By Erin McMurrough
Never underestimate the cravings of a pregnant woman. When Dani McCloskey, 30, moved back to Watkins Glen and became pregnant with her first child, she experienced tremendous cravings for French macarons. Macarons (pronounced maca- ROHNS) are light and airy sandwich cookies that manage to be both crunchy and chewy but their satisfying texture is only part of the allure. Macarons tempt first with their variety of flavors, vivid colors and Instagram-worthy aesthetic. Dani became obsessed with the delicate dessert while living in New York City and frequenting Macaron Parlour on Saint Marks Place; she was unable to find anything close to those beloved macarons in the Finger Lakes.
Dani’s husband, Coleman, offered a do-it-yourself solution: He bought a mixer and all of the tools needed to make macarons and Dani got to work. After studying tutorials on YouTube and practicing her recipe for months, Dani posted a picture of her macarons online and sold her first dozen for $15. Word of mouth grew and the power of social media propelled the business forward. Dani says, “Without Facebook, P’s Macarons would not exist.”
P’s Macarons, named after Dani’s daughter Paisley, opened in Horseheads in June 2020—shortly after Coleman lost his job during the pandemic, which allowed him to shift his focus to the bakery. “It ended up being a blessing in disguise,” Dani says. “This business is everything we have.” Today Dani and Coleman spend full time at the bakery, sharing responsibilities 50/50. Each individual macaron represents the couple’s partnership: Dani creates the light and airy shells while Coleman creates the flavorful buttercream filling.
The cheerful and bright bakery in Horseheads features white walls and counters to allow the rainbow colors of the macarons in the display case to take center stage. Dani bakes 40 dozen macarons a day and often sells out before the afternoon. Popular flavors include Fruity Pebbles, Strawberry, and Chocolate Cake Batter and they have also launched a gourmet line with flavors like Lavender Honey featuring honey from in Hector, NY, and Mocha Espresso made with coffee from Seneca Sunrise in Watkins Glen.
Partnering with local vendors and using local ingredients whenever possible has always been important to the business. P’s Macarons is collaborating with two Seneca Lake wineries—Bagley’s Poplar Ridge and Castel Grisch—to create bespoke macarons to pair with their wine flights. And The Great Escape ice cream in Watkins Glen is offering macaron ice cream sandwiches with shells around four times the size of the traditional macaron.
This summer, they are expanding their existing space with P’s Macaron Gardens, a grassy outdoor area that will offer bubble tea and macaron flights as well as crepes on the weekends, ensuring that guests can keep their macaron cravings in check.
P’s Macarons, 18 Ithaca St., Horseheads, (607) 331-8782
Erin McMurrough is the editor of Edible Finger Lakes. She dreams in sparkling wine.