Today, I’m sharing my easy Amaretti cookies recipe. A perfect mix of almonds, sugars, egg whites, and bitter almond essence creates biscuits with a delightful crunch and chew. Simply toast and blend almonds, mix in egg whites, rest, and bake. Ready to experience Italian baking? Let’s go!
118 (2 biscuits)
About this Recipe
By: Silvana Lanzetta
I love Amaretti cookies, oh my goodness, they are like little bites of heaven! These delightful treats have won the hearts of people not just in Italy but all around the world. What makes them truly special is that hint of bitterness, thanks to the apricot kernels used in the recipe. It’s what gives them their distinctive and irresistible flavour. And they’re not just enjoyed on their own; they’ve also become a superstar ingredient in all sorts of sweet recipes.
So, how are these little wonders made? Well, let me tell you, across Italy, different cities have put their own spin on these biscuits, creating unique versions that will make you dance with joy. You’ve got the famous Amaretti of Saronno from Lombardy, the chewy amaretti cookies from Sassello in Liguria, and the irresistible Mombaruzzo amaretti from Piedmont.
But hold on, it doesn’t stop there! You’ll find them from Modena in Emilia Romagna, from Gallarate in Lombardy, and even from Guarcino in Lazio. And let’s not forget about the ones made in Sardinia and Sicily. And some of these recipes swap out almonds for mouth-watering hazelnuts: simply delicious!
Saronno, a hidden gem in Northern Italy, presents a charming mix of past and present. Its heart beats in the 15th century *Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Miracles*, while its bustling markets echo modern Italy. From its cobblestone streets to the rich taste of Amaretto Di Saronno, Saronno is a testament to Lombardy’s heritage—undiscovered, unassuming, and irresistibly Italian. Experience it to truly understand its charm.
Don’t confuse amaretti di Saronno with Disaronno liqueuer!
Now, here’s a little trip back in time. It’s the 18th century, and we’re in the lovely town of Varese, where the first-ever crunchy and dry Amaretti of Saronno were born. Don’t get them mixed up with Disaronno though! Disaronno (one word) is a famous almond liqueur, that my father absolutely loved.
Anyway, similar recipes were floating around even way back in the Middle Ages, probably brought over by the Arabs along with the almonds themselves. There are also stories that connect these delicious treats to a talented pastry chef called Francesco Moriondo, who served his delectable creations at the Savoy court in the 17th century. Many different origins can be traced back to these delicious cookies. But let me tell you something for sure. In the year 1718, during a visit from the Cardinal of Milan to Saronno, a young couple who owned a bakery whipped up some crunchy amaretti cookies using just three simple ingredients: almonds, egg whites, and sugar. Talk about magic in the kitchen!
But we owe to the Lazzaroni family the spreading of the love for amaretti worldwide. They started individually wrapping these cookies in beautiful tissue paper, making them not only taste amazing but also look like precious little gems. Even today, their confectionery company, D. Lazzaroni & C., though it’s now owned by a big multinational corporation and has moved away from Saronno, proudly holds the registered trademark for “Amaretto di Saronno.”
But how to make amaretti cookies? Don’t worry! I got you covered. Scroll down to read the traditional recipe. And send me the pictures of your beautiful creations! I’m looking forward to see them!
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200 grams of toasted almonds
2 egge whites (ca 50 grams) lightly beaten
125 grams of granuleted sugar + 125 grams icing sugar
Enjoy these biscuits in moderation due to their calorie content. Be mindful of portion sizes as two biscuits contain approximately 118 calories. They are high in fat from almonds, so balance them with a nutrient-rich meal or snack.
- Proteins 8.5% 8.5%
- Carbs 46% 46%
- Fats 45.5% 45.5%
Did you know I have a soft spot for buying almonds in a shell? Here’s why: it’s my freshness guarantee for the nut, and I know the healthy fats inside haven’t oxidised. I get it, cracking shells might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it’s oddly satisfying.
And can we talk about toasting? Toasting almonds is non-negotiable! That’s why I skip the ready-made almond flour. I can’t be 100% sure if those almonds got their toast-time, and I’m not about to gamble on the flavour of my cookies. I want them to be just right, and this extra step truly helps me hit the flavour jackpot. It’s a little extra time, sure, but it’s also a great chance to take a breather and unwind. A hidden perk, if you will.
Once your almonds are toasted and cooled, pop them into a food processor as directed in the recipe below. Congrats, you’re on the express track to the tastiest amaretti you’ve ever savoured!
When it comes to amaretti biscuits, egg whites are the real heroes. Whip them up, and they go from liquid to a fluffy cloud, making your biscuit dough light and airy. They’re a bit like the glue in the mix, holding all the ingredients together. Plus, as they bake, they give your amaretti that classic crunchy crust, while keeping the inside wonderfully soft and chewy.
Ever wondered about the secret behind the incredible consistency of amaretti? It’s all down to the sugar used! Amaretti and meringues could be twins, each boasting a delightful crunchy shell and a soft, doughy centre. Just like with meringues, we need to use a perfect duo of sugars to make the amaretti just right.
Granulated sugar is a must for that irresistible crunch we all love on the outside. And for the melt-in-your-mouth soft centre? That’s where icing sugar steps in. So when you’re baking amaretti, make sure both these sugars.
Apricot kernels are the magic touch in this recipe. They give it a special bitter taste that makes it unique. If you can’t find them, bitter almond aroma can be used instead. But nothing matches the real thing.
Finding apricot kernels is simple: you can find them easily online, or in a health store. Even, better, when apricots are in season, buy some, wash and dry the kernels, and store them. When you’re ready to make cookies, just open them to get the nut inside. It’s that easy!
Recipe for Amaretti Cookies
Easy Amaretti Cookies
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 50 biscuits 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 200 grams of blanched almonds
- 125 grams of granulated sugar
- 125 grams of icing sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 15 grams of apricot kernels, or alternatively, a few drops of bitter almond aroma
- To start, toast the almonds by placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 200°C (390°F / gas oven mark 6) for about 5 minutes, then let them cool completely.
- Transfer the almonds to a mixer and add granulated sugar and the apricot kernels. Grind everything until the ingredients are powdered.
- If still coarse, sift and pulse again until it resembles a fine flour.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and sift in icing sugar. Stir everything together with a spoon.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Incorporate them into the centre of the powdered mixture. Stir until the dough is smooth and lump-free.
- If you use bitter almond aroma, incorporate the essence now, while working the dough with the other ingredients.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- After resting, shape the dough into uniform-sized balls, making around 40 to 50.
- Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet and press them down gently with your hand. Sprinkle a small amount of granulated sugar on top.
- Bake the amaretti in a preheated oven at 170°C ( 340°F / gas oven mark 3) for approximately 18 to 20 minutes, until they achieve a consistent colour.
- Once baked, let the cookies cool completely before enjoying them or serving them to your guests.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Rest Time: 12 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: almonds, biscuits, italian food, traditional Italian food, dessert,
What are amaretti made of?
Amaretti are Italian cookies primarily made of almond flour, egg whites, apricot kernels, and sugar. Some recipes might add almond extract for enhanced flavour and a final dusting of powdered sugar after baking.
Is Amaretto the same as amaretti?
While both Amaretto and Amaretti have roots in Italian cuisine and share an almond base, they are not the same.
Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavoured liqueur commonly used in cocktails or in baking and desserts. Its flavour is derived from either almond pits, apricot pits, or both.
On the other hand, Amaretti are traditional Italian almond cookies, made from almond flour, apricots kernels, sugar, and egg whites. They’re known for their crunchy exterior and soft, chewy interior.
In summary, Amaretto is a liqueur, while Amaretti are cookies – each unique in their use and preparation.
What flavour is amaretti?
Amaretti are Italian biscuits traditionally flavoured with bitter almonds or apricot kernel paste, which give them a sweet yet subtly bitter taste. They are known for their distinctive almond flavour, enhanced by a light, airy texture and a slightly crunchy exterior. Some versions of amaretti may also include hints of vanilla or other spices.
What is the difference between Amaretto and amaretti cookies?
Amaretto and amaretti cookies are both products of Italian culinary culture and share a common flavour profile, but they are quite different in nature.
Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavoured liqueur from Italy. It’s made using a base of apricot pits or almonds, sometimes both. The name ‘amaretto’ translates as ‘a little bitter’ in Italian, referring to the slightly bitter undertones from the almond flavour.
On the other hand, amaretti cookies (or biscuits, as we call them in the UK) are a type of Italian confectionery that also features a distinct almond flavour. They are usually made with a base of ground almonds, apricot kernels, sugar, and egg whites. These biscuits are often crisp and crunchy on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside.
So, the primary difference lies in their form and usage: Amaretto is a liqueur often enjoyed in cocktails or as a dessert drink, while amaretti are almond-flavoured biscuits typically enjoyed as a sweet treat or used in various dessert recipes.
“Ciao, I’m Silvana, a fourth-generation pasta artisan from Napoli with a lifetime of experience! I began making pasta at the tender age of 5 under the watchful eye of my pasta-making generalissimo, my granny. Through her guidance, I’ve become a master in crafting traditional pasta dishes. Since 2014, I have been teaching pasta making classes in London, sharing my expertise with aspiring pasta enthusiasts. I’ve also had the privilege of showcasing my knowledge on BBC and in national newspapers like The Sun and iNews, and held pasta making demonstration in Harrods. Join me in exploring the world of Italian pasta and let’s create unforgettable culinary experiences together!”
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