What is the difference between macarons and macaroons?
The evolution of the light airy almond cookie, began in 1300, Renaissance France, according to Dominique Michelle, (Historian of food and kitchen). Fast forward to the late 1700, this was the birth of the French Macaron. It became Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette tradition dessert served when the couple was at the Castle of Versailles. We all know the phrase “Let Them Eat Cake”. There have been many variations on the recipes, but La Maison Laduree, was the one who created the colorful multi-flavor fruity or creamy fillings we have come to love today.
The Macaroons, with two Os, dates back to 8th or 9th century, created by Italian monastery. Catherine de Medici pastry chef travel with her to France in 1533 and she was the one who introduced the cookies to France. The move to shredded coconut, the main ingredient in modern macaroons was discovered in the 1890’s by a French company that needed a method of shipping the product to from Sri Lanka to prevent spoilage. This was adapted by North America chefs providing them the ability to incorporate coconut into various sweets and moving from the traditional almond macaroon to coconut. These tender mounds of shredded coconut generally have no filling at all.
Both recipes are gluten free, they’re totally different cookies. The sandwich-like French macaron is a meringue cookie, its light, airy texture is a combination of almond flour and egg whites that have been gently folded together. And the Coconut Macaroon, is a hearty scoop of sweetness made of shredded coconut and condensed milk.