It came to my attention that I left some very important bakeries off of my first blog post about Dallas’ best macarons (if you missed it, you can read it here). Since I couldn’t leave the country with the city’s potentially best macarons untasted, I grabbed my friend (who wrote the blog on macarons in Paris) and we set out to do some taste testing. In the process we learned the secret about what makes a great macaron.
First stop: Haute Sweets Patisserie. We met Tida Pichakron (you may know her from Food Network Challenge’s Extreme Pirate Cakes and Sugar Inventions with Kerry Vincent), and she made our experience especially sweet. As co-owner and pastry chef, she’s passionate about her craft and took the time to teach us the difference between their macarons and others (the secret’s in the meringue.)
I love that Haute Sweets supports local businesses– from using Noble Coyote brand in their coffee macarons to a freezer full of Pop Star popsicles, this patisserie loves Dallas and it shows.
But as wonderful as Tida was… the proof’s in the pudding (or meringue as the case may be).
We sat in the shop chatting with Tida and watching the bakers through the window as we split a half dozen macarons. Here’s the verdict (first 3 are the ones I chose, last 3 are LeeAnn’s choices):
Cookie Butter: Trader Joe’s is a major weakness of mine… so when you add TJ’s Cookie Butter into a perfectly made macaron, you just about reach perfection. Plus, I loved the fun blue color!
Passion Fruit caramel: There’s something about passion fruit that adds just a hint of the exotic. It takes me back to Israel, where there are frozen passion fruit drink machines every few shops as you walk through the markets. This macaron had the perfect punch of flavor in both the cookie and the passion fruit flavored caramel.
Earl Grey: I’ve never thought to pair tea with chocolate, but after eating this Earl Grey tea macaron with chocolate ganache inside, I think I’ve wasted so many years drinking tea alone! It’s the perfect rich flavor to complement the soothing tea flavor.
Strawberry: LeeAnn’s favorite! It tasted just like eating strawberry cake, and the strawberry jam was homemade!
Red Velvet: The buttercream made this macaron taste just like a whoopie pie. So good!
Salted Caramel: LeeAnn thinks Carette’s salted butter caramel macaron in Paris is the best thing she’s ever eaten “Holy Ever Loving Cow!! This was very likely the most amazing thing that I have ever eaten in my entire life,” but Haute Sweet’s was definitely not bad!
After trying these delightfully crisp, yet chewy, treats with just the right amount of filling, we concurred that we could end our tour right then!
To be fair to the other shops we visited, we were so in love with Haute Sweets that nothing could really compare.
We visited Joe the Baker at the Coppell Farmer’s Market, which is only open on Saturday. As a class of 2004 Coppell High School graduate, it was nice to be around my old stomping grounds. Downtown Coppell feels like a beach town and the farmer’s market is the place to be! We enjoyed meeting Joe and sampling his gluten-free zucchini bread (2 thumbs-up from gluten-free Leeann!).
We also tried the 6-pack of macarons, which looked beautiful, but were a little too crunchy and didn’t have quite enough flavor for my liking. One of the other vendors was raving about Joe’s Big Mac(aron), a giant macaron cake, though, which sounded great! Joe also teaches all kinds of baking classes at a very reasonable rate. I really enjoyed learning about him and his passion for what he does.
Next, we stopped by Chocolate Secrets, which is the coolest shop! They frequently host jazz musicians, french classes, wine and chocolate pairing classes and chocolate making classes. We tried a variety of macarons– the green apple had a Pop Tart-like filling and tasted a little stale, but the popcorn, tiramisu, strawberry, and café had a fresher texture and flavor.
It was certainly a sweet day! Have you visited any of these bakeries? What’s your favorite macaron flavor? And can you please ship a box of Haute Sweets macarons to me in Italy?