Saturday, March 20, 2010
Happy Macaron Day everyone!
This year macaron day falls on a Saturday, which is unfortunate since I'm not in the habit of blogging on weekends. However, I couldn't just let it pass unmarked so here I am, prying myself away from my usual weekend chores (WOO!) and yes, I have macarons.
Though, I didn't bake these macarons. I bought them! No, not at a fancy bakery, at Trader Joe's. Yes, the quirky little grocery chain with ceder walls and Hawaiian shirt garbed crew. That Trader Joe's.
I was there today stocking up on my usual TJ's staples and lo and behold in the freezer case I notice a box of Trader Joe's macarons! Of course I was instantly curious about mass produced macarons. It is my macaron fanatic duty to test any that I come across.
So after a long morning of errands I get home to a nicely defrosted box of macarons which I immediately tear into.
Awww, some of my macarons are smooshed. Oh well, they're delicate cookies and that they're not all mangled is probably a blessing.
So I dig in. Happy Macaron Day to me!
Naturally the first one gets sliced open with a sharp knife, I want to see the interior of this cookie.
Ah ha! Air pockets. I'm feeling better now. They're small pockets though and the shell does contain a nice fluffy interior.
So I try the chocolate. It's not too bad, the texture is better than expected for a frozen/defrosted macaron. The shell is fairly crisp and the interior is nice, though a tad chewy. Forgivable since these are chocolate macs, the addition of cocoa does change things a bit.
The flavor is nice and I like that it isn't too sweet.
Next I try the Vanilla.
These are quite nice. I'm pleasantly surprised by the light and delicate texture. Not bad for a mass produced frozen macaron. The taste is sweeter and a bit reminiscent of vanilla filled wafer cookies. Not a bad association because I love wafer cookies, though that particular flavor is a little unexpected.
Overall I like the light and custardy taste of the vanilla, a bit more so than the chocolate. (Though I certainly wouldn't kick the chocolate out of bed.)
Verdict: I'm not going to go all food snob on these macs, I actually liked them. They were far better than expected (Though I admit to having pretty low expectations going in). Would I buy them again? Probably not, after all I can easily make them fresh from my own oven and frequently do.
However if I lost both my hands in a freak llama attack and I was doomed never to bake again, then yes I'd probably make a point of picking these up.
Price: $4.99 for a dozen
(Rumor has it they are not available at all locations, so call ahead if you're planning on making a long trip.)