Two similar words, two completely different things! Macaron is not the wrong spelling for the word macaroon, as many people so often think! They are in fact are two different desserts. How silly two things with only a one letter difference for the name. Anyways let me enlighten you into the world of these delicious bakery treats.
They both are based from egg whites and sugar (forming meringue). However for macaroons shredded coconut is added into the mix. This batter is then spooned onto a cookie sheet in little stacks and baked until crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. They are often dipped in chocolate and just delightful!
Macarons are a bit trickier and require some baking finesse. One the egg whites and sugar for the meringue, powdered sugar and ground almonds are folded in. The mixture is the piped (using a piping bag) into exact rounds and baked. The cookies are then paired with a flavoured filling to make a little elegant sandwich. (Almonds are not the only flavouring used for macarons) They are crunchy, chewy and creamy all at the same time. These little delights originated in France but now have become a Canadian phenomenon. Every bakery and patisserie seems to be creating these little morsels, with many new and exciting flavours. If you are in Toronto - check out Patachou for some yummy macarons!
Learn more about macarons and the "elegance of Paris" with the cookbook "I Love Macarons" by renowed Japanese pastry-maker Hisako Ogita. This cookbook is excellent as it gives you idiot-proof illustrated step-by-step instructions. The benefit to this cookbook - all of these colourful and delectable little pastries will soon be filling your kitchen (and belly)!!
photo credit: google images