Continuing with the topic of gluten-free desserts, I have to admit that nothing makes my heart beat faster than a few tiny sweet confections known as macarons. Made out of almond flour, egg whites, and sugar, these naturally gluten-free delights look and taste so perfect! While the homeland of macarons is France, New Yorkers are lucky to have some of the world’s best pastry shops ready to serve their best fine dough recipes. As with any other delicatessen, there is a science that stands behind creating the best macaron possible (for instance, the cookie-to-filling ratio should be between 1:1 and 2:1 ratio). I am not a pastry chef and not even a baker, but as a regular macaron eater I know some places in New York that serve macarons just the way I love them, crisp on top and chewy in the middle. Okay, let’s start our “mmmmm list”!
1. Ladurée (864 Madison Ave.; laduree.com)
Ladurée is my absolute favorite place to shop for macarons. Created in the best traditions of French baking, this gorgeously decorated cafe provides so many macaron options that sometimes it’s really hard to make up your mind. You might be surprised to learn this, but the brand uses the same recipe that Laduree’s grandfather, Pierre Desfontaines, created in the middle of the 20th century. Monsieur Desfontaines was the first to have the idea of using ganache filling between two macaron shells and established the entire gastronomic movement of macarons lovers in the 2010s.
Favorite flavor: Pétale de Rose.
2. Macaron Cafe (303 Greenwich Street; macaroncafe.com)
Stepping away from an exclusively pastry shop, this cafe serves delicious lunch bites and a big variety of coffees. My favorite thing about this place is that they create seasonal flavors that are so unique and yummy (how does a pumpkin and violet flower macaron sound to you?). Macaron Cafe is also the land of ombre-colored macarons that make enjoying these sweet delights an even greater visual pleasure.
Favorite flavors: Creme Brulee and Dulce De Leche.
3. Macaron Parlour (111 St. Marks Place; macaronparlour.com)
If you’re a real foodie who loves experimenting with different flavors, this macaron shop is for you. While Macaron Parlour still serves traditional flavors, some of the fillings are so unique and incredibly tasty, you’ll never believe that macarons could taste so different from anything else you ever tried before! By the way, every now and then the store sells exclusive emoji macarons—if you want to try these, make sure to stock the bakery on Facebook as emojiroons get sold out in a matter of hours.
Favorite flavors: Elvis (peanut butter and caramelized banana) and Tiramisu.
4. Michel Cluizel (199 Madison Ave.; website: cluizel.us)
Created by a family of chocolate makers, this elite cafe and shop serves some of the best macarons in Midtown. This gorgeous cafe is located way too close to Ben’s office, so every time I visit him, we end up indulging in luxury handmade chocolate and macarons at Michel Cluizel. (FYI, we took photos for this post at the cafe so you can see yourself how pretty it is).
Favorite flavors: Lavender and Caramel.
5. Sugar and Plumm (377 Amsterdam Ave.; sugarandplumm.com)
This colorful cafe is one of my favorite meeting spots on the Upper West Side. The store has a smaller selection of macarons than others on this list, but it’s definitely worth checking out. In fact, it’s a perfect location to meet with friends who are not necessarily into macarons. Since this cafe offers a wide range of cakes, milk shakes, cookies, chocolate, and ice cream, it’s a perfect place for any kind of dessert lover!
Favorite flavor: Rosewater Lychee.
6. Baked by Melissa (2325 Broadway; bakedbymelissa.com)
Tiny macarons go even smaller at this dessert shop, famous for miniature cupcakes. In other words, if you’re a macaron lover who is trying to cut down on calories, this place is perfect for you. Each of those miniature macarons contains fewer than 50 calories, so you can trick yourself by eating your normal number of pieces (for me, it’s never less than three) while consuming half the calories. Sounds like a good deal, right?
Favorite flavor: Sugar Cookie.
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