French Macaroons: Why all the confusion?

These days there is so much confusion on which is which.  What is the difference between a macaroon, a French Macaroon, and macarons?  Go do a Google search and you might be more confused than when you started!  Let me try to break it down for you as simple possible.

First of all, a French Macaroon and a “macaron” is the same thing.  People use the two words interchangeably throughout many parts of the world.  The French Macaroon, or macaron, refers to the confectionery sandwich cookie with a spread, buttercream, or jam holding them together.  The ingredients typically include egg whites, almonds, granulated sugar, confectionary sugar, as well as any desired flavorings.   

French Macaroons come in numerous flavors and varieties.  Typically only lasting a few days after they are created, these tasty treats must be eaten relatively quick.  A few things that you should look for in a perfect French Macaroon are:

-An extremely smooth “skin” or crust to the cookie.  This crust should resemble an eggshell in the sense that it is smooth, protects the insides, but at the same time is very penetratable.

          -The texture of the cookie should be very soft, hardly chewy, but not mushy.

-The filling should be light and firm, not sticky and messy.  Also, there is a perfect ratio of cookie to filling.  Neither too little, nor too much filling is ideal. 

-The flavor should be recognizable, but not overwhelming.  You do not want one that is too sweet or too bland.  There should be a perfect medium

What we typically refer to as a macaroon in the United States (and many other parts of the world) is different.  The word macaroon is used to describe a single small cookie often consisting of egg whites, ground almonds, sugars, and typically coconut.   Some macaroons are dipped in chocolate to add flavoring.

Macaroons as we know them in the United States almost always include coconut.  These cookies are a hit in many Jewish homes and are typically a treat consumed during Passover due to their lack of wheat ingredients. 

So, you see, there is a very simple way to distinguish between the French Macaroon (or macaron) and the macaroon.  We have simply changed the spelling to macaron to distinguish between the two edible delights. 

Hopefully this helps you out if you have been feeling confused!  For hundreds of years people around the world have been enjoying these confectionaries.  

If you have never tasted them, you are definitely missing out!  If you are looking to taste or sample a perfect French Macaroon, visit the Macaron Store at Macarons.