Monday, May 19, 2014

Klara's Gourmet for National Macaroon Day - May 31

Disclosure:  I received samples of this product, at no cost to me, for review purposes.  I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions in this post are my own or those of my family.

I'd never heard of National Macaroon Day, which is May 31, until I received an email from Klara's Gourmet.  My husband is a huge fan of coconut macaroons, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try them.  I'm posting this early enough that you can order your own cookies if you'd like!

First, though, let me tell you a little bit about Klara and her company.  When Klara Sotonova emigrated from the Czech Republic at the age of 19, her dream was to own her own business.  That dream came true in 2006 when she opened Klara's Gourmet Cookies.  With recipes that have been handed down in her family for generations, Klara and her team make handcrafted cookies with real ingredients.

This year Klara's Gourmet has been honored as a finalist in the Outstanding Cookie category of the sofi Awards.  They are among 109 finalists (selected out of 2025 entries) across all categories, and one of only four finalists in the Outstanding Cookie category.

But let's get down to the bottom line:  the cookies.

We started with the Coconut Macaroons.  As I mentioned, my husband is a huge fan of coconut macaroons.  He described these as "the star of the show."  My son said he "really like[s]" them, and observed that they're not overly sweet.  The macaroons are sticky, even with a packet of silica gel in the package.  Our only negative is that some of the cookies were more well-done than others.  Overall, though, these are excellent coconut macaroons.

This is a Vanilla Walnut Crescent.  It reminds me of a cookie that my mom makes for Christmas, except that Klara's version is more tender, almost melting in your mouth.  The walnut flavor is mild.  This was one of my two favorites of the cookies we sampled.

Lemon Poppy Shortbread is a new flavor for Klara's Gourmet, and it was not our favorite.  The description says it has "loads of lemon," which is accurate.  The lemon flavor is strong, and it has an interesting depth.  I'm guessing that's because the cookies are made with lemon extract, lemon oil, and lemon zest.  While we didn't care for the bitter aftertaste, we appreciated that the cookies aren't overly sweet.  The poppy seeds didn't seem to add flavor, but they make the cookies look pretty!  I had one of these, the next day, with a cup of tea, and it was quite good, quite satisfying, that way.  It's possible that my initial impression wasn't as favorable because I'd just tasted one of the sweeter cookies.  If you love lemon, you will probably like these cookies very much.

Ginger Shortbread, another new flavor, was our least favorite.  We are not big fans of ginger.  The cookie does, indeed, bring "loads of ginger," and it has a depth of flavor as the Lemon Poppy Shortbread does.  These are made with candied ginger, crystallized ginger, and dried ginger.  The candied ginger (or the crystallized) adds some chewy bits of extra ginger flavor.  My notes, from our family tasting session, say, "Overpowering; has a spicy bite."  However, I had one of these with my tea, as well, and like the lemon, it was quite good.  If you're a fan of ginger, these are the cookies for you!

Chewy Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are similar to Coconut Macaroons, but with the addition of dutched cocoa powder.  This adds a rich chocolate flavor without increasing the sweetness.  I like them!  My husband prefers the original Coconut Macaroons, because he says the chocolate masks the coconut flavor.  He has always preferred his coconut macaroons without chocolate, so this was no surprise.

I started with the men's favorite cookie, and I'll finish with mine:  Chocolate Sea Salt Shortbread.  The dark chocolate is perfectly balanced with the sea salt flavor.  While my husband didn't care for the crunch of the salt crystals, I found it very interesting.  I don't know how they bake these cookies without losing the crunch of the sea salt, but the result is outstanding, different from any other cookie I've tasted.

To summarize, I'd say that the flavors of Klara's Gourmet cookies are full and distinct:  if you like a flavor--lemon or ginger or chocolate/sea salt--you'll probably like the cookie.  With the exception of my husband and the sea salt, we really liked the texture of all the cookies:  the chewiness of the macaroons, the crisp-tenderness of the shortbreads.  They are not even distantly related to the mass-produced cookies we buy at the supermarket.  These do cost more, but you're getting all natural, real ingredients in handcrafted cookies.  I'd consider them for a gift or a special treat.


  1. Don't think I have ever had a macaroon- but all the cookies you posted look delicious !

  2. It has been decades since I tried a macaroon. I didn't like it at the time so I've never even noticed them in the store. I wouldn't mind testing/tasting the brand you wrote about. I'm not sure I'd try the coconut variety again, but there are several cookies that look and sound divine.

    Great review, btw.


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