A good time to repost this!
One of the few, real-world benefits to readers of DessertBuzz is that when you get invited to a holiday dinner or birthday party you can bring something that the hosts and attendees will actually appreciate rather than another random bottle of wine which, to me, is the fruit cake of dinner party gifts. So if you really want to rock your hosts’s world (I am looking at you boyfriend-who-wants-to-get-in-with-the-girlfriend’s parents) read on.
In 2010 I discovered all kinds of macarons. These small French cookies should not be confused with their shredded coconut siblings, macaroons, which are commonly eaten around Passover since they can be made without flour and leavening. As it happens, I discovered two really great makers of macaroons, both outstanding, one vegan.
Comparing a Lily Bloom gourmet macaroon to the garden variety macaroons found on supermarket shelves in a can is kinda like comparing the Four Seasons to Red Roof Inn. They both do the job but one is a little embarrassing.
Until this year’s Fancy Food Show, I had no idea there was even a super premium category for macaroons, which is really my bad since I run a dessert blog in New York City and people here might like to know about a product like this.
So what makes a these macaroons so good exactly? Glad you asked. For one thing, the ingredients are all top notch. The chocolate macaroons have a very nice, rich dark chocolate flavor that comes from plenty of real cocoa powder and cocoa mass. On the white chocolate raspberry version, the dark chocolate coating is very dark and to me tastes very high-end. Each chocolate macaroon is topped with either a slice of candied orange peel or a bit of sweet cherry. And unlike most macaroons they aren’t gummy but have an almost pastry-like quality inside.
The white chocolate raspberry macaroons, which are only partially dipped in the aforementioned excellent dark chocolate are equally as delicious. Usually, I would recommend one over the other but in this case I suggest you just buy a box of each, if only for aesthetic reasons. The Lily Bloom Kitchen website lists a number of other flavors such as peanut butter (which has to be good) but I only tried these two.
If you bring a few boxes of these to your future in-laws you will be in like Flynn.
Available in New York City at William Poll on the Upper East Side or you can order them from their web site.
The Lily Bloom Kitchen Web site is here.
The second gourmet macaroon to be aware of is also available available on the Upper East Side and this one is vegan. The main benefit of this macaroon is that it’s truly a “light tasting” dessert. Here’s what I wrote a few month’s ago:
The Vegan Divas coconut macaroons were superior to any full butter-and-egg-containing macaroons I have tried. If all macaroons tasted like these they would be as ubiquitous as chocolate chip cookies.
The main difference with these macaroons is that they were very light but about twice as flavorful as normal macaroons. They contain no flour and are made with arrowroot (a starch many chefs use as a thickener). For example, if you ate the whole container of 4 (that might happen) you wouldn’t feel like too much of a pig.
Coconut macaroons (box of 4) $6.95
The entire Vegan Divas vegan dessert line is available at Buterfield Market, 1114 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10075-0379, (212) 2887800
The macaroons will also be available at Francois Chocolate Bar, 714 Madison Ave, 4th floor (212) 759-1600.
The Vegan Divas web site is here.