Simply put, this Amaretti Cookies Recipe will surely become a holiday staple in your home. Not only are they quick and easy to make, but they are so very delicious. Make a double recipe of these almond cookies and tuck some into gift bags to give this holiday.
Like you, we have a long list of cookies that will be baked each November and December. Spicy, Chewy Molasses Cookies and Crispy Ginger Cookies, as well as my Grandma’s Chocolate Cookies, are on the ‘must bake’ list and have been for as long as I can remember.
But this year, I am adding a new one. That I can have two dozen of these easy soft Amaretti Cookies baked, start to finish, in under an hour is a big plus. And, not for nothing, these delightful Italian cookies will please the marzipan lovers in your world. An added bonus is that you can make up a big batch of dough and freeze it until needed.
But on top of that, these chewy almond cookies are the perfect combination of chewy on the inside and a slight crunch on the outside. That combination is the perfect recipe and a sure winner in my well-honed cookie analysis.
And then, there is the lovely almond flavor! AND, not for nothing, these Italian Amaretti cookies are gluten-free, making them perfect for those who need to avoid gluten.
While there are different versions of the origins of Amaretti (plural of Amaretto) during the Renaissance period, we do know that the Lazzaroni family has been making amaretti biscuits since 1719. They are also owners of the ‘amaretti archive’ housed in a 14th-century Franciscan church in Saronno, Lombardy, Italy. The original recipe, and those currently baked in Italy, used bitter almonds for the flavor. Bitter almonds, produced from apricot kernels, are not available in the U.S., so we used almond extract in its place.
I mean, how much goodness can one little cookie hold?
can these amaretti cookies be made ahead?
Yes! While I prefer the crunchy on the outside/chewy on the inside texture of the first 24 hours, these cookies will still be delicious for up to a week. Store them at room temperature, in an air-tight container. If frozen, they will last longer.
Bear in mind that they will become crispier, less chewy as they age.
can the amaretti cookie dough be frozen?
Again, yes. In fact, this is my preferred way to make the cookies ahead of time as you will have freshly baked cookies when needed. In order to freeze the pre-baked Amaretti Cookies, make the dough and form the balls. Then lay the balls on a cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the dough balls are frozen solid. At that point, remove them from the cookie sheet and place them in a plastic bag or container.
When you are ready to bake your almond cookies, remove the desired amount and place them in the refrigerator overnight until softened. At that point, roll them in the sugar mixture and proceed to bake them as instructed in the recipe.
Enjoy one of these simple, yet delicious, Amaretti cookies with your next cup of tea or coffee. In Italy, these little almond cookies are also served after dinner, with a sweet dessert wine.
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- 3 cups (288g) almond meal or almond flour
- 2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (60 g) confectioner's sugar or icing sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- A pinch of cream of tartar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/2 cup confectioner sugar or icing sugar for coating
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar for coating
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Line double baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (stack one baking sheet on top of another baking sheet)
- Combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, sugars, and salt) in a small bowl. Whisk well to remove any lumps in the sugar or almond flour.
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks forms
- Add almond flour mixture and almond extract to egg whites
- Use a spatula to combine the ingredients, don't overmix. Just mix until ingredients are incorporated
- Mix powdered and granulated sugars for the coating into a separate bowl
- Form tablespoon-sized balls or use a tablespoon cookie scoop. If you are forming the cookies with your hands, dusting your hands in the sugar will help to keep the dough from sticking.
- Place formed balls in the bowl of the sugars and toss to coat on all sides
- Place balls 1" apart on lined cookie sheets
- Use a glass to press down on balls, just until cracks start to form on the outside.
- Bake for 17 - 18 minutes
- Let amaretti cookies cool for 5 minutes before they are removed to a cooling rack.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight containe for up to 1 week.
While I prefer the crunchy on the outside/chewy on the inside texture of the first 24 hours, these cookies will still be delicious for up to a week. Store them at room temperature, in an air-tight container. If frozen, they will last longer.
Bear in mind that they will become crispier, less chewy as they age.
My preferred way to make the cookies ahead of time is to freeze the dough as you will have freshly baked cookies when needed. In order to freeze the pre-baked Amaretti Cookies, make the dough and form the balls. Then lay the balls on a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the dough balls are frozen solid. At that point, remove them from the cookie sheet and place them in a plastic bag or container.
When you are ready to bake your almond cookies, remove the desired amount, and place them in the refrigerator overnight until softened. At that point, roll them in the sugar mixture and proceed to bake them as instructed in the recipe.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 42 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g
1 cookie is 1 serving
If you like your little almond cookies, you might also enjoy the French version…macarons. This is the tried and true recipe (plus 14 tips) for basic French Macarons that never fails me.
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