It’s National Macaroon Day! Macaroons are small unleavened cakes with a crispy outer layer and a moist, chewy center. Although they are the same size as cookies, macaroons do not contain any flour and therefore do not fall into that classification. The most popular macaroon varieties are coconut, almond, and chocolate.
Culinary historians believe that macaroons originated in Italy. In fact, the word “macaroon” comes from the Italian word for paste: “maccarone.” A primary ingredient in early macaroon recipes was almond paste.
In 1533, Italian monks and nuns introduced macaroons to France. Two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, began baking and selling these small sweets to help pay for their housing. They became known as the “Macaroon Sisters,” and their baking became famous throughout Europe.