A macaron is small circular cake usually made from a paste of almonds or coconuts, although other ingredients can be used. The main ingredient is combined with egg white and sugar to add a distinct texture and sweet flavor. As often happens in the world of French cuisine, this treat was first developed in Italy, but then became popularized in France. It is now a dessert for which the country is famous. Now macarons have become a staple of Parisian tea shops and boutique bakeries. These treats are particularly attractive due to the seemingly infinite amount of flavors, fillings and colors they can have. For many bakers, macarons have an allure that is as aesthetic as it is tasty. Today, macaroons are considered more of a cookie than a cake, and have recently gained popularity in the United States.
The first macarons were almond meringue cookies, and looked similar to traditional cookies with a soft inside. In Italian, the term macaron is derived from the word that means to beat or crush, in reference to the almond paste made to create the cookies. Macarons came to France in the 16th century. Coconuts were sometimes added to macarons, however, that particular variation became more popular in the U.S. and UK. The macaron transformed into the cookie its known as today at the beginning of the 20th century. The contemporary macaron makes use of two cookies sandwiched around a sweet filling, similar to the popular American Oreo.
Today macaron displays often look like a rainbow of Easter-egg hues and esoteric flavors. Some flavors and fillings include:
- Matcha green tea
- Raspberry jam
- Chocolate ganache
- Peanut butter
- Butter cream
And that’s just to name a few. The fantastic thing about making macarons is that you can be as creative as you’d like. Once you’ve practiced making one or two variations of these delicious cookies, you can essentially develop any flavor you can imagine.
When transporting macarons, make sure you have a sturdy container that will allow them to keep their shape and prevent the filling from being squeezed out. Another option is to pack the cookies and the filling separately, and then combine the elements at your final destination. These cookies are sure to impress your friends, allow you to express your creativity and brighten up your kitchen.