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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pretty and petite: MaryClare Macarons.

A PERFECT BITE:  MaryClare macaron
My latest addiction… is macarons. I’ve never really had a chance to develop a macaron addition. Frankly, I’ve only had true macarons a few times in my life, because they’re just not available here. Or at least they weren’t, not until Mary Jo Selig and Clare Thomas Williams started up MaryClare Macarons a few months ago.
Now, we’re not talking about macaroons, the coconut-heavy cookie popular with the pedestrian set. These are fine macarons made from almonds, egg whites and sugar, flavored with great care and thought and thoroughly irresistible. A good macaron is light like a meringue, with a pleasant filling in-between the two halves.
But how did a couple of ladies from Hot Springs get started in the macaron business? I do apologize if I don’t get every detail right — I was talking with them while tastings abounded at our gathering at The Savory Pantry. As I gather it, Clare’s daughter was getting married and she wanted macarons as part of her reception. Much searching was done — but you know what? There just wasn’t any place around Arkansas that carried them commercially — and ordering them via the internet was expensive and  risky. Macarons are so delicate they shatter in the mail. They shatter on that first bite. Heck, they could shatter if you just look at them. Honestly.
So they started experimenting with making macarons, Mary Jo and Clare did. They started putting stuff together and came up with MaryClare Macarons in November of last year. It wasn’t until about March of this year though that they really got out there. Today you can order those macarons in so many different flavors — Lemon Tang, Lime Splash, Dulce de Leche Caramel, Obnoxious Chocolate and more.
The ladies were very excited about a recent foray out at P. Allen Smith’s place for the Garden to Blog event, where they used macarons in all sorts of applications.
Then they were waylaid by a bunch of us food bloggers on a Wednesday mid-morning. They’re doing some of our local wedding shows, too. I’m very interested to see where they go with this.
Me? Well, I took home a box of macarons. My daughter immediately claimed all the pink ones — Amaretto and Raspberry Beret alike. My husband took dibs on Chocolate Peanut Butter and anything that even resembled chocolate, leaving me with my favorite so far, Orange Dream.
Yes, there’s something lovely and delicate about citrus to begin with, but to create a delicious citrus flavor from almond paste, double it with a second cap and glue them together with something that tastes like a shelf-stable version of pineapple sherbet? Wow. Add in a flavor impact equal to a half a slice of your favorite cake? Mmm. And you know what? They're gluten free. Heck, they can be dairy free if you special order.
MaryClare Macarons are usually sold frozen. You can pick them up at The Savory Pantry or order them. I do believe they will deliver them… which ensures the likelyhood that you’ll get them intact. Indeed, I was regaled with stories of whole pans of macaron caps that had half disintegrated or fell or shattered. Such is life. Want some? Go check out the website.

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