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 center. 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 center, almost melting in your mouth.

Macaron Recipe

4 extra large egg whites
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place egg whites into metal mixing bowl and refrigerate overnight
  • Bring egg whites to room temp the next day
  • Preheat oven to 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 3/8 inch tip
  • Pipe 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 favorite ganache or spread and top with the other half of the cookies
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours, then enjoy!

Macaroon Recipe

14 oz sweetened shredded coconut
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 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 2-inch drops. Bake for 25 minutes, or golden brown. Cool and serve

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


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