The French macaron (not to be confused with the more traditional coconut macaroon) is the prima donna of the bakery case. Derived from the Italian word maccherone or maccarone, meaning fine dough, the French or Parisian macaron (pronounce mah-ka-rhon) combines egg whites, ground almonds, sugar, and food coloring to create tender, perfectly rounded outer shells that sandwich a thin, creamy center made from a variety of flavors, from fruit to pistachio. The ideal treat has a smooth shell, a ruffled “foot” (at the base of each shell), and a filling that doesn’t extend past the cookie’s edge.

French macarons have long been a staple at the best patisseries in Paris, and they’re now showing up in American bakery cases. Look carefully and you’ll find macarons across the Denver area. Our favorites (in flavors such as deep chocolate, vibrant strawberry, and robust vanilla-bean) are found at D Bar Desserts, while the sweets with the most delicate texture and form grace the cases at Les Delices de Paris and Katherine’s French Bakery, Cafe & Catering.

D Bar Desserts: 1475 E. 17th Ave., 303-861-4710

Les Delices de Paris: 600 S. Holly St., Suite 101

Katherine’s French Bakery, Cafe & Catering: 728 S. University Blvd., 303-282-5888