Coconut Macaroon closeup.

A macaroon (/mækəˈruːn/ mak-ə-roon) is a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds"[1] similar to Italian or Moroccan amaretti.

The English word macaroon and French macaron come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone. This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat,[2] used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient.

Most recipes call for egg whites (usually whipped to stiff peaks), with ground or powdered seeds, generally almonds or nuts. Alternatively, coconuts, a seed, can be used. Almost all call for sugar. Macaroons are sometimes baked on edible rice paper placed on a baking tray.


Regional varieties


The Scottish macaroon is a sweet confection with a thick velvety centre covered in chocolate and topped with roasted coconut.

Traditionally they were made with cold leftovers of mashed potatoes and sugar loaf. When the macaroon bar became commercial the recipe no longer used mashed potato because of shelf life limitations. The modern macaroon is made from a combination (depending on producer) of: Sugar, Glucose, Water and Egg White. These ingredients make a fondant centre.

This recipe was reportedly discovered by accident in 1931, when confectioner John Justice Lees was said to have botched the formula for making a chocolate fondant bar and threw coconut over it in disgust, producing the first macaroon bar.[3]

North American

In North America, the coconut macaroon is now the better known variety. Commercially made coconut macaroons are generally dense, moist and sweet, and often dipped in chocolate. Homemade macaroons and varieties produced by smaller bakeries are commonly light and fluffy.

Macaroons made with coconuts are often piped out with a star shaped tip, whereas macaroons made with nuts are more likely shaped individually due to the stiffness of the dough. Because of their lack of wheat and leavening ingredients, macaroons are often consumed during Passover in many Jewish homes.

Coconut macaroon

Coconut macaroons

A coconut macaroon is a type of macaroon most commonly found in the United States, The Netherlands (Kokosmakronen) and Germany, and is directly related to the Scottish macaroon. Its principal ingredients consist of egg whites, sugar and shredded dried coconut. It is closer to a soft cookie than its meringue cousin, and is equally as sweet.

Many varieties of coconut macaroons are dipped in chocolate, typically milk chocolate. Versions dipped in dark chocolate or white chocolate are also becoming more commonly available. Nuts are often added to coconut macaroons, typically almond slivers, but occasionally pecans, cashews or other nuts.

In Australia, a blob of raspberry jam is often concealed in the centre of the macaroon prior to cooking.


In France, the coconut macaroon is known as the "congolais".[4][dubious ] Another name for the coconut macaroon is "le rocher à la noix de coco". The almond flour version is simply called "le macaron" in French. See main article at macaron.


In Asturias, Spain, there is a macaroon variety made with hazelnuts and honey called "carajitos."


Tuticorin also known as Pearl City and Mangalore have their own varieties of macaroon made with cashews and egg whites.


The Macaroon Chocolate Bar is made by Wilton Candy in Co. Kildare, Ireland. The description on the packaging is "Macaroon pieces in Irish milk chocolate", The ingredients contain milk chocolate, desiccated coconut and vanillin. It was first made in 1937.[5]


Acıbadem kurabiyesi

Acıbadem kurabiyesi is a traditional Turkish cookie made of almonds, sugar and egg whites. The traditional recipes include a small amount of bitter almonds, which gives this cookie its name. Because bitter almonds are not readily available, almond extract is typically used as a substitute. These cookies are part of the stock-in trade of almost every bakery in Turkey, as they are seldom made at home.


The earliest recorded macaroon recipes are for the almond meringue variety similar to amaretti, with a crisp crust and a softer interior. They were made from egg whites and almond paste. Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management[6] gives a recipe for a macaroon of this kind.

The name of the cookie comes from an Italian word meaning paste, maccarone. While origins are uncertain, some culinary historians claim that macaroons can be traced to an Italian monastery. The monks came to France in 1533, joined by the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henri II. Later, two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, came to Nancy seeking asylum during the French Revolution. The two women paid for their housing by baking and selling macaroon cookies, and thus became known as the "Macaroon Sisters."[7] Recipes for macaroons (also spelled "mackaroon," "maccaroon" and "mackaroom") appear in recipe books at least as early as 1725 (Robert Smith's Court Cookery, or the Complete English Cook).

Italian Jews later adopted the cookie because it has no flour or leavening (macaroons are leavened by egg whites) and can be enjoyed during the eight-day observation of Passover. It was introduced to other European Jews and became popular as a year-round sweet.[7] Over time, coconut was added to the ground almonds and, in certain recipes, replaced them. Potato starch is also sometimes included in the recipe, to give the macaroons more body.


  1. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Dizionario etimologico online:maccherone". Dizionario etimologico online. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Reid, Scott (19 September 2006). "Lees' Miquel targets new markets". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  4. ^ The Macaron and Madame Blanchez
  5. ^ "The Irish Macaroon Bar". Date unknown. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  6. ^ "Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, chapter 35". Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Hochman, Karen (December 2008). "The History Of The Macaroon". Retrieved 2009-03-29. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Macaroon — Mac a*roon , n. [F. macaron, It. maccherone. See {Macaroni}.] 1. A small cake, composed chiefly of the white of eggs, almonds or coconut, and sugar. [1913 Webster] 2. A finical fellow, or macaroni. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • macaroon — (n.) 1610s, small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds, from Fr. macaron (16c.), from dialectal It. maccarone (see MACARONI (Cf. macaroni)). French meaning said to have been invented 1552 by Rabelais. The oon ending was conventional in …   Etymology dictionary

  • macaroon — ► NOUN ▪ a light biscuit made with egg white and ground almonds or coconut. ORIGIN French macaron, from Italian maccarone macaroni …   English terms dictionary

  • macaroon — [mak΄ə ro͞on′] n. [Fr macaron < It maccaroni,MACARONI] a small, chewy cookie made chiefly of egg white, crushed almonds or coconut, and sugar …   English World dictionary

  • Macaroon — Para el dulce francés de nombre parecido, véase Macaron. Macaroons. Los macaroons son dulces densos hechos con coco y clara de huevo o con una pasta de almendra gruesa. Se confunden a menudo con los dulces franceses llamados macarons, con los que …   Wikipedia Español

  • macaroon — /mak euh roohn /, n. a drop cookie made of egg whites, sugar, usually almond paste or coconut, and sometimes a little flour. [1605 15; < MF macaron < dial. It maccarone cake or biscuit made of ground almonds; see MACARONI] * * * ▪ cookie… …   Universalium

  • macaroon — UK [ˌmækəˈruːn] / US [ˌmækəˈrun] noun [countable] Word forms macaroon : singular macaroon plural macaroons a type of biscuit made from sugar, egg white, and nuts …   English dictionary

  • macaroon — noun Etymology: French macaron, from Italian dialect maccarone Date: circa 1611 a small cookie composed chiefly of egg whites, sugar, and ground almonds or coconut …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • macaroon — noun /ˌmæk.əɹˈuːn,ˌmæk.əˈɹun/ A soft biscuit or cookie prepared with almond or coconut dough …   Wiktionary

  • macaroon — mac|a|roon [ˌmækəˈru:n] n [Date: 1500 1600; : French; Origin: macaron, from Italian dialect maccarone; MACARONI] a small round cake made of sugar, eggs, and crushed ↑almonds or ↑coconut …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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