Cookie Question: Macaroons or Macarons

Cookie Question: Macaroons or Macarons

Get to know macaroons and macarons — and why they’re distinctively different cookies!


By Adam Easterling

These two very different (but both beloved) types of cookies are often mistaken for each other.

Some people love the meringue-based macaron, with its airy, chewy finish and ganache centre. Others prefer the more dense, often coconut-centric macaroon, sometimes dipped in sweet chocolate. Which one hits your sweet tooth best? Are you “Team Macaron” or “Team Macaroon?”

Macarons or Macaroons?
Macaroons trace back to 9th century Italy and were first created by monastic monks. Macarons, however, trace their origins to France. Although similar in name, macarons couldn’t be more different than macaroons in taste and ingredients.

While the term macaroon is somewhat nonspecific, it usually refers to a dense confection made of egg whites, sugar and coconut. Being flourless, it’s also a Passover staple. French macarons usually contain a ganache or cream centre, almost melting in your mouth.

Macaron Recipe

Ingredients
4 extra large egg whites
400 mL (1 2/3 cup) powdered sugar
315 mL (1 1/3 cup) almond flour
60 mL (1/4 cup) superfine sugar
1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) salt

Instructions

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  • Place egg whites into metal mixing bowl and refrigerate overnight
  • Bring egg whites to room temp the next day
  • Preheat oven to 135 C (280 F) and line baking sheets with parchment
  • Add salt to egg whites and beat with electric mixer on medium until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and slowly add superfine sugar until whites are glossy and form stiff peaks, usually 3-5 minutes
  • Whisk powdered sugar and almond flour in a separate bowl, then fold into egg white mixture until well blended
  • Spoon mixture into pastry bag with 10 mm (3/8 inch) tip
  • Pipe 3-cm (1-inch) disks of mixture onto baking sheets, leaving a couple of inches between disks. As batter spreads, gently lift baking sheet and knock it against the counter to get rid of bubbles in mixture. Let the cookies sit for 15 minutes until the batter surface becomes a bit dull
  • Place the cookies in the oven and bake (with the oven door slightly open) for about 15 minutes
  • Let the cookies cool completely before removing from parchment
  • Spread half of the cookies with your favourite ganache or spread and top with the other half of the cookies
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours, then enjoy!

Macaroon Recipe

Ingredients
400 mL (14 oz) sweetened shredded coconut
400 mL (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 mL (1/4 teaspoon) kosher salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Combine the coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a bowl and set aside
  • In mixing bowl, whip egg whites and salt until peaks form. Slowly fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture
  • Scoop batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in 5 cm (2-inch) drops. Bake for 25 minutes, or golden brown. Cool and serve

So which do you prefer? Tell us your favourite in the comments below.

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I just love the macaroons...my Mother In Law was told by my daughter how much I adored them and makes sure that each time they visit she brings me the ones dipped in chocolate. Doesn't matter which ones I'm crazy about them all, just as long as they are full of coconut.

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Great recipe for both!

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I'm definitely going to make the macaroons!

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