Midwest macaron

Katrina from Baking and Boys suggested I do a google search for Parisian bakeries in my area. I live in Central Minnesota. There are no Parisian Bakeries here. Period. There is the ever popular Cold Spring Bakery 20 or so miles from here. If you’re looking for donuts, and sweet rolls, Cold Spring Bakery can’t be beat. The last time I was there I even saw some macaron but they didn’t look the least bit appetizing so I passed in hopes that I would find ‘the real deal’ sometime in the future.

Fortunately I make regular trips to Minneapolis and if a Central Minnesotan really wants a foodie item, almost anything can be found in the Twin Cities metro area. Following Katrina’s advice I googled ‘Parisian Bakeries Minneapolis’ and Chez Arnaud in Maple Grove is not only the closest to me, but pretty conveniently located not far off of I-494. It’s over an hour from where I live but since I was on my way to Minneapolis yesterday I decided to allow some extra time and hunt down my first ever macaron. It was an educational experience.

I’ve read about macaron everywhere, on the web, in cookbooks and in magazines. I’ve watched countless videos about how to make them, and I’ve read countless blog posts about them. I was insanely interested in this mysterious to me little cookie. My interest is now satiated. I had one. Okay I had more than one. I had to try each flavor that Chez Arnaud had to offer yesterday. No offense to Chez Arnaud but I’m underwhelmed. They’re beautiful to look at little cookies. They have a fascinating texture. Crisp or crackly on the outside. Soft and moist on the inside. The flavors didn’t grab me. The sales clerk told me theย  yellow one is lemon, the pink is strawberry, and the orange is pineapple mango. I couldn’t detect any pineapple in the orange cookie. I think it’s mango. The lemon had the most flavor and was my favorite even though I’m not sure it was lemon. The strawberry was good, not great. Perhaps macaron are an acquired taste? Perhaps the flavor profile would have been better earlier in the day? I think I made my purchase a little after four in the afternoon so maybe they are better fresher?

If I have the opportunity to try macaron again I will definitely give them another try. I won’t hunt them down, and definitely won’t be trying to make them at home.

All of that said. I picked up a Pain au Chocolat and had it with tea this morning for breakfast. I would definitely return to Chez Arnaud to try their croissant, breads, and pick up another Pain au Chocolat. The Pain au Chocolate was absolutely excellent, even a day old.

8 Responses to “Midwest macaron”

  1. DPLK Says:

    I would actually agree with you that the one time I’ve eaten macarons, supposedly from a reputable source, it was an underwhelming dessert to me–too sweet and almost gooey on the inside. I definitely wouldn’t go through the trouble to try to make them. I’d rather save my OCD tendencies on yet another chocolate chip cookie variation!

    • basicallybaked Says:

      I’m with you about spending the energy on chocolate chip cookies instead of macaron! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Katrina Says:

    Sorry you didn’t love the macarons. I more prefer the chocolate and nutty flavors–I’ve had a few that I just LOVE, but actually am not sure I’ve tried any fruity ones. A favorite was chocolate hazelnut. I love meringue cookies, do you like them? The crusty but hollow cookies is similar to macarons.
    Glad you found something you like though! Happy Birthday today!

    • basicallybaked Says:

      It’s okay that I didn’t love them! Now I can spend time obsessing about some other baked good! ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have a chocolate or nut flavor macaron to try. I’m guessing I would have liked those better than the fruit varieties.

  3. gloria Says:

    I will definitely find that bakery and try them and for sure the chocolate bread-I only live a few miles from MG. I’m not a meringue fan, but who knows. On your other brownie comment, I have not tried KA brownies yet. I saw Dutch cocoa at the grocery store and had sticker shock!…Maybe the alkaline tendency helps with the shiny crust? I’ll need to break down and try it one of these days. I noticed so many brownie recipes are almost identical. The changes I made to the one bowl brownies made them almost identical to Anna’s frosted fudge brownies to which you pointed me. No wonder they came out good!

  4. Maria Says:

    You should try the macroons at Sweets Bakeshop – they are delicious! They have rotating flavors, but I’d recommend the salted caramel or a cayanne one if they have it. I tried the lavender one and it wasn’t as good as the others. And while you’re there, get a cupcake too. ๐Ÿ™‚ They have shops in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

    • basicallybaked Says:

      Thanks for the recommendation! I was hoping someone would comment with a macaron recommendation in the Minneapolis area! I will definitely give them a try, and I really hope they have salted caramel the day I go! I’ll have a cupcake too, jut because you recommended it. Thanks again!

  5. Gloria Says:

    I went to Chez Arnaud’s last week. I purchased a salted caramel and a Lavender Lemon macaron. Also upon your recommendation I purchased a pain du chocolat. The chocolate bread was also my favorite. I just posted some comments about my experience at Chez Arnaud.

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