The bright, colorful French confections that end almost every Michelin-starred fine dining experience have gone mainstream. Like frozen yogurt and cupcakes before them, macarons are getting their own specialty shops, and cafés everywhere are baking them fresh daily. Not to be confused with little coconut snowballs (the name with two “o”s), these cookies are light, airy meringues filled with flavored ganache, buttercream or jam. Creative varieties, such as basil white chocolate and rose petal, in addition to traditional raspberry, vanilla, cassis, salted caramel and pistachio, make them irresistible.
In the past year alone, Le Macaron has launched two boutiques on the Paradise Coast, one at the Miromar Outlets in Estero and one that just opened at Mercato. Marie Tascher, a local baker, sells her freshly made line, Gourmandises (239-595-5600), each Saturday at the Third Street South Farmer’s Market.
Grain de Café (239-594-8081) has a rainbow of options from Le Boudoir in Miami. Owner Isabelle Frittoli (a pastry chef who makes the rest of the eatery’s menu from scratch) says she chose to carry Le Boudoir’s because they “have the exact right amount of ganache.”
For all their striking beauty, macarons are known to be devilishly tricky to make. Still, if trying your hand at it sounds appealing, spring for a class at Norman Love Confection’s Fort Myers location. The next three-hour session dedicated to the petite sweets is May 15 and costs $95 per person. Or you can always sample their professionally done concoctions daily in both the Fort Myers and Naples stores.