Here are some sweet treats from Atlanta area bakers that are good for any time, or for the holidays.
Macarons from Carousel Macarons
Who knew macarons didn’t have to be round? That’s just part of the genius of Eser and Oguz Kucukseyhan, the creators of Carousel Macarons. Eser lived for many years in France, where macarons became a passion of hers. When she came to the U.S., she realized she’d have to create her own macarons to enjoy the high quality she’d come to expect. Not content just to pipe some ganache between two round cookies, each of her macarons has a customized filling. Even the everyday macarons have extravagant fillings, like the chocolate ganache, caramel sauce and toffee bits that fill the chocolate macaron. Regular flavors include dark chocolate pomegranate, creme brulee and strawberry cheesecake. The Christmas macarons are made in various shapes, and the flavors will be hot chocolate mocha, peppermint candy and gingerbread. With the delightful crunch from their shells and the melt-in-the-mouth truffle-like filling, we couldn’t find anyone who didn’t swoon over these.
$13 for a box of five, or $25 for 10. Go to carouselmacarons.com to shop, or to find out where to purchase them in person. Christmas macarons will be available through Dec. 17; pricing for them is still to be determined.
Tins of cookies from Curly Sue’s
Sue Jones is the “Curly Sue” of Atlanta-based Curly Sue’s Cookies. She learned to bake by making cookies alongside her mom, and now she offers her customers cookies in traditional flavors with unexpected twists, such as milk chocolate sugar buzz and espresso chocolate chip, as well as old-school favorites, like holiday spice snickerdoodles, which might have been the favorite of our taste testers. Such a simple cookie requires the best ingredients and perfect baking, and these snickerdoodles hit the mark. Another seasonal offering is her apple pie cookie. The cookies come in an assortment, packaged in pairs in cellophane bags, and are available in a bakery box or a seasonal tin. For those times when you want to bake your own cookies, Jones has created Hot Out of the Oven cookie mixes in three signature flavors.
$24.95 per pound of cookies; $29.99 for an 8-inch cookie-filled tin; $24 for a pair of 24-ounce boxes of cookie mix, enough for 24 cookies each. Available for delivery from curlysuescookies.com.
Big cookies from Sugar Loaf ATL
Just over a year ago, Lindsay and Nebi Berhane turned a mutual love of baking into their Atlanta-based business, Sugar Loaf ATL. If you visit them at the Avondale Estates or Piedmont Park farmers markets, you’ll find their cookies, alongside biscuits; waffles flavored like churros and served with dulce de leche ganache; and “sticky buna,” topped by caramel infused with Ethiopian coffee. The flavors reflect the Ethiopian and Albanian heritages of the couple. The cookies do not disappoint. Our favorite is the ginger toffee (totally right for the season). They include little chunks of crystallized ginger that the Berhanes candy themselves. The ginger melts into tiny pockets of intense sweetness, complementing the buttery dough and the crunchy salt crystals sprinkled on top. You can get oatmeal cookies with coconut and chocolate chips, and chocolate chip cookies with enormous chips, house-made salted toffee and, yes, another sprinkle of crunchy salt crystals. These cookies are big, but we think you’ll have a hard time sharing one.
$25 for a dozen 4-inch cookies. Sugar Loaf ATL can be found at the Saturday Green Market at Piedmont Park and the Sunday Avondale Estates farmers market. Information on holiday orders available at sugarloafatl.com.
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Credit: Georgia Department of Economic Development
Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com