The Ultimate: Macaroon
***** Formaggio Kitchen
Airy, delicately flavored French-style macaroons (a.k.a. macarons) are a far cry from their coconut-laden cousins, and they have Boston pastry-hounds singularly smitten. While these sophisticated sandwich cookies are now easy to find, they’re tough to get right—many we tried were dense, sugary, or just too big. With macaroons, as with matters of the heart, delicacy is everything. Take the house-made versions at Cambridge’s Formaggio Kitchen, for instance: These feather-light confections hide a not-too-rich filling between two crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside almond cookies, with a natural (not Technicolor) hue. Raspberry, which has a jammy fruit center, is perfection, but the chocolate and pistachio varieties come awfully close. $2.25 apiece, 244 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-4750, formaggiokitchen.com.
** Aroa: Overly big, chewy, and sweet, despite the appealing varieties. 1651 Washington St., Boston, 617-425-4988.