Did you know that Thursday -- and each May 31 -- is National Macaroon Day?
As Menuism points out, macarons -- which originated in France -- have been become an increasingly popular treat here in the States, and perhaps that popularity is at the root of some confusion over what constitutes a macaron versus what is a macaroon.
Macaroons originated in Italy and are the coconut- and often chocolate-covered flourless cookies that also include egg whites, sugar and ground almonds.
Macarons, on the other hand, are the multi-colored, multi-flavored mini-cookie sandwiches usually filled with a jam, meringue or ganache. According to The Nibble blog, they were invented by Pierre Desfontaines Ladurée.
In celebration of the (admittedly obscure) holiday, we reached out to our readers to find out where they like to get their macaron -- or macaroon -- fix, and also included a few of our own picks. If you're feeling inspired by their rave reviews of the tiny treat, be sure to check out the video tutorials below for tips on how to whip up your own.
Did we miss your favorite spot for the dessert of the hour? Let us know!
Pierrot Gourmet at Peninsula Hotel
On Facebook, Sarah Florie recommended the Peninsula's French macarons. <br> <em>108 E. Superior St., Chicago</em> <br> Photo: James Cridland (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/5156784420/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
Multiple readers recommended Vanille on Facebook. On Yelp, numerous reviewers say this Lincoln Park spot offers "the best quality and selection of macarons in the city." <br> <i>2229 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago</i> <br> Photo: snowpea&bokchoi (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/5143873442/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
Reader Julio Perez said via Facebook that this Logan Square bakery offers macarons that are "divine," especially the pistachio and pink peppercorn varieties. Reader Jessica Perez added that the chocolate malt macarons were a personal favorite of hers. <br> <em>2569 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago</em> <br> Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Boulangerie/120919504636393" target="_hplink">La Boulangerie Facebook</a>
Chicago French Market
The Chicago French Market offers many delicious varieties of macarons on the Near West Side. <br> <i>131 N. Clinton St., Chicago</i> <br> Photo: goatling (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmchoco/7033492227/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
Reader Uno D. Ostres said via Facebook that this bakery offers great macaroons -- "the thick, chewy, gooey coconut kind." <br> <em>201 N. Buffalo Grove Rd., Buffalo Grove</em> <br> Photo: little blue hen (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/3396616123/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
The macaroons here have been described as mouth-meltingly unbelievable. <br> <em>119 N. Marion St., Oak Park</em> <br> Photo: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
@Wrighteous tweeted that Meinl's macarons are "the bomb." <br> <em>3601 N. Southport Ave. (plus 4363 N. Lincoln Ave., 1414 W. Irving Park Rd.), Chicago</em> <br> Photo: alui0000 (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/alui0000/3435694674/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
Reader Carrie Bryson on Facebook called the macaroons here "super-cheap, supersized, and super-delicious!" <br> <em>1443 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago</em> <br> Photo: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
The Slurping Turtle
Aya Nomoto (@SakeWithAya) tweeted that this Near North Side spot offers some great Asian variations on macaroons. <br> <em>116 W. Hubbard St., Chicago</em> <br> Photo: lilivanili (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lilivanili/2746705637/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
How to Make Coconut Macaroons
Chef Sandy Davis prepares this delicious dessert: Coconut Macaroons
How to Make Macarons
Make these delightful French cookies - also called macarons - for your family, colleagues, or for a party and watch as people go back for seconds and thirds.