The first time I had amaretti cookies was in the Piazza San Marco in Venice. I stumbled upon a small cart selling a variety of ornate confections.
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 nonetheless.
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!
This amaretti cookie 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
Prepare oven and baking sheet:
Preheat oven to 300°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Make the dough:
In a food processor pulse 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.
Dollop dough onto lined baking pan, dust with sugar:
Place teaspoons of the dough on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and dust with sugar.
Bake at 300°F 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 under-bake mine since I like them chewy. If that's your preference, bake them for about 20-24 minutes.)