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French Macarons and Confections, a great gift for the holidays

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December has arrived and with it the holidays fill the air. Holiday parties are in abundance, shopping takes people's free time and the cold weather makes us want to sip on a cup of hot cocoa with a delicious cookie, macaron or other confection.

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French Macarons (one O) took Denver by a storm a couple of years ago and the crave for this little confection continues today. More and more bakeries, restaurants and specialty stores have them in their list of offerings.

Their delicate, crunchy, chewy, creamy texture is their strength and the pastry chef's constant battle. Achieving the balance between all is a lot more difficult than most would expect, specially in Colorado's dry weather. It is like learning to ride a bike, you can read the manual, others can tell you how it is done, but you will only learn its ways after falling miserably a few times (or a few dozen).

French macarons are gluten free and don't have any resemblance with the beloved Coconut Macaroons (2 O's). They are made with almond flour, powder sugar and egg whites; and filled with chocolate ganache, fruit jams, buttercream flavored with nut purees, caramel, coffee and more.

Here are a few places that offer them, of the many found around town:

Steam Espresso Bar, Dbar, Sugarmill (Grab and go or it in)

Restaurants: Coohill's, Crave, The Edge at the Four Seasons, Bistro Vendome.

French Macarons and other confections are as great hostess gifts, addition to the dessert table at any party or simple enjoyed with a cup of coffee on a cold winter afternoon.

To finish a great basket look for Ritual Chocolate and an already made box of gourmet local artisan products from Colorado Craft it.

Happy Holidays!

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