Amaretti Cookies

Italian amaretti cookie recipe. Small, crunchy, chewy-inside, macaroon-like cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, and sugar.

  • Yield: Makes about 30 cookies.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.)

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Comments

  1. michelle

    I always thought amaretti biscuits had amaretti liqueur in them, otherwise they are almond macaroons, aren’t they?
    I have a recipe for almond macaroons that are moist and chewy rather than dry, which these sound like, but I’m no expert and wouldn’t want to sound mean about it.

    Note from Elise: According to Stephanie at The Joy of Baking, amaretti is the Italian name for macaroons.

  2. joanne

    I have always called these almond macaroons, but make them very frequently. My family adores them. I get my almond flour from the local farmer’s market, where the vendor knows me, and makes a point of have at least a pound for me. I put these bags in a larger freezer bag, and leave them in my deep freezer for emergencies. King Arthur Flour’s site also has almond flour.

  3. Sandra

    I LOOOOVVEE almond flavored cookies! I’m going to try this recipe ASAP and can’t wait for the almond flavor that is going to permeate through my apartment! :)

  4. Eiven B. Lovgren

    I live in Norway and I receive many “Simply Recipes” all the time. The biggest problem is that many of the ingredients given, are not available here, for example, Almond flour, Superfine sugar and extracts. Who can I contact to find out which substitutions that can be used?

    • Alan Saxon

      Almond flour is another name for Ground Almonds. If you cannot buy Ground Almonds where you live, you can buy raw Almonds and grind them yourself in a processor. Superfine sugar is more finely ground than granulated white sugar, but I have used this with no discernable problem. Good look. They are delicious especially with a short strong coffee like an espresso!.

  5. Rachelle

    These look so good! I can’t wait to make them. I always thought that amaretti were made with bitter almond and/or apricot kernels??? Thankfully, these ingredients are much easier to find.

  6. ~M

    I just wanted to note that these are gluten-free and maybe even Passover-friendly. Yumm!

    • Alan Saxon

      Don’t be confused by the term ‘flour’, as this is just another term for Ground Almonds, so yes they are gluten free. I cannot comment on Passover friendly though!. Good luck.

  7. jonathan

    I’m finding old age (mid-40s old age? yikes!) has me trying simpler recipes that rely on fewer ingredients, and focus more on the quality of those ingredients and their preparation.

    These amaretti seem to be a perfect example of that.

    Now all I need is a nice cappuccino to wash them down with.

    Keep ‘em coming, Garrett.

  8. Diane

    Eiven,

    You can make your own Almond flour and superfine sugar yourself, in a blender or food processor. For Almond flour, just grind up almonds. Superfine sugar is regular table sugar processed for a few seconds until the sugar crystals are very small, but not yet a powder.

    Diane

  9. Rachelle

    Do these come out crunchy like Italian amaretti, or chewy like almond macaroons?

    Also, is there a difference b/w almond flour and almond meal and does it matter which one is used in this recipe?

  10. Garrett

    Rachelle – Depending how long you bake them they can be either chewy or crunchy. Plus, like biscotti, they become crunchier over time if you go for a longer baking time.

    As for almond meal and flour, they’re the same thing, though one may suggest a courser grind than another.

  11. sue

    I live in an area where we have few choices for groceries… and I never see baker’s sugar or superfine sugar out here. Are there any other options other than mail order?

    Note from Elise: Pulse regular white granulated sugar in a food processor.

  12. Rachelle

    Thanks Garrett!

    What about my comment about bitter almond/apricot kernels? Do you know anything about that? The amaretti I buy from Italy always list those (at least one or the other) as an ingredient.

  13. Garrett

    Rachelle – Like many recipes, there is more than one way to make a certain dish. I have seen some call for ground apricot kernels, but it’s not an ingredient that’s exactly easy to procure. Plus the ones that have apricot kernels have, in my opinion, a slight coffee taste which I personally dislike in the cookie.

  14. Lajuana Palmer

    Is there any way I can make the chocolate amaretti cookies?

  15. Garrett

    Lajuana Palmer – Maybe you could add a small bit of cocoa powder? Try it out and write back and let us all know how it turns out! =)

  16. Eviedee

    This is a special moment. I have been searching for this darn recipe for YEARS as amaretti are my hubby’s absolute favorite. :)

  17. tony

    Wow, I tried this recipe and it was great. I don’t think my grandma ever made them this good, lol!

  18. farmgirl susan

    These look wonderful. I’ve never made cookies like this and now at 7:30am I’m inspired to dash into the kitchen to whip up a batch! (I’m sure they’d be great for breakfast. Of course I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t think would be great for breakfast.) Am really enjoying your cookie posts, Garrett. Thanks to both you and Elise for this neat idea.

    One question: Is it 1 teaspoon of almond extract in the recipe? Only asking as it says 1 ‘teaspoons’–and I don’t want to mess them up! Thanks. ; )

  19. Lane

    I made these this weekend, and they are delicious!

  20. Garrett

    Susan – Thanks for catching that typo. It is indeed 1 teaspoon.

  21. Sarah Bell

    I love love love amaretti biscuits or anything with almonds in it really. These look delicious and I’m sure they wouldn’t last long in my house!

  22. farmgirl susan

    Thanks, Garrett. I’m excited to try these. I’ll let you know how they come out. I’m thinking they’d be great additions to my holiday goodie packages.

  23. Melanie

    I was pretty excited when I saw this recipe, since I LOVE amarettis. Unfortunately, I followed the recipe exactly, no substitutions, and they turned out.. well,, blah…they were not light and chewy in the middle.. they were dense and had a yucky texture. More like an almond macaroon and less like the amarettis I have had at Italian bakeries

  24. Andrea

    I worried about them being heavy after the previous comment so I whipped up my egg whites separately then folded them in. Maybe it was unnecessary, but the cookies were light and delicious.

  25. Rhoda

    I loved these cookies…but mine look a little pale, lumpy…generally unappetizing. It’s taking some urging to get people to try them. I followed the recipe exactly and also experimented with leaving them in the oven longer to get them golden brown. (It didn’t work.) Any suggestions for how to make them look more appealing (and less the target of jokes at my Thanksgiving table)?

    Well Rhoda, appealing is really in the eye of the beholder. Almond flour can be used rather than course ground almonds for smoother texture. But if you do use coarse ground, I enjoy seeing all the almondy goodness.-Garrett

  26. kay

    Hi Elise,

    Do you know if it’s possible to use hazelnut meal/flour instead of almond? I have an entire bag of hazelnut meal/flour that I need to use, and my local grocer is out of almond meal/flour.

    Thanks!

    You would have to try it yourself, but I would think it would work. ~Garrett

  27. Mary

    Love these! I wanted some chocolate with them for Christmas so I melted a small package of chocolate chips in the microwave for a couple minutes on high stirring once or twice,(they don’t look melted till you stir them – don’t overheat). I dipped half of the cookies in the chocolate and put them on wax paper till set. You could also drizzle the chocolate over the top. This may not be traditional but it sure is yummy.

  28. Jane ruys

    Hi Garrett,

    My husband has just been diagnosed with ceioliac desease so I have been hunting for gluten free & amaretti biscuits for ages having tried it at a friends place. Thank you for posting this recipe.
    Cheers,
    Jane

  29. Jane ruys

    Hi Garrett,
    I found an outlet which sells amaretti flour and can I just say that they are the most delicious biscuit in the world & as a family we are all eating the gluten free way. Once per week I have to make them or I get screamed at by both my husband & our 2 teenage sons..hehehe. I couldn’t find almond extract so I just use almond essance which still does the trick. Thank you so very much.
    Cheers
    Jane Ruys, NZ

  30. Alane Nelson

    I got 60 cookies out of this recipe!

    I just baked the amaretti cookies. They are delicious! I pulsed the slivered almonds and regular sugar in the food processor first. That was easy. I do have one very important comment to make: I rolled each cookie in to the shape of a large walnut (much larger than the “teaspoon” recommended in the recipe). That yielded me 60 cookies that were the perfect size.

  31. Jane

    I don’t have a food processor. Can I just use a regular electric mixer?

    Should be fine I think. ~Garrett

  32. Beth

    My mom uses the Lazaronni (sp?) amaretti cookies as part of the crumble on her peach pie. Can these cookies be subsituted? I’d like to make her a recipe basket for Christmas!

    I think if you over bake these a bit, maybe. ~Garrett

  33. Lori

    Awesome! I made them for Passover this year, and they are a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  34. Sheryl

    My family avoids sugar. Would it be possible to substitute honey?

    No. ~Garrett

  35. Gwen

    Apricot kernels are traditionally used to make amaretti cookies. Apricot kernels have cyanide in them if they aren’t baked thoroughly before using. Which can ruin perfectly good friendships. :-)

    The Chez Panizze fruit cookbook has a recipe that is closer to the classic Italian recipe for amaretti. It at least it uses apricot kernels.

    Hi Gwen, did you know that almond extract is made from apricot kernels? It is. We use the kernels occasionally in cooking, but they are a little hard to come by unless it’s apricot season. ~Elise

  36. Kristina

    To the readers, who can not find almond flour or superfine sugar – buy ordinary almonds and sugar and just use your coffee grinder to mill them and Voila!

  37. Alex

    It is definitely better to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them in with a metal spoon. You get a lighter texture. It isn’t really necessary to process the almonds and sugar unless you can’t get ground almonds and caster/superfine sugar (neither are a problem in the UK!). After all, the recipe is probably older than electricity!

    You can buy ground/powdered apricot kernels online – there is at least one outlet in the UK but the Americans have apparently banned them on health grounds. I’ve never seen them in a shop and they’re not cheap but you don’t need much – maybe substitute 1/6 of the almonds for ground apricot kernels.

    If you want a honeyed equivalent then try riciarelli. There is a recipe at http://www.waitrose.com/recipe/Ricciarelli_Biscuits.aspx

    Buon appetito!

  38. Britt

    I have just made a batch of amaretti from a recipe my Italian host father gave me (it happens to almost exactly match the recipe from epicuious.com in proportions — http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Italian-Almond-Cookies-236733)
    Vincenzo made (and purchased) amaretti and ricciarelli for the entire month of December.

    He flattened the amaretti cookies with the back of a spatula and baked them until crispy.

    Ricciarelli were essentially the same recipe as the ameretti (though Vincenzo would disagree), with a little honey and no vanilla. These were baked only until soft and he often dusted them with powdered sugar. He topped them with candied cherries pressed into the top, half with red cherries and half with green. Oh so festive!. He made these by taking balls of the dough and pinching either side them into “mandorla” shapes. Mandorla means almond, but it also means halo, particularly the elongated halo surrounding the Madonna. According to Vincenzo, this is why these cookies are so popular at Christmas.

    Added bonus- these cookies are naturally gluten free!

    And so for a slight twist:
    Vincenzo’s Ricciarelli

    * 2 1/2 cups ground almonds (almond flour)
    * 1/3 cup sugar
    * 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
    * 2 tablespoons honey (the darker the color honey, the less more flavored the cookies will be)
    * candied or glacéed cherries or whole blanched almonds
    * Powdered sugar for coating

    Preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Mix the almond flour with 1/3 cup of sugar.

    Beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. At this point, while beating the eggs slowly pour in the honey. Continue beating egg whites until firm, shiny peaks form. Beat in almond extract.

    Fold in the almond flour and sugar mixture into the egg white mixture.

    Form rounded teaspoons, pinching opposite sides into point and flattening slightly to form almond shape (mandorla). Drop the mandorla into powdered sugar. Remover after coated, and top each with a cherry or almond. Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

  39. Michelle

    This is the best cookie recipe I’ve ever made/eaten or heard of. The only thing that might top it would be a death-by-ginger cookie, but I’m not even sure. My roommate, my sisters and my mom all said the same. If you love almond flavored pastries, this will not disappoint. The flavor is delicate, almondy and elegant, it’s in a class of its own. My only gripe is that almond flour is expensive, but the cookie is still worth it.

    One problem I had was the flatness of the cookie. It would pan out. The other thing is that these cookies wouldn’t turn golden unless they were overbaked (for me). So . . . watch out! I like mine chewy though.

    The other thing is that I killed my blender mixing the flour and sugar. For my purposes, the cookie still tastes amazing without the food processor step, but maybe it affects the shape and lightness (mine were a little weighty, but the flavor is so light it doesn’t matter).

    Besides the food processor fiasco, and learning to separate eggs, this recipe is not hard, especially since the ingredients are few.

    My last thing- what to do with the three lonely yolks? pudding?

    or ice cream. ~Elise

  40. Betsey in Seattle

    UNBELIEVABLE ~ but true! If you love almond anything, this is for you! I am not a baker (yet) but this recipe was a snap and the cookies were inhaled immediately. I made them in the Cuisinart with the plastic baking paddle (first time I ever used it) and found I needed to keep stirring up the bottom contents to incorporate all. A zillion Thanks and also for the tip on underbaking; it really worked well!

  41. hannah

    Is there any way to adapt this recipe to a college kitchen without an electric mixer/food processor?

    Get out a spoon and mix like you’ve never mixed before. ~Garrett

  42. Dunja

    Saw it, made it, ate it. I was inspired to whip up a batch of these this afternoon. Trader Joes sells Almond Meal and it worked great. My children love these cookies, dunked in milk. I piped them on the sheet using a pastry bag, that was more efficient and produced equal sized cookies. I will however beat the eggwhites stiff and fold the almond mix in that the next time I bake the cookies, I remember the Amaretti rather round and poofy. Either way, the flavor is wonderful and I will make these again, my kids suggested to make them for Christmas for Santa!

  43. Joy M.

    Made these last night and they’re a hit. I don’t have a food processor so I just mixed the ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer using the beaters. No baker’s sugar either so I just used regular granulated sugar. Also no almond extract so I put a little more vanilla. Still turned out awesome. I baked them for 26 minutes and they’re a little pale with darker edges and are nice and chewy. Thanks for the recipe!

  44. Anonymous

    Thank you for the cookie recipe. I just finished the first batch (1/2 a recipe) and the cookies are delicious and easy to make. Yummy yum yum! I will experiment and perfect the recipe to my own needs, I am still testing chewy stage and crisp stage, size, etc.

  45. Candy Halvorson

    This recipe is excellent. I always double the batch as they are a family favorite, plus an office favorite.
    To add to the look and taste, I roll the top half of the teaspoon of cookie dough into sliced almonds. I flatten cookie with back of spatula and then drizzle with honey before baking. I bake for 21 minutes.
    My daughter who lived in Troy, New York for a year said that these cookies were as good as the almond horns at Bella-Napoli!

  46. Anonymous

    Made these cookies today and I’m afraid they were too runny. They came out like pancakes. Is the dough supposed to be a bit stiff can’t remember if I put 2.5 cups of flour in or 1.5 cups.

    If you put the wrong amount of ingredients in the recipe then I’m afriad the fault is on you. ~Garrett

  47. Santa

    I have a recipe that call for the whole egg. Is that right?

    I don’t know. That’s someone else’s recipe. ~Garrett

  48. Anonymous

    I made these cookies last week and they are very good but I have never made cookies in my Cuisinart food processor and it was a total mistake. I followed the recipe but when I added the eggs my Cuisinart started smoking and I thought it was going to start a fire. The dough was so sticky that I think it bogged down the motor. So as I said yes, delicious cookies but at the price of my beloved food processor I don’t think it was worth it.

    I find it hard to believe this dough could ever do that to a food processor. I would check the machine and see if it is malfunctionining. ~Garrett

  49. Virginia Davies

    I was just discussing cookies online and thinking of the tins of imported Amaretti that I used to buy, so decided to look for a recipe (and I have 2 bags of almond flour that I bought on a whim a few weeks ago). I have not bought cookies in a while as I eat very few sweets other than fruit and organic dark chocolate. It seems to me that the ameretti in tins were a PAIR of cookies with a filling to make them round and wrapped in foil, but I don’t really remember as it has been years. If noone else knows, I may just order a small bunch so I can adapt this recipe, as I would love to do so.

  50. Amanda

    Oh! This is absolutely delicious! As a matter of fact, I’m typing this with one hand, and holding a piping hot cookie in the other. I couldn’t wait to try them! The almond flavor is absolutely amazing! This is a must-try!

  51. Marguerite

    You are right – these are quick – in 45 mins I was eating one warm from the oven. I did not use the food processor nor the fine sugar. There have been discussions about using apricot kernal flour. I just love the flavour of almonds and apricots. While I was searching for amaretti recipes, I found one that mentioned including apricot preserves so I added 3 tablespoons to the batter. They came out wonderful. Although I like my cookies crisp (well done) I loved the soft and chewy texture. I stored them in a jar that kept them soft for the week. You can find almond flour at Trader Joes.