Macaroon 101: It's National Macaroon Day!

Via Love Food
Happy National Macaroon Day!

It honor of all things sweet, petite, and coconut, I thought I'd put together this little guide to help anyone who's scratching her head over the difference between macaroon and macaron.



Pictured above is a plate of macaroons. Macaroons (namely an American dessert) are different than macarons (of French origin) in that they are comprised of egg whites, coconut, and sometimes nuts or nut paste. They're popular with the gluten-free crowd and at Passover, as they don't contain any flour. Sometimes they're creamy white and other times they're golden brown. It just depends on who's baking them and how the baker prefers them.

A macaron, on the other hand, is in sandwich form and made with almond flour and egg whites. They come in a variety of colors and are filled with flavored cream (chocolate, strawberry, buttercream, Earl Grey, just to name a few). Macarons are dainty little desserts and have gained popularity at bridal showers and weddings. You can even find them stacked in a tower as an alternative to cake.

Via allrecipes
Today we're celebrating the humble macaroon. It may not be as colorful as a box full of rainbow French cookies, but it's just as tasty and way easier to make. Whip up a batch using this recipe from The Kitchn: (Click the link for additional notes and tips.)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (see Additional Notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Gather all your ingredients and equipment.
  2. Toast the coconut (optional). For deeper coconut flavor and extra-crispy macaroons, spread the coconut on the baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes, or until just barely starting to show some color. Let cool slightly before using.
  3. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk until the whites and sugar are completely combined and the mixture is frothy.
  4. Combine the coconut and egg white mixture. Pour the coconut over the egg white mixture and stir until the coconut is evenly moistened.
  5. Shape the macaroons. Line the baking sheet with a silpat or parchment. With wet hands to prevent sticking, shape the coconut mixture into small balls about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Space them an inch or so apart on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake the macaroons for 15-20 minutes. Bake the macaroons until golden.
  7. Cool the macaroons. Let the macaroons cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Macaroons can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.

If you find your macaroons less than desirable, you can always head to your favorite bakery and pick up a box of ready-made 'roons. Have them with your morning coffee and afternoon tea or bake a bunch for brunch with your bridesmaids. Yum!

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