These homemade amaretti cookies are a simple take on these classic Italian biscuits. They are sweet, chewy, naturally gluten free and very morish!
What are Amaretti cookies?
Amaretti cookies, also known as Amaretti biscuits or even Amaretti di Saronno, are a type of Italian cookie made with almond meal, almond flavoring, sugar, and egg whites. The names come from amaretto which is Italian for almond flavored. They are often made with Amaretto liquor or can be made with almond essence. Amaretti cookies are sometimes called Italian macaroons.
What is almond meal?
Almond meal is made from ground sweet almonds, either whole or blanched without skins. Almond flour usually refers to ground sweet almonds that have been blanched with the skins removed, although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. It can also be known as ground almonds. Almond meal usually looks like coarse bread crumbs rather than finer ground flour such as flour made with wheat, rice or corn.
Almond meal is naturally gluten free and is often used in gluten free recipes such as amaretti cookies and in other baked desserts.
I make a lot of ice cream so I always have spare egg whites that need to be used or after making a batch of tiramisu. As much as I love my meringues I was looking for something else to use up the extra egg whites. These simple cookies are the perfect solution.
I noticed when I was developing this recipe that lots of more traditional recipes whip the egg whites into soft peaks and carefully fold in the sugar and almond meal, only to squash out all the whipped-in air by rolling the cookies into balls.
It occurred to me you could skip the whipping of the egg whites and just add them un-whipped to the mix. It worked perfectly! The cookies still come together and the egg whites bind the cookies without the need to whip them first. They have just the right amount of chewiness and that lovely characteristic cracked look. So I'll be skipping the egg white whipping step when making these cookies from now on.
Almond meal: sometimes also known as almond flour or ground almonds. The almond meal in these cookies keeps them naturally gluten free and gives a wonderful richness to these cookies.
White sugar: this recipe uses white sugar but you could also use castor sugar. I don't recommend using brown sugar.
Egg whites: this recipe uses large eggs (2oz/55gms each when shells are still one). You can put the egg yokes aside to use in one of my delicious ice cream recipes.
Almond essence: helps enhance the almond flavor in these cookies. You could use an almond-flavored liquor such as Amaretto instead if you prefer, but it may not add as much concentrated almond flavor.
Powdered sugar: also known as icing sugar or confectioners sugar. It's used for dipping the cookies into and helps give them the characteristic cracked look. You can leave it out if you prefer.
How to make amaretti cookies
Put your oven onto heat up and line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
Sift the icing sugar into a medium-sized bowl.
Put the white sugar, almond meal egg whites and almond essence into a medium-sized bowl.
Mix well until the mix resembles wet bread crumbs. Measure out one tablespoon of mix. Press mix firmly between your hands and roll into a ball.
Put the ball into sifted powdered sugar and roll around to coat. You can shake off the sugar with your hand or use a small sieve to gently roll around the cookie to dust off the excess sugar. You can create a cookie production line if you wish and coat several cookies at a time.
Put coated cookie onto one of the lined baking trays and press down lightly in the middle. Continue with the rest of the cookie mix.
Bake in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes until done. The cookies should just be starting to turn golden around the edges.
How to serve the cookies
These cookies are fabulous on their own or with a cup of coffee. They are very moreish and hard to stop at just one!
How to store the cookies
You can store these cookies in an airtight container lined with parchment paper for up to two weeks. After that, they may start to get a little dry but will still be good to eat for a further week.
If you are making these for Christmas they also post well! Make sure they are packed well with food-safe material such as balled-up parchment paper in a nice nug box. And always check the restrictions on posting food in your location first.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy dessert recipes?
Why not try making
- 2 baking trays
- 1 and ⅓ cups (295gms) granulated sugar or castor sugar
- 4 cups (400gms) almond meal
- 4 large egg whites from large eggs (2oz/55gms each with shells before seperating)
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- ½ cup (60 gms) powdered sugar *also called icing surgar or confectioners sugar.
- Pre heat oven to 340°F (170°C).
- Seperate eggs and put yokes aside for another recipe, such as one of my delicious ice creams.
- Line two trays with parchment paper.
- Sift powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl.
- Add sugar, almond meal, egg whites and almond essence to a large bowl.
- Mix well untill it resembles coarse wet bread crumbs.
- Scoop out a tablespoon of mix and roll into a bowl in your hand. If the mix is a little crumbly press together firmly in your hands, then carefully continue to roll into the ball.
- Put rolled cookie into powdered sugar and roll around until coated.
- Gently shake off excess powdered sugar then place it onto the lined tray and press down gently with one finger.
- Continue to roll cookies, dip them into powdered sugar and put them onto trays until all cookies are done.
- You can roll and dip a few cookies at a time into the powdered sugar to save time.
- Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown between the icing sugar.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.
- Fabulious on their own or with a cup of coffee. Delicious!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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