Several weeks ago Nosh Pit ran the results from a macaron taste test. The post prompted head scratching from some readers and colleagues. Aren’t macarons little coconut mounds?, they wondered.

In fact, they are not.

Macarons are those très trendy, pretty French pastries made with two meringue cookies, in between which is creamy filling. A macaron resembles a mini burger. A macaroon (note the two Os) is indeed a coconut confection but can look like hash browns. They’re not nearly as pretty. Interestingly enough the two share more than a confoundedly similar name. “They’re part of the same family tree but became divided” as Italian Jewish populations sought a Passover treat free of leavening agents, explains baking expert Jessie Oleson.

Appearances aside, a macaroon, especially when dipped in chocolate, is absolutely delicious—like a Mounds bar, only fancier. Included here are two examples certainly worth considering next time you seek a jolt of sweet. The ones on the left are from Dahlia Bakery; the plateful below is the work of Essential Baking Company.

Those looking for crunch will dig the former—the toasty exterior masterfully masks the gooey middle—while Essential’s is unabashedly moist through and through. The chocolate is a nice touch, too.

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