A macaroon is a type of small, sweet confection that is typically made from ground almonds (or sometimes other nuts), sugar, and egg whites. The most common version is a mounded, slightly chewy cookie with a crisp exterior, often flavored with coconut. Here’s a detailed description:

Characteristics of a Traditional Macaroon

  1. Ingredients:
    • Coconut or Almond: The primary ingredient can be either shredded coconut or almond paste/ground almonds.
    • Sugar: Provides sweetness and helps in achieving the chewy texture.
    • Egg Whites: Used as a binding agent and to give the cookie its structure.
    • Optional Flavorings: Vanilla, chocolate, or even lemon zest can be added for extra flavor.
  2. Texture:
    • Exterior: Lightly crisp and golden brown.
    • Interior: Moist and chewy, offering a contrast to the crispy outside.
  3. Shape and Size:
    • Shape: Typically round or slightly domed.
    • Size: Usually about the size of a small cookie, roughly 1-2 inches in diameter.
  4. Preparation:
    • The ingredients are mixed together to form a sticky dough, which is then spooned or piped onto a baking sheet.
    • Baked at a moderate temperature until the exterior is golden and crisp.


  • Coconut Macaroon: The most popular variety in the United States, made predominantly with sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Almond Macaroon: Often found in European countries, using almond paste or finely ground almonds, giving a different flavor and texture.
  • Chocolate-Dipped Macaroon: Sometimes, macaroons are partially dipped in chocolate for an added layer of flavor and decadence.
  • Flavored Macaroons: Variations might include flavors such as orange zest, lemon zest, or chocolate chips mixed into the batter.

Distinction from Macarons

It’s important to note that macaroons are different from French macarons. Macarons are delicate sandwich cookies made with almond flour, meringue, and often filled with ganache, buttercream, or jam. They are known for their smooth, shiny tops, ruffled feet, and a variety of colors and flavors.

In contrast, macaroons are simpler and more rustic in appearance and preparation, offering a hearty and satisfying bite with a straightforward sweetness.

Image from Wikipedia