May 252010
 

macaroons

One of my co-workers is the antithesis of me. Her name is Kaitlin, and she’s really good at baking. The downside to working in the evening is that usually by the time I get there, everything  she’s brought in for the office has already been devoured, so I’ll have to sit there and listen to everyone’s verbal orgies about the lingering tastes in their mouths from Kaitlin’s delicately baked cookies.

As a self-proclaimed expert on the tastes of baked goods, keeping a polite smile on my face is hard when all I really want to do is start skulking around for crumbs.

But yesterday Kaitlin and Barb were thoughtful enough to make a little sample plate for me and stow it away in the fridge. It even said “Treats for Night Train” on it so no one would try and steal it. I’d have felt better if they booby-trapped it, or hired a ninja to crouch all spider-like against the ceiling in the kitchen, but if you’re confident a flimsy strip of Scotch tape is enough, then whatever.

“They’re macaroons,” Barb informed me before leaving for the day. I was a little let down. I was hoping for something more amazing, like something that maybe Lady Gaga could be found dunking in a delicate cup of Earl Grey with the Queen. (Something not from a sex toy line. We’ll save that for Sunday.) Something ritzy. Something exotic. Something made with lavender because I am still on a lavender kick and keep trying to convince Henry to put it in everything. (Lavender, not his dick.)

When I think of macaroons, I think of my Sunday school teacher wearing a shawl, surrounded by eighteen cats. (What? You don’t still think of your Sunday school teacher? You’re weird.) I think of hard coconut things. I think of your grandma’s wake.

I decided that I was going to just wait and take the plate home with me. Kaitlin has been saying that she wants to learn to take photos of her food and I was like, “OK! Just let me learn how to do that first. Then I will try to act like I know what I’m doing and teach you.” Originally, she was going to teach me to bake in exchange, but I think I would rather her do all the baking herself. Ovens don’t agree with me.

There I was, sitting at my desk, trying to get my work done, when two of the analysts decided to stop right next to me and gush about the macaroons. Now, these were two guys and not some blue-permed Eloise and Matilda wearing puffy-painted cat sweatshirts and fanny packs.

“Oh my god, did you try the coffee one?” the one asked the other.

“No, but I had a raspberry one and it was so fucking amazing,” the other answered back. There are raspberry ones? I thought.  I like raspberry things.

“I expected them to be hard like rocks, but then I bit into it and it was the perfect crisp, AND SHE MADE THOSE HERSELF!” the first one exclaimed incredulously, like this was the dessert version of Jesus Christ, getting Nazareth all up in arms. Let me remind you that they were right next to my desk, getting their bakery ejaculation all over my stapler. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were taunting me, trying to get me to cave and eat through the refrigerator door for my own set-aside allotment of macaroons.

Later in the night, one of the processors stopped by with two of them on a napkin (macaroons, not guys talking about them). “Special delivery for you!” she smiled. “I wanted you to get to have some before they’re all gone!” I examined the two round cookies as she placed them in my hand. “There’s a lemon and a chocolate,” she pointed out. “Sorry, I ate the last raspberry one! It was too good to save!”

I was about to mention that Barb had set aside a plate for me in the fridge, but now that these macaroons were eight inches from my face, I forgot all about honesty and was overwhelmed by glutton.

When she walked away, I tapped one. The shell felt hard, but its answer to my tapping was hollow. I took a small bite of the lemon one. The shell broke away crisply just like the one guy had said, but inside it was moist, cakey.  The filling between the two domes was light and lemony, which is a good thing since it was a lemon macaroon. I actually murmured (MURMURED!), “Oh my god.” The only other time this has happened was the first time I tried a cupcake from Vanilla Pastry Studio. The stack of conflict checks on my desk eschewed, I began thinking about putting Kaitlin and the Sugar Fairy into a ring and have them bake-off for my love.

I quickly placed the macaroon back down on my desk. This was clearly not the sort of delicacy you pop in your mouth and ingest in one bite, like some fucking mini Chips Ahoy.

Then I picked it back up. I looked at its innards real close and marveled that someone I know in real life could make something so fragile in her own kitchen, as opposed to being made by a magic French baker from 1874 with an oven heated by elves fanning burning coal. And of course I use “magic” as a codeword for “Satanic.”

Try to imagine back to that time a fairy gave birth atop your tongue to pure bliss and a sack of crack-coated laundered money, how happy and rich you felt with minimal cleanup.

Now you know what it was like to eat one of Kaitlin’s macaroons. Happy and rich, obviously, since I have to spell it out for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Happy and rich. Like I should have been wearing pantaloons and drawing a mole on my face while waiting for my turn under the guillotine. Who cares about death when there are MACAROONS.

Clearly, whatever I originally thought was a macaroon is not a real macaroon. I’m also pretty sure what I thought was a macaroon came packaged in cellophane from the grocery store and was made with cheap ingredients that even paupers would scoff at. (I’m also an expert on things paupers scoff at, as I’m dating one.)

As my taste buds panted in the afterglow, I began firing off a flurry of customary emails to Henry, informing him that he needs to learn to make macaroons because it’s the only thing I’ll be eating from now on.

Do you know how painful it was not to eat the entire fucking napkin afterward, like a goddamn goat?

And to come home with the plate Barb had left for me, only to spend another half hour setting up the lighting and fucking with the camera settings to get a photo for Kaitlin, when all I wanted to do was forcefully masticate the shit out of those little pastel bitches? In the end, I didn’t even care how the photos turned out. Chooch and I were too busy wading in saliva.

I think Kaitlin’s ‘roons* have rendered me retarded. The only thing I can say about the raspberry one is that I’d give up sex for life if someone promised me one of those a day. There was a REAL RASPBERRY IN THE MIDDLE! I was totally not expecting that and I really almost died.

I have big plans for Kaitlin. She just doesn’t know it yet.

*This is what we experts call macaroons. Also, I am so much of an expert, that I didn’t even realize I was supposed to be calling them “macarons.” I win at French stuff.

  16 Responses to “Apparently, Macaroons are my Faves”

  1. I love this story. And the photos. Do macaroons have coconut in them? I think that’s why I’ve never had one. Spending the rest of the day giggling about Henrys weener being stuck in lavender.

    • I always thought they did have coconut in them! I thought they were straight up coconut cookies, and hard ones at that! In fact, if I had seen the ones she made and no one told me what they were, I would never have known they were macaroons because I’m apparently quite backwards as far as the baking community is concerned!

    • It’s nice to know you thought of me and giggled.

  2. this story was hilarious! but Andrea has a point about macaroons, most people think it’s the cookie with coconut in it (i think it’s a jewish cookie?), but these are the french ones.. the ones that marie antoinette ate.. i LOVE macaroons.. there is a french bakery near me that makes them, but they sell them for $2.25 a pop! it’s crazy!!

  3. Please please PLEASE tell me you can get the recipes from her? I will totally and utterly fuck them up but after that review I will die trying…

  4. Those are so, SO difficult to make!! I take my hat off to her. I’m too scared to even attempt to make them. :) Aren’t they amazing, though?

    (even david leibovitz thinks they’re difficult, and he’s a genius:
    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2005/10/french_chocolat.html )

    • You know I’m not a baker (or a cooker), but even I could tell immediately that they HAD to be difficult to bake!

      And thanks for that link! I just found like, 8002 things I want Henry to try and make now!

  5. Do you know how painful it was not to eat the entire fucking napkin afterward, like a goddamn goat?

    Took everything in me not to pee a little after reading this. I did however frighten the cats with my obnoxious roar of laughter.

    Also, you made me really hungry. Thanks douche-cup!

  6. You have done it again. Incredible writing.

  7. I, too, thought macaroons were those hard coconut things in cellophane from the grocery store. With the brown edges. I do not much care for those at all. So you have opened my eyes to the world of real macaroons, and I will not attempt to bake them, but instead appreciate your photo of them, which came out really awesome.

  8. u look pretty with those food on ur face,lol

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