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Cook the Book: Saffron-Cardamom Macaroons

There are so many foods that we associate with France. Croissants, baguettes, brie, foie gras—the list goes on and on. For me, nothing embodies the essence of France more than the hamburger-shaped French sweet known as a macaron. Those who are fans of macarons are surely familiar with Pierre Hermé, the godfather of macarons, based in Paris. While his macarons are perfect texturally and taste-wise, they are most distinguished due to the flavor combinations that Hermé uses: rose petal, wasabi and grapefruit, and jasmine, just to name a few.

Macaroons are more common in the U.S. than French macarons. The macaroons that we know start out with a traditional recipe of whipped egg whites and sugar, adding shredded coconut for a pleasingly chewy texture. Monica Bhide, author of Modern Spice is a big fan of both maracons and macaroons, and has included this recipe for Saffron-Cardamom Macaroons in her new cookbook. These Indian-spiced macaroons might give Hermé a run for his money.

Note: Don't use wax paper when baking; it will smoke in the oven. Parchment paper works best here.

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