Our friend Kathleen is a major cookie monster. Knowing she was coming over, and since we were just up in Pacific Heights eating at the Elite Café (notes to follow!), we made a detour down to Boulangerie Bay Bread for what are hands-down my favorite cookies, Macarons de St.-Émilions. Not to be confused with macaroons, macarons are chewy, almond-paste based cookies infused with flavors (and, evidently, coloring), sandwiched around a creamy filling. The flavors are vibrant and true, but perhaps the most surprising element is the brilliant, almost psychedelic colors of the cookies once you bite through the much more muted outside. See, for example, the kelly green interior of the pistachio macarons in the picture above (click to enlarge). But what flavors: The coffee macaron is like chewing on a perfect cappuccino; the caramel is nutty and almost burnt tasting (in a good way); and the lavender is a taste of southern France, very floral yet not perfume-y. A buck fifty a pop, and worth every penny.
Boulangerie Bay Bread
2325 Pine St (at Fillmore)