Newly-opened Lorraine Patisserie bakes-up gourmet macaroon cookies in Sedona

There's more to the newly-opened Lorraine Patisserie in Tlaquepaque than the name. Yes, "Lorraine" refers to owner Michael Cohen's mother, whose baking inspired him to become Master Pastry Chef. And "patisserie" is a French word for bakery. But the real star of the show is Cohen's macaroon cookie (or "MAC").

As actress Fran Drescher testifies on his online store, "Omg - - off the scale!"

A MAC is Cohen's version of the classic coconut cookie known for its crispy crust outside and buttery texture inside. While some prefer the simple flavor play of sweetener, egg whites, butter and vanilla bean, others go for the chocolate chip (tossed and drizzled with Vairhona chocolate), chocolate-dipped (featuring Vairhona chocolate with caramelized cocoa nibs) or citrus (white chocolate dipped with candied orange peel).

"I've lived and worked in Sedona for a number of years and finally decided to launch my own business here - - a lifelong dream," said Cohen.

"The Verde Valley holds very unique qualities within each of its unique communities. There is certainly an emphasis on the area of arts and entertainment," Cohen said. "The Verde Valley continues to grow in its reputation for quality offerings for the public and celebrating a unique lifestyle that calls to people outside of the area."

Cohen's path to the perfect macaroon cookie was a distinguished one. Growing up in Chicago, Cohen worked at the city's renowned Tango seafood restaurant, as well as cooked at private parties for patrons of the world-renowned Le Francais. He has created culinary specialties alongside celebrity chefs such as Michael Washer and Wolfgang Puck, as well as chefs to the celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey's Art Smith.

A Paris-trained pastry chef, Cohen eventually decided to focus on macaroons. Customers can either taste the "MAC's" at his new shop or have them carefully shipped via his online store in quantities of 2, 6 or 12.

"This business and website has been born of my deep passion for baking and my wish to pay homage to my mother, Lorraine, for the role she played in helping me discover and nurture my passion," said Cohen.

Lorraine Patisserie is located at 160 Portal Lane, Sedona inside the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village on SR 179 a quarter-mile southwest of SR 89A. The shop is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To order online, visit www.lorrainepatisserie.bigcartel.com. For more information, call 847-414-9555 or e-mail michael@lorrainepatisserie.com.

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