You're often greeted with this treat when you're standing in a local bakery or heading to where the good stuff is at the grocery store. They're sweet, they're small, they're coated in chocolate, and you can dangerously lose track of how many you've eaten: the macaroon. But wait. Right next to it you see little colorful sandwiches and they also seem to be called macaroons. Not so fast! Though they share similar names, there are some differences between the two and we're going to settle the great debate between macaroon versus macaron.
Let's start with the macaroon. These little coconut treats are often drizzled in chocolate and made of shredded coconut and meringue. Some of the recipes vary depending on who's making them, but therein lies the biggest difference between a macaroon and a macaron. All together it's composed of egg whites, shredded coconut, and sugar. Not all macaroons are drizzled with or dipped in chocolate, but those are the ones we prefer.
If you've never had a macaroon before, they're quite chewy and the most distinct taste you'll pick up is the coconut. They're also way sweeter than a macaron and a little messy to eat on account of all that coconut.
There aren't too many different ways to make macaroons, which is another huge difference when weighing your options. They often come dipped in chocolate, with lemon flavoring, or sometimes they're even squared.
On the other side of the coin, we have the macaron. These delicate little cookies that look like little sandwiches in an assortment of colors and flavors. Due to their various flavors, the filling can be made with different ingredients such as fruit curd, ganache, or buttercream. The base is mainly comprised of almond flour, egg whites, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar.
Macarons are fairly easy to eat (though not at all easy to make) and won't leave you with a ton of crumbs to sweep up. They also aren't terribly sweet.
With all the bright, pretty colors that they come in it can be hard not to be pulled towards them. And, yes, in case you're wondering all the different colors usually mean different flavors for you to choose from. Some of the more popular ones are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, almond, coffee, and raspberry. There are also some more adventurous flavors like wasabi and in 2012 a chef made one with pig's blood... so the possibilities really are endless.
The next time you feel a snack calling out to you, reach out and grab one of these little guys to take home with you. You really can't go wrong with whichever one you choose and now you'll know for sure which one you were really hoping to get your hands on.