The Great Debate: Macaron vs Macaroon

By Kerri Case

macaron-vs-macaron2There is something slightly intimidating about certain confections. Maybe it’s how beautifully and delicately they are presented, like that girl from high school who was somehow just too perfect. Maybe it’s that their names are French, and you think the pronunciation sounds a little snooty. Or maybe it’s that their recipe calls for ingredients not in your repertoire.

In an attempt to demystify some of the more complicated creations, the editors of Treatsie have created this handy Macaroon vs. Macaron guide.

Let’s start at the beginning with simple definitions.

Macaroon: noun \ˌma-kə-ˈrün\ : A cookie made of egg, sugar and almonds or coconut.

Macaron: noun  \ mah-kah-RŌN\ : A sweet, meringue-based confection made of eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond and food coloring, commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam and sandwiched between two biscuits.

The macaroon traces its roots to Italy. Today’s American version is much more gooey than its original stiff meringue ancestor. The coconut-based treats are often dipped in chocolate.

Macarons, on the other hand, are of French descent. Their meringue base takes color very well, and today, they are often served at parties or events to match the décor. They are delicate creations, and the weather plays a big role in how they turn out.

This would be confusing enough, but then someone had to go introducing the Whoopie Pie into the mix.

Whoopie Pie: noun \ ˈ(h)wu̇-(ˌ)pē ˈpī\ : A sandwich confection made from two cake-like cookies with a creamy filling between them.

At least we can all agree on how to pronounce this one. An American creation, the Whoopie Pie was originally made from leftover chocolate cake batter baked like cookies with frosting sandwiched between them. Today other flavors of cake are used, and it is alternately classified as cake, cookies or pie.

This is all well and good, you might say, but which one of these will be the “new cupcake?” The answer is: any one you want.

Macarons, macaroons and whoopie pies are all showing up at the most fashionable parties. There’s no pressure; you can’t lose with any of these choices. So the real question becomes, which is your favorite?