Macarons are a European treat that the French and Italians both claim they invented. Sumptuous enough to be a dessert choice at fine restaurants, yet light enough to be a breakfast selection, macarons are the king of cookies. They come in many varieties, besides the traditional almond, as patrons of any of these top five spots in Connecticut to buy macarons will happily attest. A variation on the macaron, macaroons are also extremely popular, typically boasting the coconut variety.

La Petite France
967 Farmington Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06107
(860) 231-9255

La Petite France bills itself quite properly as “A Traditional French Bakery and Cafe.” The bakery mouth-wateringly describes their macarons as “small French cookies made with almond flour.” The macrons are usually available in chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut/chocolate, raspberry, coffee and pistachio, but the bakers like to experiment with what they call “seasonal flavors.” As the bakery says on the website and menu, La Petite France is “Your Parisian Escape,” and one bite of any of their luscious macarons will bring those familiar with the City of Light back in time to their last visit to the French capital.

Libby’s Italian Pastry Shop
139 Wooster St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 772-0380

Libby’s Italian Pastry Shop has been around in New Haven since 1922, and while everything baked there is authentic and wonderful, the cookies are so spectacular that they have branched out to set up a separate business just to handle the demand for their cookies. Libby’s Cookies bakes all of their cookies fresh daily at their Wooster Street bakery, and among the many (mostly Italian) varieties are their coconut macaroons. These delightful swirls are drizzled with chocolate, are are only one of 300 varieties of cookies they offer!

Sweet Maria’s
159 Manor Ave.
Waterbury, CT 06705
(203) 755-3804

Sweet Maria’s is famed for its chocolate almond macaroons and its coconut macaroons as well, which are equally as large and moist. The shop has won award after award for those and for its butter cookies, biscotti, amaretti, gingerbread, sugar and holiday treats. Sweet Maria’s also bakes cakes, but its wide assortment of amazing cookies make it well known and most honored, having been awarded the “Best Cookies in Connecticut” honor for the last ten consecutive years running.

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Gold’s Delicatessen and Bakery
421 Post Road E.
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 227-0101

Macaroons are big at Gold’s Delicatessen and Bakery, especially during the Jewish holidays. The bakery offers them in four varieties: almond, chocolate almond, coconut and chocolate coconut. Proprietors Jim and Nancy Eckl bake many of their cookies and other baked goods themselves, but also carry a strong line of cookies and other treats “imported,” as they say, from some of New York City’s best-known bakeries.

Claire’s Corner Copia
1000 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 562-3888

Claire’s Corner Copia is primarily a sandwich shop, but its double chocolate macaroons are the toast of this Yale community’s favorite food hangout. Although Claire herself says her trademarked Yummy Goodness Cookies are her best cookies, the double chocolate macaroons are the cookies that dominate the cookie counter, at least as long as they last.

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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at