WHAT IS A MACARON?
Nope! I promise it's not a typo. It is in fact spelled maca-RON. A macaroon is actually a mound shaped coconut based cookie usually dipped in chocolate. What I make are macarons, which are two halves made with a meringue, almond flour and powdered sugar, that sandwich a creamy and flavorful filling. Both are popular pastries and can be found at bakeries all around. But if you call them macaroons I'll probably know what you're talking about.
WHY ARE PEOPLE ALWAYS CONFUSING THE TWO?
The English word macaroon actually comes from the French macaron, which in turn is a translation of the Italian word maccarone. Coconut dominated the macaroon scene in the United States for so long that it didn’t really matter that these two cookies have such similar names—until about a decade ago, when the Parisian macaron exploded in popularity. Now, it’s easy to confuse the two, with some American bakers translating the almond sandwich cookie into English and others sticking with the original French spelling. The same problem doesn’t come up in France, where coconut macaroons are known by an entirely different name: rochers coco.