Macaroons and macarons are two very different desserts. Macaroons are plump coconut morsels that are often dipped in chocolate. A French macaron is a little cookie sandwich, with the cookies made of a chewy and slightly crunchy meringue and held together by a silky and creamy filling. If you’ve never had a macaron – and you really should – Tracy Woodard of The Perfect Sweet in Warren bakes them up fresh at Hope and Main.
Tracy has deep roots in the East Bay: she’s a fourth generation Barringtonian. And what’s so special and fun about her macarons is that they come in an array of flavor combinations: blueberry meringue with Meyer lemon cream, chocolate meringue with chocolate filling, strawberry meringue with a lemon-strawberry center. If you can imagine it, Tracy can make a macaron out of it.
She also makes everything from scratch, including grinding almonds to make almond flour, the base of the meringue (which makes it naturally gluten-free). She’s also got thousands of hours of macaron research under her belt, which she brings to bear in every stir of the batter, folding of the cream and resting of the meringue. Macarons, notably, taste best 24 to 48 hours after they’ve been assembled, unlike other cookies that should be gobbled up as soon as they’re cool enough to eat.
Making macarons is also a form of therapy for Tracy, who owns RI Marriage and Family Therapy Center. While she’s teaching her clients about doing things for themselves, she’s actively practicing what she preaches. And we all get to enjoy the sweet fruits of her labor. Available at The Schoolyard Market at Hope and Main in Warren on Sundays (10am-2pm) or by ordering online.