May 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM ET
May 31 is National Macaroon Day! We’re talking macaroons, not macarons -- those popular French almond and meringue cookies that sandwich flavored ganache -- but macaroons, which are cookies made with whipped egg whites, sugar and coconut. To add to the confusion, macarons are a type of macaroon, made with almond rather than coconut. From traditional to the truly out there, get your macaroon fix to celebrate!
Your grandma’s macaroons are fine for family, but when it’s time to pull out the big guns, go for the gourmet goods at Danny Macaroons. This macaroon-only bake shop features the traditional American style macaroon with a gourmet twist. Go for the Bailey’s, the red velvet, or the spiced pumpkin macaroon. And don’t tell Grandma that she is hopelessly out of style.
When you have guests with eating restrictions look no further than The Macaroon Shop. This New Jersey store offers freshly made macaroons that are wheat, lactose and gluten free! Since 1930, they have offered huge tubs of gourmet macaroons, naked, laced with almonds or enrobed in chocolate. The dessert is so delicious that no one will even guess that there are no trans fats.
Old fashioned macaroons get a stylish makeover with sprinkles and crunchy sugar! That’s what Amy Kritzer from What Jew Wanna Eat does with her Rainbow Sprinkles and Sea Salt macaroons. She dips coconut flecked macaroons in melted chocolate, then finishes them off with sprinkles and salt! “They make me want to just want to throw these macaroons in the air and shout ‘Happy New Year’ at the top of my lungs and make out with strangers!” she said.
Of course, macarons ARE a sort of macaroon, and no list would be complete without them. The Cheetos flavored macaron from Macaron Parlour is so far out there that it actually works. The shell is classic made with almonds, sugar and egg whites, and the filling is white chocolate mixed with crushed Cheetos. The fluorescent orange result is creamy, sweet, salty, and surprisingly addictive.
Mashed potato macaroons
If you have had your fill of traditional macaroons, how about one made with…mashed potatoes? Traditional Scottish macaroons use coconut and sugar, to be sure, but they also include a rather odd ingredient – potatoes! Chocolate and coconut surrounds a creamy, sweetened mashed potato center that is so sweet that you won’t ever recognize it as the stuff that flanks your meatloaf.
For the truly lazy or busy, I submit my super easy, totally cheater macaroons. There are no eggs or almonds – just sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and chocolate. The result is sticky on the outside, creamy on the inside, and sweet enough to give you a toothache. If it were any easier to prepare, it would be called takeout.
If you prefer your desserts in liquid form, check out this macaroon inspired cocktail by Todd Richman of Sydney Frank Imports:
Honey and the Mac(acaroon)
Add ice to the shaker, shake well for 12 seconds. Discard the ice from the chilled martini glass and strain into the glass.