Macarons vs Macaroons

Question:
What’s the difference between a macaron and a macaroon?

Answer:
Besides the obvious differences of spelling (one has an extra “o”) and pronunciation (one rhymes with noon and moon and the other ends in “on”), there are numerous differences in these two words. They are both cookies – but their commonalities pretty much end there!

macaroon vs macaron

Macarons vs Macaroons

Macarons vs Macaroons - What are these Cookies?

Macaroons vs Macarons

Macarons vs Macaroons - The Similarities

They are both cookies.
Therefore, recipes for both will include in their ingredient list sugar and eggs. More specifically for these particular cookies, they each use only the whites of eggs.

Even though these cookies appear and taste completely different, they were both derived from the same recipe.
Legend has it that both of these cookies originated in Italy where they were made with nut flours by Venetian monks in the 8th century and were known as maccherone. When Catherine de’ Medici (an Italian woman) married the future King Henry II in the 16th century and moved to France, she brought this cookie recipe along with her. The castle staff translated the name to French and they became Macaron. It was a small cookie, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. In the 1830’s, Parisian bakers began putting two of these cookie together with ganache in the middle to hold them together. This is what we know today as the Macron. Back in Italy, as coconut was becoming more plentiful, someone tried replacing the nut flour with coconut and the Macaroon was born.

Macarons vs Macaroons - The Differences

  • The macaron is a traditional French cookie that is often called a French Macaron. The macaroon is considered an Italian cookie.

  • The macaron is a delicate recipe technique and considered one of the most difficult cookies to properly master and perform correctly. The macaroon does not take much practice to perfect.

  • Macarons have a very short shelf life, often considered by the experts to have “gone bad” after just 24 hours out of the oven! So, hard to make an hard to keep… hummm, good thing that they are also hard to resist! These cookies should be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or freezer for a few months if not eaten the same day as baked. The texture and taste of these delicate cookies make the preparation and storage issues easily forgotten.

  • Macaroons are considered a rougher and tougher cookie that holds up well in most any situation. Macaroons have a longer shelf life and can be kept around, if kept covered, for at least a week on the counter.

  • Macarons vs Macaroons

    Cookie Color Flavor Texture Usage Storage
    Macaron Endless Endless, although often Almond Crisp, soft and chewy Delicate tea cookies Cold
    Macaroon White Coconut Dense and chewy Small or large and often dipped in chocolate Room temperature

    Macarons vs Macaroons

    Additional Information

    To find out how long other cookies last, check our cookie page.

    To find out how long eggs last, check our egg page.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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