“Yes, going to Paris is definitely on my ‘bucket list,’” says Mary Katherine Wyeth, the baker/ owner of Prep Confections, Greenville’s very own made-by-hand macaron business.
It’s an interesting twist, considering her colorful morsels are a legendary pastry specialty in the City of Lights. Lore has it that in 1792, two Benedictine nuns whipped up batches of this heavenly crispy cookie made from ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar to support themselves during the French Revolution.
A former private chef, Wyeth wasn’t originally enamored with baking, feeling slightly intimidated by the perfection it demands. “In culinary school, we learned that baking is basically science; in fact they call them ‘formulas.’ A few years ago, I picked up a macaron cookbook and made a batch, which turned out great. Beginners luck, because it took me five times to get it right again,” she says. “Everything matters: the exact temperature of the oven, the humidity in the room, the consistency of the batter. If it’s not exactly right, nothing will come together.”
FLAVOR PROFILES // Wyeth’s macarons come in a variety of flavors: chocolate, pistachio, lemon lavender, salted caramel, and a few seasonal holiday offerings.
This holiday season, Prep Confections will be offering special flavors—candy cane and eggnog—in addition to the staples: lemon lavender, chocolate, pistachio, and salted caramel. The spectrum of fashion-worthy shades ranges from pastel rose to deep, dark chocolate brown, and Wyeth has even created promotional macarons for local businesses like Michelin (blue and yellow) and Pure Barre (red). “People don’t know what to expect when they bite into one, but they’re five layers of crunchy, airy, chewy, creamy, and crispy—all at once,” she laughs.
Recently, home décor shop Vintage Now Modern (651 S Main St, Greenville) has been carrying the gluten-free goodies in beautiful boxes of six and twelve. Wyeth is happy to do custom orders from 24 to 750 or more for special events, and will also create custom flavors.
Suffice it to say, Wyeth’s macarons have been well received. She relays a story from September’s Indie Craft Parade: “One lady actually broke down in tears when eating one, because it reminded her of her trip to France.” Très bon, indeed.
Prep Confections // (864) 431-1522, prepconfections.com