Born In ItalyThe earliest macaroons were made in Italy. These flour-less and unleavened treats were made with a mixture of almond paste, egg whites and sugar. While these cookies eventually became known as amaretti in their native Italy, the soon to be modern macaroon began to evolve in several places.
Some chefs had begun to swap the almond paste for finely shredded coconut. These very sweet and chewy cookies became a hit at many Passover meals. They were sweet, easy to make, and unleavened, a perfect dessert. This version became the modern macaroon.
The macaron has a slightly different story. When Catherine de Medici was wed to the French King she brought along a number of servants and chefs from her native Italy to remind her of home. Those chefs taught the French to make their almond based version of a macaroon. Over time the French refined it and gave it a special twist. It became known as the French macaron, a light, flaky, and often chocolate-iced dessert.