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  • The History Behind Macaroons

    macaroonWhen is the last time you had a macaroon – was it an almond, coconut, chocolate chip or chocolate covered macaroon? Whichever variation you had last, it was probably delicious but do you know the origins behind this cookie? Legend has it that the macaroon cookie first was dated back in the 8th or 9th century Italian monastery and the earliest recording has been traced back to Commercy, France. Some historians argue that macaroons originated in Venice and made their way to France by sailors.

    While the exact recordings of the macaroon are debated, one thing kept true was its unique texture and flavor. The word ‘macaroon’ is derived from the Italian word ammaccare which means to crush. The reference is to the almond paste which was the main ingredient of the cookie since the beginning of its introduction. Interestingly enough, almonds were introduced to Venice in the beginning of the 7th century by Arab invaders. From there, egg whites and sugar were mixed to create the cookie.

    By the 18th century, the French refined the macaroon and made it a delicacy by sticking to the original recipe and modifying it slightly. The basics included almond paste, sugar and egg whites but they shaped the cookie round and after they would bake, jam or another filling would be placed between two rounded macaroons. It may have been the first ‘sandwich’ cookie because the Oreo didn’t debut until 1912!

    The macaroon eventually made its way around the world and it wasn’t until the late 19th century when the almond was replaced with coconut in North America. The almond replacement was due to the fragile nature of the cookie because the coconut substitute held up better during transportation. Additionally, the coconut substitute tended to last longer on long voyages which made it less likely to spoil over time.

    Today, macaroons are considered favorites among cookie eaters and the recipes have not changed much since the 8th century. They saying, ‘why fix something that isn’t broken’ definitely applies to the macaroon because its’ recipe has lasted this long. The chewy and delightful cookie is a great holiday dessert because it pairs perfectly with milk or coffee! You have to try each variety because they all have the same back bone but different flavor profiles. You can assume that the macaroon cookie is on track to stay around for a few more hundred years.

  • Sweet Snack Ideas for Your Halloween Party -- No Baking Required!

    While Halloween is considered the ultimate kids' holiday, adults can still get to experience their fair share of fun by having a party. After helping put together the kids' costumes and taking them trick-or-treating, it's time for you to come out and play.

    jamescandy

    The best part of hosting a Halloween party is that there is no limit to what you can do. It's all up to you, but there is a lot of planning to do. While picking out a costume and decorating your home to give it a Halloween theme are important, if you're like most people, a lot of your attention will be focused on impressing your guests with a creative assortment of tasty treats.

    However, with all there is to do between the kids and the party, you may feel as though you won't have time for everything. Don't worry! You can still host a fabulous party and provide guests with appetizing snacks.

    At James Candy, we have an endless assortment of sweets that are a perfect addition to any party, in both full-sized and bite-sized varieties. To help you narrow down the selection, provided below are a few sweets you really can't go wrong with.

    Macaroons: While you could go with cookies, why not go with chewy macaroons instead? With delicate flavors and an assortment of colors, macaroons make a wonderful party treat. You can choose from different flavors including almond, coconut and chocolate chip or opt for small French macaroons for a bit of class.

    Chocolate covered pretzels: Chocolate covered pretzels are a classic party treat and your guests are sure to wipe the plate clean. You can pick simple pretzels covered in milk chocolate or the more elaborate variety topped off with Jimmies or sprinkled with peanut butter.

    Nuts: No, we don't mean just plain peanuts or pecans. When we say nuts, we mean nuts in a brittle to give them a salty sweet, delicious taste. We have a variety for you to choose from including Almond Butter Crunch, Peanut Brittle, and Fralinger's Famous Peanut Butter Chews.

    In addition to our selection of sweets, we make snack shopping easy, as you can place your order online and we can deliver it to you, all ready to go! All you need to do is set your treats on the table (don't forget to place them on some appropriately creepy serving ware) and let your guests dig in and enjoy. Be the haunting hit of your party this year with these tasty and simple snack ideas!

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