Thursday, December 15, 2011

On the Fourth day of Christmas... For the Macaron Lover

Macarons have been such a huge part of my life the past two years. I have developed a small library of books on the subject, any of which would make superb holiday gifts to the macaron enthusiast. All these books are a joy to look through, so even if your macaron lover never plans to make them, they will still enjoy reading about the process and possibilities. 

First is the new Les Petits Macarons which I was so impressed with I have already given out a copy to a lucky Culinary Librarian reader! This is a very "giftable" book, as well. An inch thick and about 6" square this book would look great open with macaron batter smears on it or kept pristine as a coffee table book. You can read more on why I love this book in my posts about it here and here

Next up is Mad About Macarons! by Jill Colonna. I won this book from Jill from her blog- I found out I had won while I was IN Paris! I really like how straightforward Jill's recipes are. This would be an excellent book for a baker who really wants to get to baking macarons right away, it is the least fussy with plenty of mouthwatering photos. Pair this with a simple kitchen scale like this

One of my favorite macaronneries in Manhattan is MacarOn Cafe. Both locations of this little cafe are chic and welcoming. I especially enjoy spending a little time at the 59th/Madison Avenue location before heading to events at FIAF. Anyway, Cecile Cannone has a book for how to make macarons her way titled Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes from Macaron Cafe. I've only attempted her recipe once in my early macaron-making days but it is a good little volume covering all their favorite flavors. This holiday season they are offering this clever little macaron kit that includes a copy of the book, piping outlines, almond flour and powdered sugar, pastry bags and a tip and food colorings. The perfect gift set for anyone ready to make macarons at home! 

And finally I offer to you my first macaron book that I received last year with my food processor (most recipes will recommend processing the almond flour and powered sugar together): I Love (Heart) Macarons. This is also a good starter volume with especially helpful troubleshooting and then decorating/presentation ideas. This book along with Macarons and Mad About Macarons! all include recipes for using up those endlessly leftover egg yolks- an absolutely necessity! This is the least expensive of all the books and wouldn't be a bad idea to pair with any of the above books. 

I own all of these books and consult each of them for different things during my macaron making processes. You can mix and match different shells with fillings from other books and combine decoration ideas, etc. I'm glad to have each in my library and any true macaron lover would certainly be overwhelmed to receive all at once as a gift, but would truly be grateful to have all of them over time. I also happened upon these cute macaron ornaments yesterday while shopping at Sur La Table- so wrap up these four books in paper, tie them together with ribbon and slip one of these ornaments into the bow-- Parfait! 


Jill Colonna said...

What a great post, Mary. Thanks for your kind comments about Mad About Macarons - so glad you find it straightforward, as that is what I wanted to get across in the book. Why make life complicated? Enjoy a wonderful festive period with tons of macarons!

The Culinary Librarian said...

Thanks Jill! Love the book! I'm excited to make many many more macarons in the new year! It is a goal to crank them out with the ease you do! Merry Christmas!