Macarons or Macaroons

  • 2 min read

What is the difference between macarons vs macaroons?  Although they share similar names, these two delectable cookies are anything but the same. You might call these sweet treats sisters as their names originate from the same wordmaccherone, an Italian word that means fine paste. Interestingly enough, the wordmaccherone is also where the word macaroni comes from.

If you have a sibling, you might already understand that just because you come from the same parent that does not mean you are the same person, and that is undeniably true for these two unique cookies. Let’s take a look at some of the history of the macaron and macaroons.

Macarons vs Macaroons: A History Lesson

What is a Macaroon?

Pronouncedmack-a-roon, this tasty cookie is made primarily from just 3 ingredients: sugar, egg whites, and either ground almond flour or ground coconut. This simple recipe can include many variations, from drizzled chocolate to adding a wide array of flavorings like honey or other spices.

The source of the macaroon has been traced back to an Italian monastery whose monks then traveled to France, bringing pastry chefs along with them. They were later adopted by Italian Jews, and then European Jews. Because these delectable treats contain no flour or leavening agent, they can be eaten during Passover.  

Over time the recipe has changed and adjusted to include ingredients like coconut and even potato starch. Coconut macaroons are the most popular variety in the United States.

What are Macarons?

Known as one of the most treasured desserts in France, these pillowy, delicate treats are—in our opinion—the superior of these two distinctive cookies. This cookie is pronouncedmack-ar-ON and can be traced back to the 8th century to a French monastery in Cormery but was given more fame in 1792 by two nuns who baked and soldmacaronsto help pay for their asylum. In the 1930s, they began to be served by twos with side additions such as jams and spices. The macarons as we know them today were developed in the 20th century.

Meringue is the main ingredient in these scrumptious treats and what separates “French” macarons, made by whisking egg whites alone to create meringue, from “Italian” macarons which are made by whisking egg whites with hot sugar syrup. Other ingredients can include almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, and food colorings. Themacaron cookies are then filled with either buttercream icing, jam, or ganache. These mouth-watering desserts are known for having a smooth top, a rough edge called a “foot” or “crown” and being flat on the bottom.

We may be a little biased, but we think macarons, especially from Macarooz, are moist, light, and a slight bit chewy in texture, and when combined with the perfectmacaron filling, will knock your socks off.