What’s the Difference between a Macaron and a Macaroon?

Macarons or macaroons? Both are gluten-free, but a macaron is a french sandwich cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and confectioners sugar. They are often colorful and filled with a variety of different flavored centers. They are one of my favorites, and I included twelve different flavors in my cookbook, A Gift of Cookies.

Macaroons are also delicious, but they are a heartier, coconut based drop cookie. The recipe below includes almonds and cranberries and it is dipped in chocolate. It is the cookie version of an almond joy, but even better!

Coconut, Cranberries, Almonds, Chocolate
Cookies, Desserts, Macaroons
Yield: Makes 16 macaroons
Cranberry Almond Macaroons

Cranberry Almond Macaroons

This recipe calls for dipping the macaroons in melted bittersweet chocolate, which makes these cloudlike coconut cookies even better. They’re the cookie version of an Almond Joy® candy bar.


  • 3½ cups (14 ounces) sweetened coconut, shredded and dried
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup dried cranberries and/or ½ almonds, chopped
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut, sugar, egg whites, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Spread coconut mixture onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place heaping tablespoonfuls of the mixture, forming small, rounded domes. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven. Cool on pan for 5 minutes. Transfer macaroons to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Carefully dip the bottom of each cooled macaroon into the melted chocolate, going about ¼ inch up. Let excess drip off to prevent puddling. Place macaroons, chocolate side down, on a clean, parchment-lined sheet pan. Refrigerate on pan until chocolate is firm, about 1 hour. The macaroons can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days.
Did you make this recipe?
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July 05, 2020 — Mary DiSomma