What Is The Difference Between Macarons and Macaroons?

What Is The Difference Between Macarons and Macaroons? on http://www.theculinarylife.com

- What is the difference between macarons and macaroons? - 

I’d like to clear this up once and for all. A lot of people are confused about a basic question: what is the difference between macarons and macaroons? No, they are not the same thing!

Behold, the macaron:

What Is The Difference Between Macarons and Macaroons? on http://www.theculinarylife.com

And now, the macaroon:

What Is The Difference Between Macarons and Macaroons? on http://www.theculinarylife.com

See the difference?

While both recipes are gluten free by default, they’re entirely different cookies. The sandwich-like French macaron is more of a meringue cookie, getting its light, airy texture from egg whites. The Southern coconut macaroon, on the other hand, is a hearty lump of confectionry made of shredded coconut and condensed milk. While you can prepare coconut macaroons in about ten minutes, French macarons are generally more difficult to make – though not so impossible that they elude the home cook.

Below are two recipes, one for each kind of cookie. Enjoy!

French Macaron Recipe

(Recipe swiped from Diana’s Desserts – check out her site for other amazing recipes like bourbon truffles and chocolate marshmallows!)

Makes 50 sandwiched macarons.

Ingredients:

For the macarons:

  • 10 ounce confectioners’ sugar
  • 10 ounce finely ground almonds
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup granulated or superfine bakers sugar
  • Red and yellow food coloring

For the filling:

  • 9 ounce unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounce confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 ounce finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water or orange flower water
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon rose flower water

Instructions:

For the macarons:

  1. Using a fine sieve, sift confectioners’ sugar and finely ground almonds, pushing through with a wooden spoon.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, and whisk until dissolved. Stir meringue mixture into almond mixture (mixture will be stiff), then halve. Tint one half pink, the other half orange.
  3. Spoon 1 mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe walnut sized rounds onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, then repeat with other mixture. Set meringues aside, uncovered, on baking sheets for 1 hour (this will help minimise cracking).
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C and bake macaroons, 2 baking sheets at a time, swapping sheets halfway through cooking, for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets. Slide a knife under each macaroon to release from paper, then store in an airtight container until ready to fill.

For filling:

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until combined. Transfer half the mixture from the bowl to another bowl and add orange zest and orange blossom water. Stir to combine. Add raspberries and rose flower water to remaining mixture in mixing bowl and, using the electric mixer, beat until well combined. Sandwich pink macaroons with raspberry filling and orange macaroons with orange filling.

Tip:
To create a perfectly smooth top on your macaroons, dip a finger into a bowl of water and gently smooth out any peaks.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Coconut Macaroon Recipe
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Macaroons are tender cookies made of shredded coconut and condensed milk.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Generously grease two baking sheets, or use silicon baking sheets. Combine all of your ingredients and stir until completely blended.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls, 1 inch apart, on prepared baking sheets. Gently press down with the back of your spoon to give them a uniform shape.
  3. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from baking sheet.
  4. Makes 30-36 cookies.

Further macaron reading, in case you’re intimidated (don’t feel bad, I was too):

Comments

  1. Hi Ted,

    You might try the macaroons with a soy creamer that’s been thickened up a bit – perhaps with arrowroot? I’ve not tried it before, but now you’ve got me curious. This may be my next veganizing adventure.

    As far as the macarons go, probably not – eggs whites are pretty essential to meringue. I know several vegans who are on the case, though, and once a vegan meringue has been perfected, I definitely post it here!

  2. Do you think either recipe could be made vegan? How would you suggest doing it?

  3. Also, “macarons” are what Michelin calls its “stars.”

  4. Carmelita says:

    And then there are Italian almond macaroons.

    • I’m still looking for the perfect almond macaroon recipe – care to share your favorite? I’d love to see it!

  5. But Laduree sell “macaroons” but looks like what you have described as a “macaron”.
    .-= Check out Natalie

  6. Cookiepuss says:

    Coconut-based macaroons are not the only version of macaroons we have in the US. The coconut version of macaroon is more a Southeastern US thing. I was making the “French” variety (meringue and ground almond type, with a variety of fillings) back in the 80′s, which we called macaroons. I worked at a NYC bakery in the early 90′s where we made them and called them macaroons. My mother made them in the 40′s, for God’s sake. The only difference I see is that the word macaron is French for the English word macaroon and vice versa. The French meringue version is suddenly very popular, like they never existed in the US before, which is just silly. They’ve been in the US for years. I respectfully have to disagree that there’s any difference between macaron and macaroon, same ingredients, same technique, aside from the obvious spelling of the word.

    Both varieties, the almond and the coconut, are different but equally good.

    I don’t understand the current glorification of a cookie, however good it is, renamed as macaron and assumed to be better, because it’s suddenly a “new, hot” European import. Please.

    Anyway, “macarons” are this year’s cupcake.

  7. An old midwest favorite cookie of my family is called an Oatmeal Macaron! Its a hearty cookie that has raisins, dates, and nuts in it too. I’m not sure how this one fits in the macaron vs. macaroon debate, but they are delicious!

  8. Katelyn Williams says:

    If you consult The Concise Larousse Gastronomique (which is considered the finest culinary guide of it’s kind), it describes ‘Macaroons’ as being a small round cake, crunchy on the outside and soft inside, made with ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. The term ‘macaron’ is merely the French translation of this, as is the Italian term ‘maccherone’.

  9. @Stephanie: I think you are confused between the 2. Actually, the picture u put under “macarons” is of macaroons and vice versa. Besides, if you really read through the recipe for “macarons”, it mentions “macaroons”! Anyway, thanks for the recipe.

  10. casualremark says:

    Let’s just call the almond ones “Little Macs” and be done with it. U. S. A.!!

Trackbacks

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  7. Adopt a gluten-free Blogger Jan 2011: Stephanie of Wasabimon | Book of Yum says:

    [...] Now, I was planning to stop there, honest. That was, until I saw that Stephanie is something of a Macaron aficionado. Perhaps it has something to do with living in the Bay Area. Just this weekend I visited the Japanese pastry shop Satura and saw their lovely assortment of brightly colored macarons, all labeled “Gluten Free.” They have quite a few desserts labeled gluten-free, actually- their Yuna chocolate cake, a new sesame pudding type dessert, and a berry macaron delight. However, one always has to wonder about cross contamination from a gluten-producing bakery, and that weekend after I had the Yuna cake and the sesame pudding I did not feel well. I also ate gobs of raw garlic on pizza that same day, so who knows what resulted in ye ol’ rumbly tummy. But anyway. The point is, macarons are lovely. I saw them, and I wanted them. And what serendipity to find that Wasabimon is practically the headquarters of macaron design, having featured an entire week devoted to them at one point, and coming up with various lovely versions over the years she has been blogging. Wondering what the difference is between a Macaroon and a Macaron? Stephanie has the answer for you! [...]

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