When I found out that March 20 was Macaron day NYC, I got really excited for a moment but then realized that I probably would not be able to participate in its yummy goodness because of classes and meetings I had scheduled for the day. Still, I shared the link on Facebook so that even though I couldn’t take part, at least other people could. Others also expressed interest and excitement for these delightful french cookies, especially those who weren’t in New York. That’s when it struck me: I’m really lucky to be here in New York where celebrations and events like this happen often and it’s usually just a train ride away.
So, even though I came home late from a long day the night before, I was determined to visit as many of the participants as I could in the morning, before my day officially began at 9 am.
Macaron lovers, those not in New York and those who missed out because of work, this is for you!
I must say, the only reason I sacrificed a few more minutes in my warm bed for a macaron scavenger hunt was mainly because of a HUGE macaron craving I had. I mentioned this to a friend earlier last week and was surprised by MACAROONS instead, which were just as amazing but not quite the same thing 🙂
It’s an honest mistake: both are cookies! However, besides the clear difference in appearance, macarOOns (mac-ah-roon) are made with egg-whites, sugar and coconut. They are often dipped in chocolate for a finishing touch. MacarOns (mahc- ah-roan) are sandwich-like meringue cookies, getting its light, airy texture from a meringue base consisting of egg-white and fine sugar, and finely ground ALMONDS. Note the difference in the use of almonds versus coconut.
Amazing how much difference one “O” can make!
So thanks to the A,C,E and 1 train, I was able to visit 5 locations nearby in just an hour with time to spare before heading to class.
Yes- while everyone else was on their morning commute, I was on a morning hunt for macarons. 🙂
Here are the stops I made:
1) Bouchon Bakery at Time Warner Center
I got there right when it opened at 8 am to find several others waiting for their usual breakfast spot to open. For Macaron Day NYC they were offering mini vanilla macaron samples. To get a sample though, customers were required to make a purchase so I got one of their regular size caramel macarons (10% of the sales today goes to City Harvest ). Their macarons come in two sizes: mini $2.25 and regular $3.50. Their regular size (pictured below on right) I would say is about 2 inches in diameter and their mini is about 1.5 inches. The sample (pictured below) is much smaller and just a bite (probably just 1 inch in diameter)
This had a salted caramel taste instead of just caramel. Reminded me of the last time I had awesome salted caramel gelato. Since I love caramel I didn’t mind but it was surprisingly “strong” for what I expected from a macaron. Still glad I was able to try something new!
Bouchon Bakery at Time Warner Center Ten Columbus Circle, Third Floor New York, NY 10019
2) Next, I stopped by Francois Payard Bakery for the first time ever (he is the chef who organized the first annual Macaron Day NYC). Unfortunately, even though they were open when I stopped by, they were not offering free macarons until 11am.
Francois Payard Bakery 1775 Broadway at 58th St New York, NY 10019
3) Then I stopped by the Todd English Food Hall but they were not opening until 11 AM and I would already be in class by then.
The Todd English Food Hall 1 W 58th St at the Plaza Hotel New York, NY 10019
4) I also stopped by the FP Patisserie (another Francois Payard shop), also at the Plaza Hotel, but they also weren’t open for business until 10. Their displays were lovely though! This and my second stop is probably worth revisiting as he is the chef who had the idea of this day.
FP Patisserie 1 W 58th St at the Plaza Hotel New York, NY 10019
5) Last but not least, Macaron Cafe.
Although Macaron Cafe is the first place I visited, I wanted to save the best for last. They were open at 7am as noted on their website and when I visited at around 730 (that sounds really early now that I type it), I was greeted with the sweet aroma of a cafe, fresh-out-of-the-oven macarons and no line. It was nice being rewarded for being an early bird! Of course, I got my favorite: pistachio and with no strings attached. They didn’t ask me to make another purchase and simply gave me a free macaron for Macaron Day NYC festivities which may “discourage sales” but… rest assured I’ve been here many times before and will be back many other times in the future.
Today’s pistachio macaron
Besides the fact that they have beautifully made and equally delicious macarons for a reasonable price, I love their quirky and cute packaging and presentation. The macaron I got today had a metallic sheen/glaze! Even last year’s macarons (pictured below) had clover sprinkles.
Nom Nom Nom.
Macaron Cafe never disappoints. They’re conveniently located near me and around the city and have always offered a no fail surprise gift for when I visit friends (both guys and girls alike)!
(this one I got wrapped in Boston/Harvard colors 🙂 back in October)
Macaron Cafe- 161 West 36th Street New York, NY 10018
other locations: http://macaroncafe.com/
It always brings a smile to their faces!
After my hour long Macaron Day adventure, I got to class all energized and ready for the day with macarons in hand. My classmates were jealous ;P
I’m thinking I will have to learn how to make macarons (and maybe macaroons) soon. There are only so many macarons my student budget can buy especially if I ever try the famous Ladurée macarons (No, I’ve never been)!
More on macaron day NYC here
*Keep in mind I went in the very beginning of the day and this is just my experience!*
How was your macaron day nyc? Favorite flavors?
by the way… Happy first day of spring 🙂
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if we only seek them with our eyes open” -Jawaharlal Nehru
Things I love, yes love