The first time I ever had a macaroon was in Beauvais airport outside Paris as I was about to leave France for what I thought would be quite a long time. On my way out of Paris, I stopped by this little patisserie on the corner close to my hostel to pick up some treats for the plane ride back to Ireland. I think I'd stopped at the same patisserie at least every day of my short visit, probably to pick up an almond croissant or a baguette or something I couldn't pronounce (example: mille fuille).
Anyway, back at the airport I hastily pulled out the chocolate macaroons. As I bit into one, I fell head over heels. The chewy, fudgy texture was somehow delicate, the chocolate was sophisticated and cocoa-y. I somehow managed to save the other macaroon (yes, I knew to buy two!) for my sister who was back in our apartment in Dublin. A fellow pastry and chocolate enthusiast, she too swooned over the petite delicacy.
Fast forward five years. My sister and I are back in the states, living an hour apart. I just happen to buy some almond meal at the store one day, my subconscious sweet tooth hinting at macaroons in my future. And lo and behold, my sister and I happen to have an afternoon together--one that would be perfect for making macaroons.
Martha's Baking Handbook, my new favorite cookbook. The recipe for the cookies was spot on, but I would definitely swap out a different frosting. Her recipe calls for Swiss meringue buttercream which I found to taste almost like whipped cream. The macaroons I had in Paris were sandwiched with a dense, silky, almost chewy filling. Find the recipe here.
Oh, and the chestnuts I roasted were not good. I don't know what happened, but they tasted rancid. Gross.