When I first began baking macarons, I had no idea how to pronounce them; macaroon or macaron? I realized that I would use the words macaron and macaroon interchangeably. However, deep down inside I knew that there must be a difference and if I wanted to sound like I knew what I was baking, then I'd better learn the difference. So here are the differences and believe me they are quite different!
A macaron and a macaroon do not look anything a like. A macaron is a French origin desert that is two round semi flat meringue cookies with a buttercream, ganache or fruit type filling in the middle. A macaroon is more cake like in a single mound and you can find them dipped or drizzled in chocolate.
Both are gluten free and made using egg whites and sugar, but that is about it when it comes to similar ingredients. A macaron also has almond flour, flavoring extract, and can be colored any color that is desired. The batter also goes through a delicate folding process combining the egg whites and almond mixtures. Fold too much and the batter is running all over the place and won't hold it's shape, but if you don't fold the mixtures enough you end up with lumpy batter.
A macaroon is more of a cake consistency that is made with egg whites, sugar, condensed milk and coconuts. These are a drop cookie and are also delicious with a chocolate drizzle on top.
Macarons are best enjoyed at room temperature, however, if you can resist eating them right away, they can be refrigerated up to 3 days or stored in a freezer for 3 to 6 months. If freezing them, make sure they are in an airtight container to help prevent freezer burn. Stock up on your favorite flavors, keep them in the freezer and enjoy them whenever you want!
Even though both cookies sound similar. They are very different. Next time you want to order a French flat sandwich type cookie, make sure to ask for a MACARON as you may end up with something totally different than what you really wanted.
Christa is a mother of two rambunctious boys who loves sweets! She has been baking and decorating cakes for over 12 years. When she is not baking or decorating she is enjoying time with her family.