#madeinmiami: we made this

if you're scared of macaroons, because you're gluten intolerant or because they're so intimidating to make, Aranzaza and her newly born bespoke candy company We Made This are here to save you. Aranzaza is a Mexican transplant by way of art school in Europe who had opened up a little company with such a precious idea it's been more contagious than she was prepared for. 
 
She packages her own macaroons in any color or taste you can think of (seriously, she'll take the challenge), makes custom handmade candy like marshmallows, and a DIY package for making your own macaroons- with her help on a trusty DVD that comes with the mix. Aptly named, We Made This, the two of you (you and Aranzaza) put together creative and delicately delicious confections. 
 
miami nice visited Aranzaza (I can't help but say her name over and over) at her Midtown apartment which she'd promised would be a better spot to take photos than her industrial kitchen. The only apartment I'd been to in her building is a tremendo bachelor pad, a chic and lovely bachelor pad, but the kind that hosts pregames. Luckily, she was neither a serial killer nor a hoarder and I walked into the most lovely and transportive of apartments filled with mid century thrifted pieces like a working antique bingo set (we share a bit of a Flamingo addiction), portraits she painted, and styled little bookshelves filled with things her and her husband collect like restored deco cameras. 
 
She tipped me off to Proper Sausages local sausage makers (her husband is a Brit so they'd been on the hunt for a Proper Sausage and - alas!), Big Dog Ranch (a no-kill dog rescue), Marky's Gourmet (if you're hungry don't click that link) and talked about what's going on in Miami right now. "Miami is like a teenager, confused about itself" she said while one of her two rescued Boxers cozied up on her shoulder, "It's pretty, clean, it just needs to see it's potential." 

 

 

 
Before we get into some of the heavier questions, we’ve got to ask- How the heck do you work with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt/Pistachio Caramels and Earl Grey with Lavender Ganache Macaroons and not wind up 200 pounds heavier and hitting up Weight Watchers every day? Be honest.
Well… I have two boxers. That is the only explanation I can think of. We walk them at least 4-5 times a day and we also take them to the park. I think what also makes it easier to not gain weight is that most of the food I eat and all of the candies I eat are homemade simply with good ingredients.
 
I love the little care packages with a bit of this and a bit of that.  I see that it has canned jelly, jam or preserve and that you switch out the filling on macaroons depending on what’s in season. What’s your local food shopping process like? We want the nitty-gritty.
 
We switch everything up depending on the season! What stays the same is basically the technique. We make candy like "they used to" and you can taste see and feel the difference when you take a bite. We also try to make different candies that don't necessarily vary with the seasons like honeycomb or taffy or bourbon caramel (possibly a hint of what is to come with june's care package wink wink) and mix them with things we couldn't make any other time of the year. 
Our local food shopping process is pretty simple. We go over to the farmers market or make a quick trip north or south depending on the mood and buy the produce we need.
 

 

What farmer’s markets do you hit up?
I really like the farmers market by MOCA on Thursdays. I would say that was my favorite (probably because its close by).
 
What’s your go-to super market?
I love super markets. I know its silly but I love all super markets for different reasons.  Publix for some reasons, Whole Foods for others, Fresh Market for many (including the music) and Epicure as well and I love stopping at Marky's every so often. I think I do rounds because there are things I prefer from each of them
 
Is there an ingredient that you absolutely won’t include? Personally, the smell of Fritos makes me want to vomit, but that wouldn’t really be a problem with a sweets company…
Haha, I must say growing up in Mexico chips of that sort were and still are my weakness. I looove them, but I add lime and chili to all of them including Salt and Vinegar chips *gasp*
I've made a Frito's brittle before that was pretty tasty I must say. Maybe not the healthiest, but tasty.
What I won't include in the sweets we sell are things I can't pronounce chemicals and artificial flavors colors etc.  Its our goal to keep things simple and natural and as local as possible.
 
Do you see the artisanal food movement changing in Miami?
Absolutely! It is very exciting and encouraging to see things change so quickly and for the better. There is so much potential in Miami especially food-wise its great to see it being taken advantage of. 
 
Tell us about the "bespoke" thing?
We can make a wide range of sweets from candied chocolate covered spicy bacon, to brittles, taffies, flavored marshmallows and meringues, lollipops, all sorts of caramels and of course an insane variety or freshly made macarons in any flavor you can imagine. 
 
The reason they are bespoke is that once we are contacted we take into consideration what flavors the customer wants and what sort of candy they chose and then we create different combinations and layers of flavors in whatever "form" they chose (the form being the kind of sweets of course). We also have the Macaron Mix which to me is the most exciting product. The Macaron Mix gives people the opportunity to create macarons at home and they can switch up their fillings to give them different flavors. We include basic ganache recipes, but really with the mix and some creativity the sky is the limit.
 
The Pastelito de Guayaba y Queso macarons are obviously what got us interested in what you guys are whipping up. Are there any more inspired-by-Miami treats that we can look forward to. We can always give you some ideas…
Well because we use local produce in our sweets lots of it is inspired by what Miami and South Florida has to offer. And flavors that make sense with Miami and the season. I do love it when people give me ideas or have special requests. One of the many reasons we didn't want to have a set "menu" was that we didn't want to end up doing the same thing over and over or to be known for one thing only. When we get orders, we like that people feel they can get creative with what flavors they want and we love it when they get excited over the different flavor combinations we can offer them. Its inspiring to see people appreciate creativity and recognize quality.
 
The first Pastelito de Guayaba y Queso macarons were made for a Preview of a Photography show by Ilott Vintage. The photographer is British but moved to Miami four years ago and the whole show was about the little things in Miami we don't notice make it so beautiful. So the menu (we did 6 flavors) was Miami and UK inspired. We had the Pastelito ones, Mojito ones, we had a less miami more just southern Mint Julep macarons and for the British flavors we had English Breakfast Tea and Victoria Sponge macarons, etc
 
And last but certainly not least, where can we get the good stuff? Just online?
At the moment we take orders online and we also have a few packaged sweets for sale at Lesters in Wynwood. But we have a few things in the works and soon we'll be able to offer our sweets in a few different places. We post all our news on Facebook and on our blog at www.wemadethisblog.com