April in Paris

 macarons vs macaroons
Ah, bounjour! Oui, I'm at it again, and when I say it I mean arm-chair traveling via my laptop. Oui, I also am a little concerned and realize I do spend an extraordinary questionable abnormal  amount of time traveling [without actually leaving the house or getting on a plane, yikes!] but if you've read any of my previous posts [not hinting, well maybe] you would know that I am crazy to go to Paris. I imagine myself  [actually I imagine myself as Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina] strolling down Champs Elysee, having a café au lait at an outside cafe, viewing the Eiffel Tower, L'Arc de Triomphe, gazing upon the Mona Lisa at le Louvre, meandering through  Le Cimeliè re du Père-Lachaise (must pay my respects to Jimmy) and of course, hands down, the highlight of my trip, eating les macarons au Laudrée and Hermé, but what can I say, it just does it for me, but it's pretty cool. So, since I cherish all things French, I thought I would try making le French macarons at home... makes sense to me, no?

 During my pseudo travels to Paris I  have come across a treasure trove of information (mostly do's and don'ts) on how to make these little babies. Perhaps it would be easier to actually go to Paris and buy them than to make them myself as I have an abhorrence for anything with a lot of rules,(or fussiness) but on the other hand I do enjoy a challenge! it's not you, it's me, but the photos did me in...I was smitten.
We need to chat for just a bit about macarons and macaroons. Apparently one letter (o) makes a big difference, I know, right? Macarons are high maintenance compared to their American cousins (?????) and come with a list of rules, macaroons are effortless and can be made with one hand tied behind your back. Both are almost achingly sweet, but not over the top.

Macarons have a meringue and almond base, are as fragile as an egg shell and sandwiched together with some sort of ganache, butter cream, jam or curd. They are light, elegant and sold in the best Parisian pâtisseries.
Macaroons are sturdy little mounds of sweet coconut, reminiscent of the candy bar [minus the chocolate coating] are a cinch to bake at home,found in most grocery stores and are a big hit at bake sales. 
Try them both and let me know which you prefer, d'accord [alright]!
coconut macaroons

French macarons


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