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Tasty pictures of decadent Paris pastry

by Michael on June 22, 2012

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If there is a heaven, surely the bakeries are French. There are so many patisseries in Paris that it’s difficult to walk a block without the smell of butter wafting out of an open doorway. The locals are rather picky about their Paris pastry, which keeps the standards high. During our stay there we made it our mission to try the best of what the city has to offer.

Paris pastry Maison Larnicol Kouignettes

Kouignettes

These little beauties were all the rage on our most recent visit, a sort of French take on the sticky bun. A mini-version of the classic Breton kouign amman: take an already buttery layered pastry, slather it with more butter and sugar, then roll, slice and bake in a muffin tin. The filling oozes out the bottom during baking creating a caramelized gooey/crunchy crust. Available in about 10 different flavors (such as raspberry, pictured above), but of the six (yes six!) we tried we liked the classic butter and sugar the best.

Paris pastry crumb pistachio cherry

Pistachio cherry thingy (Michael's official name for it)

We never did get the official name of this drool-worthy coffee cake from Pain d’Epis on the Avenue Bosquet. But it had a layer of ground pistachios, fresh sour cherries and a buttery crumb topping that somehow managed to be crunchy and cakey at the same time. It was so good we went back for more, 3 times.

Paris pastry macaron

Pistachio Macaron with Honey Buttercream

To some, Paris pastry reaches its true heights with the macaron. Possibly our favorite pastry of Paris. (Note: do not confuse these with those chewy coconut macaroons your great-aunt Tilly used to serve at holidays.) Take two large macaron bases (egg whites, icing sugar and ground pistachios), sandwich them around honey-nougat buttercream (which is as good as it sounds), sprinkle candied pistachios on top and eat. Classic French pastry meets the Whoopie Pie. Yum!

Paris pastry Mcdonalds macaron

McDonalds cafe

Hard to believe it but that’s the pastry section at a McDonald’s pictured above. In a city like Paris, even the fast-food places have to take it up a notch.

Paris pastry pot au creme with beignets

Pot au creme with beignets

What’s a chocolate pot-au-creme without a few freshly made mini-doughnuts to nibble on? This combo was so rich even dedicated chocolate lover Larissa couldn’t finish it.

Paris pastry almond croissant

Almond croissant

The above picture answers the eternal question: what does an almond croissant look like after spending a day in the bottom of a backpack. It still tasted good.

What are some of your favorite French desserts?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony June 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

I don’t have any great suggestions (other than my Parisian favorite of a hard French roll stuffed with slightly softened brie, which doesn’t quite qualify as pastry), but I do have one comment — the French display their pastries, and food in general, as if it’s part of a museum collection, as Mike and Larissa have shown. And if you’re taking it away, they’ll wrap it like you just purchased an expensive Christmas gift instead of that almond croissant for 1 euro 50. What a country!

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Michael June 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Gusto,

Does this mean you like France as much as Italy now?

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MissElaineous June 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

1) Perhaps you guys could get jobs with Food & Wine as photographers. These shots are drool inducers.
2) The English Muffin I prepared while reading this no longer up to par. And its Thomas’.
3) Come home. Thats enough!

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Michael June 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Regarding #3, we can’t. We’re getting spoiled.

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John Discepoli June 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

Please send a dozen Pistachio cherry thingy’s to me. Thank you!

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Michael June 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Better yet, why don’t you come over to Paris and pick them up yourself?

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Barbara June 25, 2012 at 9:16 am

YUM. They look fantastic.
I have to confess I only ate pastries once during nearly a month in France! The baguettes were so good, I never tried anything else.

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Michael June 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

You’re right Barbara. Sometimes a warm, crusty baguette and a stick of salted butter are just enough.

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Jim @NeverStopTraveling June 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

If you guys keep eating like this you’re going to have to get the seat-belt extenders for your flight home!

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Michael June 28, 2012 at 9:04 am

Maybe we should take a cruise back.

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Bethaney - Flashpacker Family September 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm

This looks like absolute heaven! Creamy, carby and sugary. The holy trinity of desserts.

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Michael January 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm

You got that right Bethaney.

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Adam January 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Looks delicious! I’m hoping to get back to Paris this year —mostly just to enjoy the food :)

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Larissa January 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm

And you could indeed just spend years enjoying the food there :)

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Lillie - @WorldLillie January 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm

LOVE these photos. Bumping my nose against the computer screen… :)

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Larissa January 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I know what you mean-I can remember what they taste like just looking at the photos. . . which is a good thing, ’cause that makes them calorie-free ;)

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Steve January 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I was resisting letting my mouth water reasonably well until I got to the Pot au creme with beignets. Delicious photos.

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wandering educators January 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm

YUM, yum, yum, yum, yum. Time to book a flight…

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Jennifer January 22, 2013 at 9:56 pm

God I love macarons. The only problem with this photo display is that it’s NOT good for a certain New year’s resolution; I’m breaking into the donuts stash now!

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Michael January 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Hey,

You made it 3 weeks, that’s pretty good!

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Cole @ FourJandals.com January 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

I hate you! Well not really, but you did make me soooooo hungry and jealous :) Yummy photos!

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Micki January 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Oh, now those look good, especially the raspberry kouignettes. I’m so jealous right now!

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Linda @EcoTraveller January 26, 2013 at 7:02 am

Aw man, I really miss the bakeries in Europe. Nowhere does pain au chocolat like Paris.

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D.J. - The World of Deej January 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Just a few of the many reasons why I love Paris:)

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LeX @ LeX Paradise January 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I love all of it! I never miss macaron every time I visit Paris ;D

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