Sweet! Where To Get Macaron Day Freebies

The beautiful disc-like cookies known as macarons take Manhattan by storm today, March 20th, as we celebrate Macaron Day. Some of New York City’s best pastry shops are giving away freebies to sweet-toothed New Yorkers who stop by participating locations.

The macaron is no ordinary cookie, but the result of a difficult and long process that involves perfect timing and skill. Almond flour, sugar, and egg whites are folded together to create a delicate wafer-like shell that hugs a powerful interior, whether it is a ganache, a curd, or a jam. “Our chocolatiers infuse both the crispy, hand-made exterior and the smooth ganache with only the finest ingredients of each individual flavor, ranging from pure milk chocolate to fresh raspberry pulp.” says La Maison du Chocolat, the famous patisserie on 78th Street and Madison Avenue.

Francois Payard, owner of Francois Payard Bakery and the FC Chocolate Bar at the Plaza Hotel says that the ganache is key. “It is all about the ganache we create,” Chef Payard tells QuestMag.com. “We use the finest ingredients — different chocolates and different ingredients — to create special flavors. We are constantly testing the ganache to get the perfect consistency so it is stable inside of the macaron.”

The beauty of the macaron is that it can come in any color, flavor, and combination you could ever think of. And there are many. From caramel-sea salt to lavender, pastry chefs are always finding new flavor combinations to satisfy the masses. Forget about cake, let them eat macarons!

Tanya Ngangan, creator of Bisous Ciao Macarons on the Lower East Side, says it is the importance of sourcing high-end, great-quality ingredients (such as Valrhona chocolate, salt from Guérande, or violet petals from Toulouse), that makes her company unique. “We like to keep the original taste and textures of a French macaron,” she says, “but put a Downtown spin on them, which is evident in some of our flavors, like wasabi and mandarin, poppy, strawberry and basil, and even vegemite.”

Classic flavors such as dark chocolate can be found at Macaron Cafe, as well as rose petal, honey lavender, and Jasmine. Cecile, a pastry chef at the cafe, says the shop uses the best quality raw products, such as almonds from a specific orchard in California, and local butter.

Where to get your sweetie freebie today? Here is the complete list of participating bakeries in New York City. And not only is this event benefiting your sweet tooth, but also many of the participating pastry shops will be donating a portion of macaron sales to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization.

Image from La Maison du Chocolat.