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    Macarons, today’s It cookie, are made in the Financial District

    With their melt-in-your-mouth texture, smooth fillings, and lovely colors, macarons — not to be confused with macaroons — are today’s It cookie. The chic little French numbers are also notoriously challenging to make, and that’s what drew Claudia Crowell to them. Crowell, a North End resident, works in finance but she’s also an ambitious baker, and one day she made a batch; it was perfect. Subsequent ones, not so much. “That got me hooked,” she says. Many macarons later, she has the formula down, and today C. Crowell Fine Confections turns out macarons (about $2.75 each), made in a commercial kitchen in the Financial District, in all-natural flavors ranging from traditional chocolate and vanilla bean to trendy lavender-honey. Crunchy-chewy, delicate, and rich, they are indeed perfect every time. Available at South End Formaggio,
    268 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-350-6996; Sip Cafe,
    0 Post Office Square, Boston, 617-338-3080; Cocoanuts Boston, 28 Parmenter St., Boston, 857-263-7768; George Howell
    Coffee, 311 Walnut St., Newton, 617-332-6886; or go to