Macarons versus Macaroons

I have a confession to make: I have never had a macaron…until this past Sunday! I FINALLY was able to try one these incredibly delicate yet amazingly rich French pastries and my life has been changed! I have seen many a blogger and friends post pictures of these cute, little sandwich-looking treats, but I’ve never had the chance to actually try one. 

This past Sunday, a few girlfriends and I went downtown Toronto to this exquisite Parisian cafe called Colette Grand Cafe. I struggle to find the right words to properly describe just exactly how incredible it really was. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much as it’s underneath condo’s and beside a hotel, right across the street from a parking lot. But the minute you open that front door, you are whisked into Paris, or so it seems, where every single detail has been finessed into perfect order. I have never been in a restaurant like this before and let me tell you, I WILL be back! 

If you are ever in the Toronto area, I would strongly encourage you to check this place out. They are open for lunch and dinner in their restaurant, but they also have a bakery side where they serve incredible lattes and the most exquisite French pastries, including the famous macaron. 

Colette Grand Cafe MacaronsSo I HAD to try them! I had the vanilla, caramel buttercream and bitter chocolate. Let me tell you, they lived up to ALL the hype I’ve read about them and more! The way the shell crumbles as you take that first bite and then as you get to the buttercream filling, it turns into more of a nougat-like texture. So creamy and rich yet also light and soft. It’s like the perfect combination of textures as you eat!

As we were all eating our macarons, we got into a discussion about whether they are called macarons (one o) or macaroons (two o’s). Even the staff at Colette all pronounced it differently, which made me want to do a little more investigating to figure out what on earth is the difference?

This past summer, I planned my sister’s baby shower and many of the guests asked if they could help by bringing some sweets. So I made a list of all the various treats I’d like to have and then asked her friends for those specific ones. I asked one friend to bring macarons as I was so excited to try them and thought they would be the perfect fit for the shower. When they arrived, she had brought the coconut macaroons and said to me “Is this what you meant? I was so confused at the bakery!” And I responded ‘No, but that’s ok…these look fabulous too!” 

So I’ve realized, I think perhaps there are MANY people in this world, who are confused by the difference between these two VERY different confections. So let’s break it down and settle it once and for all!

Besides both cookies sounding similar, the only thing they truly have in common is that they are egg based. And that’s where the similarities end. The macaron, is a meringue based made egg whites, ground almonds flour, powdered and granulated sugar and then filled with buttercream, ganache or fruit filling. It has a super delicate shell that crumbles when bitten into and turns more into a chew, like I said above, nougat-like, once you really get into it. To add to the confusion, often times these are referred to as “French Macaroons”. The proper way to pronounce this style of French pastry is “mah-kah-rohn”, where the ending sounds like the name “Ron.”

French Macarons

Macaroons, however, are entirely different. You may be more familiar with these…I know I certainly ate them growing up. They are commonly referred to as Coconut Macaroons and as pictured below, are often dipped in chocolate. These are made with ground almonds, coconut, sugar and eggs. Similar ingredients, for sure. They are dropped into place with a star point on the top and much more dense and chewy than a macaron. These are pronounced “mah-kah-roon,” that sounds like “room” or “bloom” or “loon”.


Chocolate Coconut Macaroon

Well, there’s a little lesson in differentiating between macaron’s and macaroon’s! If you have never tried a classic French macaron, you MUST do that right away! I am ruined for life now and can’t wait to sink my teeth into another! Apparently they are VERY tricky to make, but that will be my next baking challenge! Here’s Martha Stewart’s recipe for French Macaron’s that I will be trying shortly! I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out!

Have you ever tried to make macaron’s? How did they turn out? Any tips/tricks?

[Tweet “Macarons vs Macaroons? What’s the difference? Let’s settle the debate! #amidsttechaos “]

Love & Blessings,

CMartin-Sign

 

 

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26 Comments on Macaron vs Macaroon

  1. Janella Panchamsingh
    April 1, 2015 at 9:44 am (3 years ago)

    I have tried both, I myself when they came out I was confused because I knew “macaroons to be the coconut/oatmeal sweet treats. However Macaron are so tasty, We should get together and make some!

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Let’s do it girl! xox

      Reply
  2. Bethany Magnie
    April 2, 2015 at 8:46 am (3 years ago)

    Oh goodness. The French macaroons are so pretty and all over pinterest! I would love to try and make some too, the way you describe the texture sounds decadent!

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm (3 years ago)

      So decadent!

      Reply
  3. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks
    April 2, 2015 at 8:58 am (3 years ago)

    I love macaroons but never attempted to make them. I have a feeling it’s a bit like merguine though and it’s best to leave them in the oven to cool down once you switch it off.

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm (3 years ago)

      Ya I think they will be tricky to make, but I’m up for the task!

      Reply
  4. Megan
    April 2, 2015 at 8:59 am (3 years ago)

    YES! Both kinds are super delicious! <3

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Agreed! xox

      Reply
  5. Margaret Anne
    April 2, 2015 at 9:30 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for clearing up the confusion!!! I actually didn’t know those delicious looking treats were actually called ‘macarons’ … not sure what I thought a macaron was though! Haha! I will be trying one next chance I get now – for sure 🙂

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm (3 years ago)

      My pleasure Margaret! It will change your life a little bit! xox

      Reply
  6. Taylor
    April 2, 2015 at 10:27 am (3 years ago)

    I’ve never had a macaron…or a macaroon either! Maybe one day! 😀

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Find a bakery and try them! You’ll thank me later! xox

      Reply
  7. Brittany Bergman
    April 2, 2015 at 10:38 am (3 years ago)

    Oh man, I’d never thought about how confusing that is! I’ve never had a “real” French macaron, but I’m really eager to try one. That little shop looks adorable and those flavors sound divine!

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh girl, you must try one!! They are SO good!

      Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Agreed…I could go for some now too!

      Reply
  8. Lindsay
    April 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm (3 years ago)

    I have never had a macaroon either, mostly because I am allergic to coconut and never know if that stuff is in it!

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 4:32 pm (3 years ago)

      Awe shucks! What a hard thing to be allergic to! It’s in so much! My son is allergic to eggs and nuts so that’s been tricky finding cookies and cakes he can have too.

      Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 8:16 pm (3 years ago)

      No problem! Enjoy!

      Reply
  9. Yolanda Williams
    April 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Guess what I have never had one of those tastes treats myself. I will definitely give it a try. My younger brother had bad allergies. He was allergic nuts, wheat, eggs, and etc…But believe it or not last month he discover he is no longer allergic to eggs. So we celebrated. Since that was his lifelong dream. I guess when your not able to do something, its a big deal. 🙂

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s incredible news that he’s no longer allergic! Now there’s a lifetime of making up for it! Enjoy! xox

      Reply
  10. {Erica}EverythingMomandBaby
    April 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm (3 years ago)

    love, love, love this post! It drives me crazy when people don’t pronounce macarons properly.

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 8, 2015 at 7:19 pm (3 years ago)

      Haha! So funny! Well, hopefully there will be a few less people in the world who say it wrong now 😉 xox

      Reply
  11. Elizabeth O.
    April 23, 2015 at 2:19 am (3 years ago)

    These colorful yummy French treats look lovely. I want to try these too sometime soon.

    Reply
    • Christine
      April 23, 2015 at 7:44 pm (3 years ago)

      They are SO delicious! Definitely worth a try Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by! xox

      Reply

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