Macarons from Vanille
The macarons at Vanille come in a rainbow of colors and flavors.

The macaron may never take off in the States like the cupcake has, as much as we wish it would. First off, most Americans mistake the delicate Parisian confection for a macaroon, one of those chewy coconut dessert-tray pariahs. Second, a good macaron takes a while to make and suffers from diminishing returns the longer it sits. But the adorable pastel meringue sandwiches—made of egg whites, almond powder, and sugar and filled with cream or ganache—keep gaining traction in smart restaurants (Ria and NoMI) and bakeries (Vanille Pâtisserie and Sarah’s Pastries & Candies). The best we’ve found around so far reside at Bennison’s Bakery (1000 Davis St., Evanston; 847-328-9434), where they dissolve upon contact with your tongue.


Photograph: Anna Knott