My friend Susan is the person responsible to turning me on to French Macarons. A trip or three ago she asked me to go to Laduree and pick up a box of Vanilla and Strawberry ones for her. I had seen them in the local markets, noticed them in shops, but never been interested enough until I was on a mission for her. The markets that carried them, had traditional vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, not very brightly colored and were just not that interesting, Laduree, however, was another matter! With flavors of Pistachio, Cassis, Red Fruits, Lemon, and Raspberry, colored so that one could tell the flavor, they were a veritable jewel box of sweet little cookies. I had a hard time selecting. One taste and I was smitten, though Jodi finds them too sweet. That makes me laugh, this woman who likes both pecan and sugar cream pie, pies that I think are over the top sweet, finds these little jewels too sweet! In several repeat visits Susan has asked for more. Sometimes I could oblige and others not, but I have to confess, that I managed a way to indulge myself each trip. One of the most exciting classes for me in my recent trip to Paris was my macaron class! In the time honored way of the nurses creed: “see one, do one teach one”, I was ready to teach Susan how to make macarons! She came over and we baked together. This is huge for me as I do not ordinarily share my kitchen very well. But we baked together and had a good time. The caramel filling, normally a challenge to me, this time, in spite of several aborted beginnings, we got right! It was fabulous, buttery, just a hint of salt, and perfect between the café shells Pino at Cookin with Class taught me to make! We made both Cherry and Café with Caramel Buerre Sal. I think it a rather excellent way to pay back my introduction to Le Macaron!
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