Today is Macaron Day in NYC, dedicated to celebrating the delightfully airy traditional French cookie (not your Grandma’s coconut clusters dipped in chocolate). This inaugural Macaron Day is the brainchild of Francois Payard, of Francois Chocolate Bar. From their homepage:
Macaron Day NYC is inspired by and will coincide with the 5th annual Jour du Macaron in Paris, created by Pierre Hermé.
Join us on Saturday, March 20 to discover macarons in New York as bakeries across the city come together to provide free macarons to customers.
To receive a free macaron tell the shop you are there for Macaron Day NYC.
Participating locations will provide one macaron per customer with quantities limited by location.
Want more macarons? At many participating locations, a portion of the day’s macaron sales will be donated to City Harvest. Indulge in macarons while contributing to the efforts of City Harvest. City Harvest (www.CityHarvest.org), which has been serving New York City for more than 25 years, is the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children.
This has certainly been a big year for the little cookie, whose popularity has been on the rise since late fall 2009. I know so many cooks who laid aside their customary Christmas/holiday cookie regime to try their hand at multiple macaron flavors.
Like most French cooking creations, the balance of the ingredients and instruction determines the success of the macaron. A great macaron has slightly crisp outer cookie layers that give way to a moist, more cake-like center. The creme between the two cakes must be sweet but not too sugary, and just the right consistency to hold the two outer layers together. Too much flour will make them grainy, if they sit too long in the oven they stiffen and lose the internal chew that melts in your mouth. Macarons are as much about the process as what you put into them.
I thought this was a great cause, so I purchased my batch at Almondine in DUMBO. They are truly top notch, and I will be going back soon for a baguette (they smelled amazing, but I couldn’t carry one around this morning!)