Meandering through an arrondissement (aka neighborhood) in Paris, you will inevitably stumble upon a la patisserie or bakery. With its aroma of fresh pastries laden with buttery goodness greeting you as you push open the door, you walk past the display case of croissants. Your destination is the counter piled high with trays of colorful cookies.
These are macarons, and quintessentially French.
Now, you can wander the neighborhood of 18th Avenue and Union in Seattle’s Central District to stumble upon a small, woman-owned bakery specializing in these bite-size treats. Alexandra’s Macarons, located at 1410 18th Avenue, fits the bill of a French neighborhood bakery. A gem on this local block and the sweet spot in Seattle.(Image:Richard Schmitz)
Alexandra Greenwald began her culinary explorations as a young child, surrounded by three sisters in a home of foodies. Cooking and baking became a central theme in her life – forming a passion at a young age as she came to see food as an expression and art form. It was during her middle school years when she stumbled upon macarons. Their bright, colorful, and whimsical appearance captivated her imagination. She describes it as “being hooked from the start”. Her baking canvas opened up to a world of possibilities.
Made from the simple ingredients of egg whites, almond flour and sugar, these treats become a palette in which chefs like Greenwald can create artistic and flavorful combinations. Inside her glass case, Greenwald displays flavors like Earl Grey, Lavender, and Rose side by side with traditional flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and espresso.
“Macarons are just simply elegant,” she said. “With simple ingredients, creating a versatility which is ongoing and boundless”.(Image:Richard Schmitz)
They are a small bite of sweetness that is fashionable, fun, delicious, and photo-worthy! A perfect finish to complement a savory meal or accompany a cup of coffee.