Houston's Top 5 Macaroons

The macaroon is a sort of existentially confused food. In France, a macaroon is a colorful cookie sandwich. In the U.S., we generally think of coconut macaroons first, but they are often made with nuts as well. Rumor (or Wikipedia) has it that in Australia, macaroons often have a jam filling - so jealous! At any rate, screw the cupcake fad - here are five of the best macaroons in Houston.

5. Three Brother's Bakery You can't tell from the outside, but the recently reopened Three Brother's Bakery has a sleek new interior. Like many desserts here, the macaroon is a classic. It's moist, almost creamy, baked brown on the outside and dipped in chocolate on both ends - a combination that never grows old.

The rest, after the jump.

4. French Gourmet Instead of petite pink macaroons or knobby coconut morsels, French Gourmet sticks to pecan macaroons. They're small, round, firm on the outside and chewy on the inside. If you like nuts, you'll like these.

3. Rustika Even though Rustika is known for its empanadas, it's difficult to come away from the bakery without a macaroon. Rustika's macaroon gets the top prize for sheer size, measuring in at the same diameter as a baseball. These excellent coffee companions are buttery and sugary with the plump coconut shreds achieving a nice golden toast on top. Try one warmed up with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

2. Kenny & Ziggy's Sadly, the macaroon at Kenny & Ziggy's is the only item in the restaurant that isn't oversize. With coconut, studs of chocolate and nuts, a chocolate bottom and powdered sugar dusting, it's the showiest interpretation of the macaroon on the list, yet it actually has incredible balance. The ingredients meld together evenly and, in a way, this macaroon is a richer, thicker version of the chocolate chip cookie.

1. Andre's This golden brown lump of superfine coconut is shaped like a computer mouse, and it's so moist, it's sticky. It falls apart at the touch and sticks to the paper bag it comes in, your fingers and the plate. It's heaven. The crust, where the sugar has caramelized like the first day of fall, is the best part.

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Nikki Metzgar
Contact: Nikki Metzgar