By Stephanie Rubesh and Christopher Werner

No, not the coconut heaps (those are spelled with two Os). We’re talking about macarons, the French pastries the color of Easter popping up in pastry cases the country over.

Macarons are as elegant as they are complex. Two dainty meringue domes cocoon a luxe filling, typically buttercream or ganache. Ratio is key—too much filling negates the crisp of the cookies. So is the feather-light texture: each nibble should yield a slight crackle then give way to the creamy, chewy center, advises Jessie Oleson, aka CakeSpy, Seattle’s resident sweet tooth. It’s not every time a macaronier masters both meringue and middle.

To find out which local bakeries are doing it right, we gobbled up dozens of samples. We reached out to notable patisseries (and one confectionery) and asked each to submit two types of macs: chocolate and a flavor of their choice (note one participant submitted several, one only the former). A panel then blindly sampled and ranked them.

Which ones wowed us? Click through the slideshow to find out and to read tasting notes. Don’t see your favorite macaron maker? Holler in the comments. Oh, but let’s get this out of the way: Honore unfortunately opted not to partake.

All photos by seattlemet.com photographer Lucas Anderson.