It is kind of meringue-based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar.
Although predominately a French confection, there has been much debate about its origins. Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaron as being created in 791 in a convent near Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici’s Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II.
In the 1830s macarons were served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today was called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron" and is the creation of Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Ladurée,composed of two almond meringue disks filled with a layer of butter cream, jam, or ganache filling.