Let me just begin this post with the most important message: a macaroon is a nasty, coconutty lump of cookie that no one should ever eat; a macaron is a light, slightly chewy French pastry that everyone should have the joy of experiencing at least once in their lives. I have very strong opinions on dessert, particularly French ones because I love them so much. Loving them is a double-edged sword though; it’s fantastic to find a truly amazing treat that can spark your interest in sweets, but once you have a great dessert, attempts that don’t live up to their full potential are more than disappointing.
With this in mind, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Flavor Cupcakery‘s macarons. Their cupcakes have been generally satisfying whenever I’ve tried them, but being an amazing cupcake shop and producing phenomenal macarons are not two things that necessarily benefit one another. However, after several stops into their Cockeysville location, I couldn’t resist the candy-colored confectionery rounds anymore.
I never do anything halfway though, so instead of just trying one macaron to see what I thought, I picked out six. I went with flavors that ranged from fruity to decadent, and they all offered me something a little different when satisfying my sweet tooth.
Pistachio, the first flavor I tried, was light with the perfect amount of chewiness to it. With the touch of real nuts on top, this one had an obvious pistachio flavor without being overpowering. The fluffy whipped cream center made this the ideal treat for a hot, muggy summer day. As a Persian, I grew up on pistachios, and these brought me right back to nights spent filling plates with empty shells as I reveled in the crunch of a nice pistachio.
The Chocolate Chocolate macaron on the other hand was much heavier and denser than the subtle beauty that came before it. Instead of having cream on the inside, the two chocolate cookies encased a brownie-like center. It was good, but did not retain any of the delicacy I wanted. Out of all of the flavors I tried, this was the first one I would easily pass on and give up without lamenting the loss.
After these two very different takes on the macaron, I took a turn for the fruitier and tried the Raspberry. This one had a power behind it with the same lightness of the pistachio and a surprise jelly filling. I could eat this over and over again and still not have enough. It epitomized everything I desire from my macarons: layered flavors that still retain their simplicity and structure without being fussy.
Vanilla was another traditional macaron flavor that I decided to pick up. It had more chewiness to it than the raspberry, but the flavors were right there. The mildest of the treats I tried, this was another great one for summer as it was enough to curb a craving without being too heavy. It would be a nice choice for anyone who enjoys sweets without having too much loyalty to the sugar gods out there.
Even though the chocolate chocolate wasn’t what I wanted from a macaron, the Mint Chocolate flavor that I tried was fantastic. I know many people have an aversion to minty chocolate due to memories of toothpaste that it can dredge up, but it was not over-the-top at all. The cookies had a depth to them that would satisfy people that enjoy rich, darker chocolates, while the mint cream was subdued enough to just highlight the other elements of this French goodie. I would quickly pick this one up again whenever I stop in to Flavor.
The last of these surprisingly satisfying treats that I chose was the Cookie Dough. Although ice cream flavors and macarons do not automatically go together in my head, this was prepared was the same thoughtfulness as the others. Flavor did not compromise the integrity of the traditional macaron when it came up with this combo. Instead of including a delicate cream, a creamy cookie dough filling was sandwiched in the middle of this dessert. It might not have been a flavor that you could find all over France, but I was more than happy.
In spite of my initial hesitancy in trying macarons at a cupcake shop, I am definitely ‘Team Flavor’ now. For the most part, these treats were great odes to the macarons of France. The texture and flavor were both there, and I would enthusiastically pick these up anytime I am in the area. Roughly smaller than a silver dollar and coming in a number of flavors, there are always more than enough options for people no matter where they fall on the sweets spectrum. If you’re in Maryland, especially around Baltimore, Flavor is worth a stop for both their cupcakes and their macarons, so make sure you add it to your must-eat list and let me know what you think!