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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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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