OK...there are MACARONS...and there are MACAROONS and the similarities in name are the source of much confusion! So what really is the difference? Well they are both delicious, but are entirely different cookies.
A macaROON (which I do not make) is coconut based, with a lumpy and dense texture and is very chewy. They are extremely sweet and quite simple to make. Sometimes you will see them dipped in chocolate.
MacaRONS, on the other hand are sublime (and I love making them!) They were once a single cookie, thought to have been brought from Italy to France by the chef of Catherine de Medici. Once in France, they received a tasty upgrade and became the sandwich cookie we know today...two meringue cookies made of almond four, egg white and sugar, held together with a variety of delicious fillings; buttercream, ganache or fruit jam. Macarons require patience, skill and practice to get just right. The 2 most famous macaron houses in Paris are Ladurée and Pierre Hermé and they have been rivals since 1997...if you are ever in Paris, do your own taste-test and pick your favorite! Let me know where else you have had your favorite macarons!