The macaron and the macaroon are both considered a cookie. However, aside from that, there are not many similarities. While they are both made without flour and use a base made from egg whites these two cookies look and taste very different. The macaron, invented in France, is a light, brightly colored meringue based cookie. The macaroon, an Italian Jewish creation, is a dense flourless cookie usually made with coconut.
The macaron is a French creation. While it’s often thought that the Italians brought the macaron to France. It was two nuns seeking asylum during the French Revolution who baked and sold macarons in 1972. The original macaron was simple. There were no pastel colors or fancy flavors. The consisted of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar.
The coconut macaroon was developed using coconut in Italy. The macaroon gained popularity there during Passover. The Jews would eat them as a treat because they were made without flour. The cookies are dense and simple. Some say it is the simplicity of the macaroon that helped make it so popular.
Macaroons began as egg white, sugar and almond flour cookies in Italy. The basic recipe of egg whites and sugar, shredded coconut is added and the cookies are piped onto a baking sheet. After baking, some opt to dip the cookies into melted chocolate for a sweet coating.
The Macarons, often called French macaroons, add ground almonds, to the egg white and sugar mixture, similar to the original Italian recipe. These cookies are baked in perfect rounds on a baking sheet. The two meringue cookies are then sandwiched together using a variety of delicious fillings. Chocolate is by far the most popular. However, many fruit flavors are used in macarons as well.
Setting and Presentation
Macaroons and macarons are almost always presented in a different manner. The Coconut macaroons are easily found in grocery stores in the United States and the United Kingdom; whereas French macarons reign in specialty bakeries. Garnishing the coconut macaroons is not usually done. Although using a decorative star tip when piping the cookie dough onto the baking sheet and decorating the cookie in chocolate is popular.
Coconut macaroons are easy to make days before being transported and will stay fresh and in one piece. French macarons will be colored according to the filling flavor that is used. The macarons are often displayed in a variety of beautiful colors in a presentation case in a bakery.
Coconut macaroons have a dense, chewy texture from the addition of coconut. The texture of French macarons depends on the style used to make them. Finely ground commercial almond meal makes Parisian-style macarons with a light and crunchy exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth interior with a light nut flavor. Country-style macarons require whole almonds to be pounded with a mortar and pestle, resulting in chewier, heavily almond-flavored cookies. The delicate flavor of Parisian-style macarons allows bakers to add their own flavorings ranging from sweet to savory. The filling of French macarons is flavored to complement the taste of the cookies sandwiching it.