A macaron is a sweet confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron is commonly filled with buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. Its name is derived from an Italian word "maccarone" or "maccherone". The principal ingredient is almond paste. It is meringue-based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar.
Macarons can be found in a wide variety of flavors that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the new (truffle, green matcha tea). The fillings can range from jams, ganache, or buttercream.
The macaron's origin is not very clear, but a general accepted idea is that it may have been brought by Catherine di Medici's chefs from Italy. This may have occurred in 1533. The macarons became widely known in France in 1792 during the French Revolution. They were baked and sold by two nuns trying to earn their living. Their macarons unlike modern ones were made only of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar without any filling or flavor.
Only in the 1900's Pierre Desfontaines from a Parisian cafe called Ladurée decided to fill these cookies with ganache. Nowadays macarons are not just simple cookies and the great variety of flavors and fillings make them a popular treat among both Parisians and foreigners.
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Introduction to French Macarons, seriouseats.com