Macarons vs Macaroons: What’s The Difference?

2014 Mar 17 |  Written by:  | Tags: , ,

Macarons vs Macaroons: What’s The Difference?, 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating Since the recent resurgence of the macarons, more than a few of us had our heads shaking – are these pastries any different from macaroons? Are they the same thing? I used to make the same mistake of thinking they’re one and the same. So, in honour of all things sweet and yummy, let’s settle things once and for all.

A “History” of Macarons and Macaroons

152120343Popular myth tells us that the macaron started in the early 1530s in Italy, despite having gotten greatly famous in France. It was Catherine de Medici‘s chef who was primarily responsible for the sweet treat. The chef brought Catherine desserts and continued doing so after she married the King of France.

The term macaron came about since the dessert had a great resemblance to amaretti and both shared the same origin with the word macaroni.

This story hasn’t yet been proved as 100% accurate, but it sounds good enough to me! Whatever it is that actually went down in history, one thing is known for sure: the macarons gained their popularity in France in the 18th century. Two nuns started to bake and sell these sweet treats in order to support themselves, and before you know it, France can’t get enough of the cookies! As demand rose, more and more vendors began to line up the streets, all offering luscious macarons. The macaron as we know it today got its appearance when Louis Ernest Laduree‘s cousin got the brilliant idea to put two of the cookies together, filled with a creamy chocolate ganache in the middle.

186561895On the other hand, macaroons came about in a more obscure time. It all depends on which version of history you listen to. For instance, some people will tell you that the coconut had been added to the original macaroon recipe in Europe where Jews had them as Passover food (because they didn’t need flour) – resulting to an entirely new cookie recipe.

Another version of the story tells us that the macaroons had come from America in the late 1800s – the same time when the exotic Indian coconut reached the country. At the time, coconut was a trendy ingredient – added to almost everything: pies and custards and desserts – so it made sense to add it to macarons as well.

Still, another story promises that macaroons hail from Scotland. And, for sure, there are more versions of the history of both macarons and macaroons that we haven’t heard of. But with all that’s been said, let’s get to the more pressing matter: what is the difference between the two?

The Verdict: Which Cookie is For You?

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You can give both types a go and share with us how your baking ventures went in the comments below!
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