Owner of Mac Daddy Macarons bakes love into every cookie…
along with beauty, color, and presentation

By Hilary Dartt • Photo by Don Baltzer Photography

Since she was a child, baking has been a love language for Kelly Gallegos. Now, through her business, Mac Daddy Macarons, she bakes love into every single cookie she makes.

French macarons, meringue-based sandwich cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, confectioners’ sugar, and fillings, are “having a moment right now,” Kelly said, in large part because they’re nice to look at. Kelly initially wanted to learn to make them even though she’d never tasted one, because “they’re just beautiful.”

She’s made macarons for many special occasions, including baby showers, gender reveals, family events, store grand openings, VIP dinners, and graduations. The cookies are great for weddings, too, and because they come in almost any color and flavor—and can be turned into interesting sculptures like cubes and towers—they make perfect edible decorations and favors.

Before Kelly, a mom of two daughters, 16 and 20, started her business about a year and a half ago, she spent a year perfecting her macaron recipe. Macarons are finicky, she said; ruining a batch is as easy as folding the batter three too many strokes, not whipping the meringue long enough or whipping it for 30 seconds too long, or failing to account for humidity.

But after making tons of cookies, she’s learned the tricks and enjoys experimenting with colors and flavors for every palate and occasion. She brings in her family to taste test her new flavors, and has made peach streusel, cookies and cream, coconut, spicy chocolate, pistachio, lavender, pumpkin spice, strawberry, lemon, blueberry, and more.

Kelly’s love affair with baking began years ago, when her grandma, an “adorable, charismatic, full-blooded Czech lady” taught her how to make Houska, a traditional Czech Christmas bread they’d often give as a gift. Kelly was one of five siblings, and she was the only one who learned the recipe.

“She brought me in at around ten years old. We’d spend all day baking. It was labor intensive, which conditioned me for complicated, labor-intensive baking.”

They’d make loaves and loaves of bread, working from the early morning hours until past midnight.

“It was our thing together,” she said. “I loved my grandma so much, and we bonded over it.”

Now, she enjoys sharing that experience with everyone who orders Mac Daddy Macarons: “It’s a love offering.”

Follow Mac Daddy Macarons, and order cookies via direct message, on Instagram @macdaddy_macarons and Facebook at Mac Daddy Macarons. Feel free to ask for suggestions, specific flavors, or a brainstorming session!