Is It Macaron or Macaroon?

April 01, 2017

Without a doubt, the most common question we’re asked is this: “Is it macaron or macaroon?” The answer, quite simply, is both! But wait – how could that be? What exactly is in the name? In fact, it comes down to a little history and some sweet recipes.

In America, we have two delicious desserts that go by the same name: the chewy, chocolate-covered coconut macaroons and the meringue-and-ganache traditional French macaron. And those are the biggest differences – the main ingredients in the macaron recipe!

American coconut macaroon recipes usually call for a combination of sweet coconut flakes, condensed milk, and egg whites, while French style “macarons” are a bit different. Rather than coconut, the French macaron cookies are traditionally made with almond flower, egg whites, and sugar. These differences in ingredients give each style of “macaroon” cookie its distinct look and texture – and make them ultimately different desserts entirely.

 French macarons and American coconut macaroons

But when it comes to the name – macaron or macaroon – it’s really up to you! The word “macaroon” is kind of like our word “balloon”: in English, we took the original French word “balon” and added an “o” for easier pronunciation. So really “macaron” and “macaroon” can be used to describe either kind of sweet cookie. (If you’re looking for a delicious coconut “macaron,” we think that the Barefoot Contessa herself has a wonderful recipe you can try!).

Although many of us at Olivia Macaron do love the American style macaroon, we focus on creating beautiful and playful versions of the traditional French macaron. We love playing around in our kitchen, coming up with fun flavors like Cookies ‘n Cream and our galaxy-inspired Cassis. We believe that the French style macaron is a wonderful canvas that allows us to paint with delicious colors and flavors, and we’re excited each day to see what sweet new thing we can make!

So, whether you call them “macarons” or “macaroons,” when you step into one of our shops, we’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.

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