These chewy Amaretti Cookies are the most perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or Italian espresso. You might wanna double the batch, because they usually go very quickly! (Scroll down to the end of this post for an awesome cookbook giveaway.)
I don’t even want to do the math of how many Amaretti cookies I’ve eaten these past few days. ???
I took one or two as soon as they were out of the oven, then snacked on some while I was shooting the photos for this post, then had some with my iced coffee, and then, when I decided I didn’t like the photos that I took, I had to make another batch of cookies, because there weren’t enough left to shoot. Oh, the life of a food blogger…
At least this is a pretty easy recipe that I didn’t have to test and re-test a bazillion times, because it comes from a cookbook.
Yep, you’ve heard it right! Today’s recipe comes from the cookbook “Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook”, by Anya Fernald and Jessica Battilana. But you can 100% trust that I wouldn’t be posting it if I didn’t love it with all my heart. ❤️
I was gifted two copies (Scroll down for a chance to win one!) by Blogging for Books and immediately knew I had to share a recipe from such an amazing cookbook with you, my dearest readers and friends.
And let me tell you, it was hard to pick just one! The book is full of lovely photos and delicious recipes from rich sauces to meaty ragus and perfectly charred vegetables. The author took inspiration by the humble traditions of cucina povera, the frugal cooking of Italian peasants, to bring us a forgotten simplicity to home cooking, in recipes that are approachable and can be made in any kitchen.
As I was leafing through the book, I came across this recipe for Amaretti Cookies and, since I couldn’t remember the last time I had them, I decided it was about time I added this sweet treat to this blog’s library. And as soon as my whole apartment started smelling of almonds, I knew I made the right decision!
Now, I cannot claim “authenticity” because I’ve never had amaretti cookies in Italy. The reason being the fact that I’ve never been to Italy. (I know, it’s sad, isn’t it?)
But these are pretty similar to the amaretti I’ve had in Italian bakeries and restaurants in Brazil and here in NYC, so if you ask me, I think they are pretty darn Italiani!
The only modification I did to the original recipe was to roll the cookies in powdered sugar before baking them, so they would look more fun and festive. Other than that, the recipe worked like a charm in the first attempt, since the recipe is simple and very easy to follow.
When the amaretti cookies are fresh out of the oven, they’re are soft and airy, with a slight bite to them. As they sit and dry, they become crunchier and chewier, like the store-bought ones.
However, you shouldn’t expect them to melt in your mouth like their French cousins, the macarons. Though Amaretti cookies are the precursors to the soft textured macarons, the Amaretti have a slight crust on the outside and a dense, chewy center. I like to see them like a happy medium between macarons and biscotti.
Amaretti cookies originated in Venice during the late Renaissance period and they get their names from the Italian word “amaro”, which means “bitter”, because of the slight bitter flavor of the almonds. So the literal translation of “amaretti” wold be “the little bitter ones”.
Anya’s recipe calls for almond extract, but I am intrigued to try to make them with Amaretto liqueur instead. Uh oh, I sense a third batch of amaretti cookies in my near future!
But this time around I’ll try my best not to eat them all, so I can have leftovers to transform into other marvelous desserts, like trifles, tiramisù, pie crust, and even ice cream.
Or maybe I’ll just invite my neighbors over for a glass of wine and we can dunk the amaretti cookies in the wine, like the Italians do.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (or Amaretto liqueur)
- Powdered sugar for rolling the cookies
- Prepare one large baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper.
- Sift the flours and sugar into a large bowl.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, whisk the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Whisk in the almond extract (or liqueur) just until combined.
- Transfer the whites into the dry ingredients and mix with your hands until a sticky dough forms.
- Preheat your oven to 300F degrees.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, roll into the powdered sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Flatten the cookies slightly, then let them stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, while your oven is preheating.
- Bake the amaretti cookies until the tops are cracked and the cookies are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so they can cool completely.
- The cookies will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
For this recipe, I recommend:
I am giving away a copy of the “Home Cooked” cookbook, courtesy of Blogging for Books, to one lucky U.S. reader.
For a chance to win, simply comment on this post telling me what is your favorite Italian dish. The winner will be selected at random and notified by email no later than August 21st. You can use the rafflecopter below for bonus entries!
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Disclosure: I received two cookbooks from Blogging for Books as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. The post also contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you end up purchasing the product. There is no extra cost for you! :)