by Joseph Erdos in Recipes, May 31st, 2013
by Sara Levine in Holidays, Recipes, April 5th, 2012
When you think of macaroons, do you recall those sweet lumps of shredded coconut with a golden crust? Or do you think of those vibrantly colored airy meringue sandwiches that the French refer to as macarons? Though these cookies share similar names, they look and taste different; they do, however, share a similar past.
If you’ve found yourself scratching your head at the bakery counter not knowing which to buy, or which is which, you’re not alone. In honor of National Macaroon Day, which is today, May 30, FN Dish is demystifying the history of these sweet, enticing confections. Read on to learn more about these cookies and get some great recipes to celebrate this food holiday with.
What makes a macaroon, plus recipes to try
Like most of our family gatherings, Passover in my house is all about the food. No one misses bread when you’ve got steaming bowls of matzo ball soup, homemade gefilte fish (never the slimy kind from a jar), fork-tender brisket and half a dozen sides. But come dessert time, I used to wish for the flour and leavening agents that are forbidden on Passover.
My grandmother was an excellent baker throughout the rest of the year, but her annual spread of kosher-for-Passover cakes and cookies left something (okay, a lot) to be desired. And for some reason, back when she and my grandfather hosted the Seder, the macaroons always came from a can.
This was a travesty. The flourless coconut macaroon is a staple of Passover — it might as well be on the Seder plate next to the horseradish and shank bone. But those canned cookies always smelled weird and had an odd, waxy texture. I grew up thinking I didn’t really like macaroons and left them untouched. French-style macarons — yes, please. Jewish-style coconut macaroons — no thanks.
Chocolate-Dipped Passover Macaroons