Mac Attack

French macarons use their many charms to pull off a cupcake coup

Jamie Chung for TIME

Flavors like cassis, pistachio and lychee rose take on bright colors, while chocolate, chestnut and other varieties come in more natural hues

Ladurée, a new patisserie on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, controls a cult. Its members are fashionable women, the sort whose closets are filled with Louboutin heels and La Perla underwear, and they have seized on Ladurée's macarons as this season's It culinary accessory. Stop me if you've heard this story before.

Until recently the must-have confection for au courant New Yorkers was the cupcake, immortalized by Sex and the City and bus tours that stop at Magnolia Bakery in the West Village, where Carrie announced more than a decade ago that she had a crush on Aidan. But macaron (pronounced...

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