If you happen to’ve ever confused macarons with macaroons, don’t fear. You’re completely not the one one. However what’s the distinction between these two candy treats? In our May/June 2020 issue, we dive into an evidence and discover the historical past of each traditional cookies.
Although a French delicacy via and thru, the macaron has decidedly Arabic and Italian roots. Throughout their time occupying Sicily within the ninth century, Arab troops launched a penchant for almond-based desserts, together with the bottom formulation for marzipan. Italian monks and nuns tailored the bottom almond-sugar combo to incorporate egg whites, creating crunchy cookies they dubbed “priest’s stomach buttons” because of the cookies’ form. The recipe finally traveled from Italy and into France, probably via Catherine de Medici, who married Henry II of France in 1533 and introduced alongside her Italian pastry cooks, who, in flip, introduced over a macaron recipe. Through the years, the French would tinker, refine, and popularize the formulation.
Within the late 1800s, the macaron acquired one other fantastical transformation at famend tea salon Ladurée in Paris. Pierre Desfontaines had designed a très stylish sandwich cookie from the macaron, filling the delicate shells with ganache, jam, or marzipan to create a singularly decadent dessert. At this time, yow will discover them dyed in rainbow shades and boasting any taste conceivable, however each macaron, from the vanilla to the foie gras, nonetheless incorporates the standard trinity of egg whites, floor almonds, and sugar.
Unsurprisingly, the 2 cookies which can be separated solely by an additional “o” have very comparable origins—candy branches of the identical tree, if you’ll. The bottom almond, egg white, and sugar recipe Catherine de Medici probably delivered to France to kick-start the macaron evolution is similar one colonists delivered to the New World. First Girl Martha Washington had a recipe for “mackaroons”—most French phrases ending in “-on” acquired an additional “o” when translating to English, similar to balloon and cartoon—in her household’s handwritten cookbook, that includes the same old elements, plus an addition of rose water and musk, a nod towards the dessert’s Arabian roots.
However come the late 1800s, a brand new ingredient rose to prominence in america: coconut. Bakers substituted the novelty merchandise—newly packaged and offered as desiccated (dried out) coconut flakes—for floor almonds, creating an immediately iconic cookie. A flourless deal with that could possibly be loved throughout Passover, the recipe grew to become notably common inside Jewish communities. In truth, the primary Jewish cookbook revealed within the US, Esther Levy’s Jewish Cookery E book, describes making “Cocoanut Macaroons” as follows: “To at least one grated cocoanut add its weight in sugar, and the white of 1 egg, overwhelmed to a snow; stir it nicely, and cook dinner somewhat; then moist your palms and mildew it into small oval desserts; grease a paper and lay them on; bake in a delicate oven.” Little has modified from this authentic recipe, apart from the decadent addition of sweetened condensed milk and a last dip in chocolate.