Honore Artisan Bakery
1413 NW 70th St. – Seattle
Yes, that’s right – there is coconut happening here. But as you can see by the photo, this cookie, to be sure, is a macaron – not a macaroon.
That is to say, it is not in any way a coconut macaroon a la Red Fox Bakery, as recently reported. Rather, it is a Parisian macaron, using shredded coconut in place of the typical ground almond. I realize the word “coconut” in the title may be misleading. So…don’t be misled. It’s not a macaroon. It’s a macaron. Are we clear?
No? Well, I’m going to spare you a lengthy definition of macaroons and macarons because I figure if you already know, then I’ll be boring your pants off, and if you don’t already know, then you can look here. Ever since I was first introduced to this style of mac (only about 6-7 years ago), I have eaten – um…more than a couple of them. Often credited to the reknowned Ladurée of Paris, there has been a relatively recent explosion of this particular version of the French macaron “sandwich” in the U.S. – after being virtually non-existent here until the past decade or so. And, like any other cookie genre, the range and quality des macarons ranges drastically. I have tasted macarons flavored with pistachio, rose, pumpkin, rhuarb, chocolate, grapefruit, apple pie, curry, green tea, scotch whisky, violet cassis, salted caramel – to name a few. And while the most common filling seems to be an accordingly-flavored buttercream (which can be great if done properly -i.e; not too much butter mixed with the sugar – and a little salt, please!), I usually prefer the macarons filled with a simple smear of jam, caramel, lemon curd or ganache.
Like this one, from Honore. In the photo below, you can catch a glimpse of the dark, candy caramel filling. (I’m not sure why I failed to get a solo shot of the cross section; the chocolate-almond and green tea shortbread discs sharing the plate, which had originally seduced me with their solid, buttery looks, ended up being too disappointing to warrant mad cookie props. So unless you love a salt-free and fairly bland piece of shortbread, go ahead and save yourself the money and calories by skipping those if you happen to find yourself at Fresh Flours Bakery in Seattle.)
But back to the caramel. Yeah, it was salty, buttery, chewy and just the right ratio to the crispy- and also chewy – (but in a different way) coconut meringue shells. As much as j’adore les almonds (man, I really do love the shit out of almonds), I appreciated the nut variation here. Because if you want to know the truth, I’m also a little bit coo coo for coconut.
$2 is a tad on the steep side for a wee macaron (they seem to typically top out at $1.50). With that said, it’s more than 50¢ better than many $1.50 macarons I’ve eaten. So, chew on that.
In sum, I liked it a lot. Très agréable!