Hanukkah doesn't begin until December 20, but we've already been researching how to stand out at the dinner table (these things are important, and we don't like to worry). Coconut macaroons, typically the bane of a sugar-loving Jew's existence, have been reinvented into something decadent and crave-worthy in the hands of Chona Piumarta.
A veteran of Slanted Door's pastry department, Piumarta opened The Pastry Cupboard's first retail shop about three months ago (and also sells to wholesale customers like Rainbow Grocery). Her coconut almond macaroon is the size of this writer's fist and offers the same satisfaction as tackling a too-rich slice of cake or pie. Honey and egg whites provides a meringue-like top that snaps into a super buttery mound of coconut slices (but there's no butter listed in the ingredients). It does not give us bad Passover flashbacks.
Forget macarons, it's time to re-examine macaroons.
The Pastry Cupboard 1596 Market (at Franklin), 864-2755