What is a macaroon to you? Is it a sandwich cookie made of almond flour and egg whites, or is it a sweetened coconut cookie? I love them both. However, through research I found that the macaroon is the almond and egg white cookie and the sweetened coconut cookie is called a macaron.
The earliest record of the macaroon dates back to 791 AD. They originally came from an Italian monastery. In 1533, they found their way to France. It was then adopted by the Italian Jews to eat on Passover. They did this because there is no flour or leavening agent in these cookies. The first recipe of the almond macaroon was found in a cookbook in 1725. It was not until the 19th century that coconut made it its way into the macaroon. Eventually the almond flour was deleted from the recipe all together, making the macaron, that is basically a sweetened coconut cookie.
These little sandwich cookies are not the easiest thing to make. They are very tempermental to time and tempurature. The first batch that I made cracked. This is how I found that my oven runs hot. I dropped the temperature on the next batch and they turned out beautiful. Trying to make sure that your stiffened egg whites do not deflate when pouring in hot sugar is not easy. I made quite a mess by not putting my egg whites in a big enough bowl, forgetting how much they inflate when whipped(lesson learned).