in partnership
Macarons are sweet, meringue-based cookies made with almonds. They are typically filled with buttercream, jam or ganache. (Image: Jenny Kuglin / Seattle Refined)

Happy National Macaron Day!

The origin of the delicious macaron is a little murky; some give credit to the French, while others think the first of the delicate treats was an Italian creation. No matter where they were first baked, the truth remains that they are simply divine when done correctly.

National Macaron Day, or Jour du Macaron, is not just a day to indulge in sweet treats; many bakeries are also donating portions of their sales to charity. In fact, the holiday was started nine years ago in Paris by pastry chef Pierre Hermé as a way to raise money for charities across the globe.

Macarons are not easy to make. And be careful not to confuse them with macaroons; the extra "o" makes a big difference in the type of sweet we're talking about. Macarons are light and delicate, made with meringue and almonds. They're dyed in beautiful, bright colors and then filled with a ganache, buttercream or fruit jelly. Macaroons, with the extra "o," are generally made with coconut and egg whites.

Here are five places to find some great macarons in Seattle as well as a suggestion for which flavor to try.

Ba Bar: Passion Fruit
If you buy macarons at Ba Bar on March 20th they will donate 25% of the sales to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Le Panier French Bakery: Chocolate
A portion of every macaron sold at Le Panier March 20-23 will be donated to Southwest Early Learning Bilingual Preschool. They will also be revealing a new flavor!

Belle Epicurean: Pumpkin

Fresh Flours: Black Currant

Hiroki: Black Sesame

If you're feeling adventurous on this National Macaron Day and want to learn how to bake the delicate almond cookies yourself, here are five of my favorite recipes to try.

What's your favorite macaron? Let me know in the comments!