Macarons were popularised in France around 1792, when it was baked and sold by two nuns, but was said to have its origins in Italy, and only arrived in France when Catherine de’ Medici brought over an Italian chef with the recipe when she married King Henry II of France.
Macaron vs Macaroon
There is a lot of confusion over the difference between macarons and macaroons. Both names derive from the Italian word for “to crush”, ammaccare. Some say the two refer to the same dessert and can be used interchangeably, which is only half-true.
Macaroons are a type of sweet biscuit made from ground almonds, coconut, sugar, egg white, and other flavourings. They are moist, dense, and often contain either a raspberry jam centre, or topped with glace cherries. Coconut macaroons can be dipped in chocolate, and are often piped into a star-shaped tip. Macaroons are popular during the Jewish Passover, because it is unleavened and does not contain wheat.
Macarons are often referred to as the “French macaroon”. They are a dainty, light confectionary, a type of meringue-cookie sandwich made using egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder, and food colouring, and filled with ganache, buttercream, or jam. They are known for the domed tops and ruffled “foot” at the edge of the cookie, as well as its crispy shell and soft, airy texture.
The English word macaroon is actually just a translation of the French word macaron. But because “macaroon” also refers to the existing biscuit confectionary, many English speakers have adopted the French spelling to avoid confusion.