Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord. ~Elise
The first time I had amaretti was in the Piazza San Marco in Venice. I stumbled upon a small cart selling a variety of ornate confections. Yet amongst all the tinsel and colorful sugar my eyes were drawn to a small cellophane bag tied with a small bit of gold ribbon. In it were little pale cookies that looked ordinary but enticing none the less. When opened the bag released a heady perfume that overtook me and those around me. Its sweet almond aroma always takes me back to the Piazza and its surrounding cobbled streets and bridges.
Amaretti are little cookies that are light as a feather, yet have an intense sweet almond flavor. They’re airy, delicate, and oh so simple to make. The recipe takes no more than 4 minutes to put together and they bake quickly. They taste fantastic on their own, but I’ve also been known to grind them up into a powder and add it to flavor pumpkin bread in lieu of cinnamon and spices, or add them to the batter of vanilla cakes or pancakes to give it depth in flavor.
- 2 1/2 cups of almond flour -or- 3 cups of blanched slivered almonds, finely ground up
- 1 1/4 cup of baker's sugar (superfine sugar)
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of almond extract
- Extra sugar for dusting
1 Preheat oven to 300 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2 In a food processor mill together the almond flour and sugar. Add the vanilla and almond extract and pulse for a few seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to process until the dough is smooth.
3 Place teaspoons of the dough on the parchment paper and dust with sugar. Bake for 24-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before serving. They will be slightly chewy at first, but they will be nicely crispy as a day or two goes by. Store in a cool, dry place. (Note: I usually underbake mine since I like them chewy. If that's your preference, bake them for about 20-24 minutes.)