Italian Amaretti cookies are super simple and naturally GF cookies. Crispy outside, flavorful, rich and chewy inside! Very easy to make.
Have you ever thought that a cookie can be light like a feather, delicate with intense flavor, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside? If the answer is no, then obviously you’ve never tried amaretti cookies.
WHAT IS AMARETTI COOKIE?
These little airy almond-flavored cookies are Italian variety of famous French macarons. The word amaretti comes from Italian “amaro” – bitter, because of bitter almond flavor, and the word amaretti means “little bitter things”. Amaretti cookies were created in Venice during the Renaissance period and traditionally were made with almond paste, sugar, egg whites and sometimes flavored with chocolate, cinnamon or even liqueur.
Usually they are served with sweet dessert wine, liqueur, as well as with a cup of fresh espresso, ice-cream, desserts and taste fantastic on their own.
What makes them so special is that these dome-shaped cookies are soft and crispy at the same time. When eaten fresh right from the oven, they’re soft with a slight crunch. The longer you keep them the crunchier they become, but still taste fantastic.
No need to travel to Italy to taste original Amaretti cookies. These are very easy to make, they bake quickly and the recipe is very simple, so there’s no need to test and re-test it until it works for you. General preparation time is up to 20-25 minutes, while cooking time is just 15 minutes. In 40 minutes you have chewy delicious and light (40 calories per cookie) dessert for your morning or afternoon cup of coffee. They’re also suitable for gluten-free people.
ALMOND PASTE: Amaretti cookies can be made of almond paste, which is a combination of ground almonds and sugar. In this recipe, I use whole almonds. Depending on what texture of the cookies you want to get, almonds can be ground coarsely or more evenly. Ground almonds give the cookies their special flavor.
EGG WHITES: The second main ingredient is egg whites, so if you have any leftovers of the whisked eggs in the freezer, just mix it with the almonds and sugar and simple delicious dessert is at your table.
HOW TO STORE AMARETTI COOKIES
The cookies are delicious both warm and cold and can be stored at a room temperature for a couple of days, but in fact, you need a strong willpower not to eat them all at once!
To make it even more irresistible, melt a little bit of dark chocolate and dip your cookies into it. Another option is to make little sandwiches – spoon the flat side of one cookie with the chocolate then top with another one. Buttercream or jam will also work. If you don’t like chocolate or any other additive, with sugar icing they’re just as good.
You can shape the cookies whatever you want, but remember, that they will expand slightly in the oven and also flatten a bit more, but you can carefully form them right after they come out of the oven. To give your cookies more festive look dust them with confectioners’ sugar before the oven.
HOW TO MAKE AMARETTI COOKIES
- Almonds - 1½ cups / 150 gm
- Egg whites - 4
- Cream of tartar- ¼ tsp
- Sugar- ¼ cup
- Icing sugar ( sifted)- 1 cup, plus extra for dusting
- Vanilla extract-1 tsp
- Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F with the rack in the center.
- Line a large baking tray with foil/ parchment paper.
- In a food processor with the grinder attachment, process almonds for no longer than 1 minute, add ¼ cup of sugar and blend for another 2-3 minutes or until everything is finely ground.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar & continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 cup of the sifted icing sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks.
- Add the vanilla extract and gently fold in the ground almonds-sugar mixture.
- Transfer the dough into a pastry piping bag. Pipe little mounds (2 cm high). Dust with some icing sugar and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then remove them from the foil/ parchment paper.
- Store in an airtight container.