Macaroons are a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a 'small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds' similar to Italian or Moroccan amaretti.

The English word macaroon and French macaron come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone. This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat, used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient.

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