Why the Macaron is Everywhere and Where to Get One in Chicago


The Macaron is everywhere. A colorful french cookie, it is available in pastry shops across the US. The opportunity to pair unique flavor combinations, have made it a favorite of both bakers and foodies. The cute technicolor treats are also photogenic, and have become a popular feature on Instagram. Like the doughnut, it’s even been declared “the new cupcake.”

Stack of Cappuccino Macaron
Cappuccino Macaron

Macaron vs Macaroon

Although both the macaron and macaroon are usually gluten-free, that is where the similarity ends. Macarons are meringue sandwich cookies that have a remarkable texture. The exterior is delicate and crunchy, which gives way to a chewy finish. The imaginative macaron fillings range from fruit curds, to ganache or buttercream . Alternatively, a macaroon usually refers to a coconut macaroon, a chewy cookie made with coconut, egg whites and sugar. Since they do not require flour, they are a popular Passover dessert.

Three Macaron
Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Cappuccino Flavors


The original merengue cookie was brought to France from Italy in 1533, by the chef of Catherine of Medici. In the mid-twentieth Lauderee, one of the original Parisian tea rooms created the modern interpretation of the delicacy. A merengue sandwich cookie with filling. In 1993 a patron bought, promoted and expanded the business, including a shop on the Champs Elysees. The brand’s exquisite macaron boxes are a symbol of luxury. They are now Lauderee shops around the world and online.

Macaron Flavors at the Bakery
Macaron Flavors


In Chicago, one of my favorite spots, is authentic french patisserie Vanille. Located in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods, this acclaimed bakery’s artisanal desserts include a line of macarons. Traditional macaron flavors include nutella, red velvet, rose and lavender. Seasonal favorites range from strawberry- lemongrass to gingerbread.

Bennison's Bakery Sign
Bennison’s Bakery


Chicago Magazine recognized my local favorite, Evanston’s Bennison’s Bakery as having the best macarons they had found. This week’s flavors include cappuccino, salted caramel, and pistachio, as well as fall favorites pumpkin and taffy apple.

Pumpkin Macaron on Pumpkin Pie
Decorated Pumpkin Pie


For more dessert ideas read my articles about Chicago’s Cellar Door Provisions, and my recipes for hot chocolate, tiramisu and dutch babies.


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