MACARONS – Don’t confuse them with Macaroons
It’s high time we set the record straight: the word “macaron” is not an alternate spelling of macaroon. In fact, the two terms refer to distinctly different things. Both macarons and macaroons are confections, and both names are derived from ammaccare, which is Italian for “to crush” — but that’s where the similarities end.
A macaron specifically refers to a meringue-based cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated and powdered sugar, then filled with buttercream, ganache or fruit curd. The delicate treat has a crunchy exterior and a weightless interior with a soft ending that’s almost nougat-like in its chewiness. To add to the confusion, it’s often called a French Macaroon.
In contrast, the word macaroon is a generic phrase that is applied to a number of small, sweet confections. Mostly, the term is equated with the moist and dense coconut macaroon, which is composed of egg whites, sugar, and dried coconut, often piped with a star-shaped tip, and sometimes dipped in chocolate. The coconut macaroon, or congolais, as it’s known in France, is frequently served during Passover because it contains no flour. From: www.popsugar.com
A WORD ABOUT SAFE FOOD COLORING
All natural food colorings are generally made with dyes extracted from primarily plant sources, using an extract from turmeric or saffron for a yellow color, for instance. They can be difficult to find at conventional markets, but they are often stocked at stores such as Whole Foods and Sur La Table, as well as other specialty food or baking stores. These natural dyes are often more expensive than regular dyes, but like the regular coloring, they will keep for quite some time. India Tree is one brand that produces very good, all natural dyes made from plant sources and it is available several places online as well as in the stores mentioned above.