Juarez 262 – Puerto Vallarta
9 pesos (apx 70¢ US)
Cookie options are pretty grim in Puerto Valarta. As I’ve mentioned before, while Mexico is certainly capable of great dessert feats (tres leches cake, flan, amazing handmade popsicles [paletas] using a staggering variety of flavors and ingredients), cookies are, while indeed in abundance, not awesome. Much less than awesome, in fact. But I am not writing today to dwell on the negative; for more on the dire state of Mexican cookies, read THIS.
It was by accident that I found myself in this particular candy store while walking in Old Town Puerto Vallarta last week. I planned and researched nothing for this trip, which I took spontaneously, with 4 days notice, completely on a whim – inspired by not much more than an oppressive cloud of Portland-in-January deep doom and gloom. In a nutshell: cheap flight + free lodging + slow workload = me suddenly in PV with nothing better to do than swim, eat guacamole, drink superstrong and colorful drinks and…look for cookies. Because let’s be honest, when am I not looking for a cookie?
Technically, because I found this at a dulceria (translation = candy store – which, incidentally, is family owned and has been around since 1930),this macaroon might actually be considered a confection – not a cookie. But you could say this about any macaroon, really. And since I’ve reviewed other macaroons on this site, then I say it safely falls under “cookie.” A cookie need not contain flour or be baked in an oven to be a cookie, Si?
By the way, Dulceria Leon is kind of fantastic – and absolutely worth a visit. They make an astounding variety of traditional Aztec style confections: candied nuts, seeds, milk candies, taffies, caramels, sweet and spicy hot tamarind, jellied mangoes and other fruits in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Check out this Youtube video of the owner and his son demonstrating their candy-making in a big copper drum. (I also picked up some candied pepitas with sesame seeds (made in this copper drum) that are excellent and I regret having bought only one packet. Sooo good.)
• It is a damn MOUNTAIN of a macaroon. See above photo with egg for scale. Massive.
• The coconut shreds are the biggest I’ve ever seen in a macaroon. I wish they were a little finer. Also, I prefer a toasted coconut, but non toasted is not a deal breaker.
• Note the yellow color. Upon further Mexican macaroon research, I’m gathering that this color is due to the addition of eggs. Any macaroon I’ve made or eaten before does not contain egg yolks – only whites. I suppose this adds to the richness, but I find it unnecessary. Not bad, just unnecessary. Coconut is plenty rich and unctuous on its own, without the help of egg yolks.
It is a mouthful, for sure. I nibbled it off and on for 2 days. Chewing it worked my jaw to the point that I could only withstand a pinch at a time. Built-in portion control. I left half of the cookie behind, not because I didn’t like it – but simply because eating it was exhausting. I’m kind of joking, but kind of not.