French Macarons - from TRADER JOE'S??!! (moved from L.A. board)
Yes, and they are good. You heard me right. I can't believe it either, but they're good. They're frozen, cost $4.99 for a dozen (only 2 flavors, chocolate and vanilla) and I'm shocked to tell you that after being left out at room temp for 30 minutes, they're flavorful, crisp, chewy, and shockingly good for what they are. I've had the world's best French macarons in Paris from Pierre Herme' and Laduree, and no, the TJ's version is not in their league. HOWEVER, Paulettes for example, ought to be ashamed of themselves because these, though not better, are way too close considering that they're #1, frozen and #2, dirt cheap. Sure there are only 2 flavors, but at least you don't have to deal with an aggressively snotty French person at Paulettes when purchasing them. Hey, they're not transcendent, but if you need them in a pinch, they're accessible, and dirt cheap.
I bought two boxes and was underwhelmed. For one thing, the cookies are tiny and I didn't think for the size they were particularly cheap. One box had several dried out, broken cookies even though the cellophane wrap was intact. (I know TJ's takes returns, but I live too far from the store for that to be feasible.) I thought they tasted okay but would not buy them again.
I agree...nowhere near amazing, but quality is pretty exceptional for the price. The chocolate ones overwhelm my palette...the vanilla ones are good. I've been going to the Epicure Warehouse sale, and have been purchasing the ones there...a box of about 50 for $52 dollars...way better than Paulette and cheaper, too. Try them...Epicure Warehouse sale is the Friday and Saturday before Mother's Day in North Hollywood. Get some truffle butter and foie while you're there, too :)