over my computer. I was seeing them EVERYWHERE. On Yumsugar, Tastespotting, Serious Eats, everywhere and suddenly I became obsessed with making them, even though they do have a reputation of being temperamental, but that made me want to try it even more. Taming the diva of cookies? Who doesn’t want to do that?
I rolled the idea in my head for a while and then finally decided that I should probably try them out before making them, just so I knew what to expect. So I stumbled to the Ferry Building and picked up a few macarons from Miette: rose, chocolate, vanilla and I think strawberry. I forget since this was a few years ago. I was excited: I’d finally be able to try this dessert I had been hearing so much about and was sure I would like.
I took a bite and: nothing. They were not good. Well, that’s not true. They were just okay. The cookie was overwhelmingly meringuey and dry and just not appealing. Lindsey and I were not impressed and I was thoroughly disappointed. No way could this cookie be the next cupcake.
And so I dismissed the macaron and gave up on making them. Why would I make something that I wasn’t so excited about?
Then during our St. Helena eating tour I decided to give the macaron another shot while at Bouchon Bakery. And oh my goodness. Thomas Keller, you have made me a believer. I finally understood the deliciousness of the macaron. The cookie is light and chewy and totally not meringuey like the ones from Miette. It was just sweet enough and before I knew it, it was gone.
Oh Thomas Keller, how I love your heavenly macarons
Since then, I have become slightly obsessed with Bouchon’s macarons. So much that I’ve developed a sort of Pavlovian response to them. Especially with Bouchon only being a 30 minute drive from the house, it’s really easy [and tempting] to pop on over on a whim for a macaron fix. Yes, I am now quite adept at driving to Yountville for macarons.
I want to be best friends with Chef Keller because he must be awesome to make such an amazing cookie. Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about those macarons. While I’m not relinquishing the cupcake’s throne as of yet, I do totally welcome the macaron into the pantheon of desserts.
Can I have my macaron now?