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(or macaroon macron makeroon makcaron)

Thick cookies made from stiffly beaten egg white with sugar and either ground almonds or desiccated coconut, dropped into masses onto a sheet and baked until crisp throughout, or so as to leave a chewy inner. Mrs.B adds a little orange-flower water, but recommends that "we think it almost or quite as economical to purchase such articles as these at a good confectioner's."

Since the 1950s the French spelling 'macaron' has become increasingly associated with the, more traditional, almond, form and the word 'macaroon' for the, more recent, coconut type, though both spellings remain somewhat interchangeable.

Image: 'aussiegall'

The name is known at least since the early 1600's, being given in Cotgrave's Dictionary of 1611 as; "Macarons, Macarons; little Fritter-like Bunnes, or thicke Losenges, compounded of Sugar, Almonds, Rosewater, and Muske." It occurs obliquely in Markham's 1615 'English Hus-wife' (below) and may possibly be derived from the earlier Bisket Bread.

Original Receipt from 'Countrey Contentments, or, The English Hus-wife' by Gervase Markham, 1615 (Markham 1615)

To make finer Jumbals
To make Jumbals more fine and curious than the former, and nearer to the taste of the Macaroon, take a pound of Sugar, beat it fine, then take as much fine wheat flower, and mix them together, then take two whites and one yolk of an Egg, half a quarter of a pound of blanched Almonds: then beat them very fine altogether, with half a dish of sweet Butter, and a good spoonful of Rose water, and so work it with a little Cream till it come to a very stiff paste, then roul them forth as you please: and hereto you shall also if you please, add a few dryed Anniseeds finely rubbed, and strewed into the paste, and also Coriander seeds.

Original Receipt in 'The Accomplisht Cook' by Robert May, 1660 (Robert May 1660);

To make Mackeroons.
Take a pound of the finest sugar, and a pound of the best Jordan-almonds, steep them in cold water, blanch them and pick out the spots: then beat them to a perfect paste in a stone mortar, in the beating of them put rose-water to them to keep them from oyling, being finely beat, put them in a dish with the sugar, and set them over a chafing-dish of coals, stir it till it will come clean from the bottom of the dish, then put in two grains of musk, and three of ambergriese.

See: Suffolk Trifle

Original Receipt in Hammond 1819;

Take half a pound of almonds, blanch them and throw them into cold water, dry them in a cloth, pound them in a mortar, and moisten them with the white of an egg, then take eight ounces of powdered sugar, the whites of two eggs, and a little milk, beat the whole well together, shape them round upon thin paper with a spoon, and bake them on tin plates.

Original Receipt from Daily Herald - Tuesday 01 November 1921

COCONUT MACAROONS Ingredients.—Quarter pound dessicated coconut, one quarter pond icing sugar, white of one egg, two ounces of caster sugar, a spoonful of water. Method—Sift the sugar and mix it with the caster sugar. Whisk the white of the egg to a firm froth and add the coconut and the sugar in alternate spoonfuls until all is used; keep rather firm or the cakes will not retain their shape in the oven. but you will need a little water to make the mixture bind together. Mould the cakes with your hands into little cones about an inch and a half high and a little more than an inch across the base; half may be coloured very pale pink if liked, and bake them in a moderate oven until very lightly coloured and almost firm. Let them cool a little and when set take them off their backing tin and serve them when quite cold. These are delicious and easily made.

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