The Ultimate: Macaroon

By Donna Garlough | Boston Magazine |

***** 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,

Crumbled Under Pressure [The Runners-Up]:
**** Sportello: Tall and a bit too dense, yet redeemed by a supercreamy filling. 348 Congress St., Boston, 617-737-1234,

*** Flour: Large and rustic, with visible almond chunks, though rather sugary. 1595 Washington St., Boston, 617-267-4300; 12 Farnsworth St., Boston, 617-338-4333;

**1/2 L. A. Burdick: The superb almond-citrus flavor was marred by stale cinnamon. 52 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-491-4340,

** Aroa: Overly big, chewy, and sweet, despite the appealing varieties. 1651 Washington St., Boston, 617-425-4988.

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