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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Mad Mac Macaroons

While most Americans don’t have to go too far to buy a tarte aux pommes (French apple tart) or a mille-feuille (Napoleon), one of the toughest baked delicacies to track down is a macaron, a French macaroon. Those fortunate enough to dine out often on haute cuisine may get a decent macaroon on a petit-fours plate. Sometimes you can find them at retail; but like Aesop’s fox and his grapes, the macaroons are often dull when they should be exciting.

A hasty note: We are not speaking of the type of macaroon that is a hearty, chewy, mounded cookie made with coconut (see Erica’s Macaroons, another Top Pick Of The Week). Those coconut macaroons are only one variation on the theme, having evolved from the original Italian almond paste cookie, which was similar to today’s amaretti (read the history of the macaroon). French macaroons evolved in a different direction, some into ethereal, filled, meringue-like cookie sandwiches—pretty, variously flavored and colored, a delicacy for a sophisticated table. Yet, not everyone has the knack for making them this way. We’ve nibbled on quite a few macs that have made us long for better flavor and texture.

One of New York City’s prominent patissiers, Florian Belanger, recognized the need for an alternative to droning, monotonous macaroons. He began Mad Mac to supply restaurants, hotels and retail pastry stores nationwide. Thanks to online ordering, you, too, can enjoy tasty bites of Mad Mac, in colors that make a special dinner or a party even more festive. Made from egg whites, sugar and almond flour, macaroons are often a better end to a fine dinner than heavier sweets. And they’re easier: All you have to do is open the box and put them on a plate.Read the full review, see more photos of these mad, fun macaroons and get a tray or two for your own festivities.

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