The name ‘Macaroon’ comes from the Italian word maccarone which means ‘paste’ and were first prepared by Italian monks. The original macaroons were made from almond paste and egg-whites. This gave the macaroons a meringue-like consistency, with a crisp crust and soft inside. The first macaroons were more like today’s almond-meringue cookie, which we now call amaretti.
In 1533, macaroons made their way to France, where they were perfected and popularized.
The pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici and her husband King Henri II. While seeking asylum in the town of Nancy during the French Revolution, two Benedictine nuns names Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth paid for their housing by baking and selling macaroon cookies. They quickly became known as the ‘Macaroon Sisters’.
As time passed, coconut was added to the ground almonds and actually replaced the almonds all-together in certain recipes. This version of the macaroon is most popular in the US and UK and is the one many of us know and love today.