Italian almond cookies. Slightly crisp on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside.
Soft Amaretti cookies. Deceptively simple and yet so complex. These Amaretti cookies have a barely there crisp to the outside and a soft and chewy center. Amaretti are gluten-free and sure to please all the almond lovers in your life.
I'll admit it. I have an infatuation with Italy.
It started in 2007.
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I had recently read the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and was itchy to do some traveling. Mr. Two Sugar Bugs and I had sold our lovingly restored 1910 bungalow in the city for life in a bedroom community and our trip abroad was a prize for the big life change we had undertaken.
We spent two amazing weeks exploring Italia. We started in Roma, worked our way to Toscana, Piemonte, Lago di Como and ended in Milano. Large amounts of incredible food and wine were consumed and many new adventures were had.
For our time in Piemonte, we stayed at a bed and breakfast in Acqui Terme. We had found it online and hoped it was going to be as special as it seemed from their website. We were in for a very pleasant surprise! The innkeepers were an American woman married to a German man. They had spent time in the States and Germany, but were tired of the rat race and wanted to try something new so they purchased an old farm in Italy and turned it into a spectacular bed and breakfast.
Micha took us out one day to explore some of the neighboring wineries and along the way told us we'd stop to get Amaretti cookies.
One bite and I was in love.💗
Four years fly by and now it's 2011. We make another trip to Italia and this time I am pregnant with our Big E. During our visit I eat lots of amazing pastas, breads, fresh veggies, cheese and salami. I also indulge in gelato every day! Okay, truthfully? Gelato twice everyday!!
We spend another week in Acqui Terme and visit with our friends. It's even better than the first time. We take another trip with Micha and stop at the same little shop to get Amaretti. They are just as good as the first time and I'm still in love.💗💗
When we return home I start my quest to recreate the delectable Amaretti cookies. After many different attempts, I believe I've come the closest I can come to those lovely Amaretti cookies we ate in Italy. I hope you love them too!
You'll start by separating your eggs. Then you want to whisk your egg yolks in a large bowl.
Gradually whisk in the superfine sugar. At some point the mixture becomes too thick for the whisk and you will switch to a spatula.
Slowly add your almond flour, mixing until combined. **I ALWAYS weigh my almond flour, but 1.1 pounds is roughly 4 ¾ cups** At some point the mixture will become so thick that it will stop accepting the almond flour.
Now you will beat your egg whites until they reach a soft peak, be careful not to over whip them. I prefer to do this by hand to avoid over beating the eggs.
Next, fold about ⅓ of the egg whites into the sugar and almond flour batter and add your almond and vanilla extracts. This will loosen the batter and allow you to add the remaining almond flour. Fold in the remaining egg whites and mix until just combined.
Now you'll want to cover and refrigerate the dough for a minimum of one hour and up to 24 hours.
After chilling the dough, preheat your oven to 325ºF and prepare baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Scoop Amaretti dough and roll into small balls, approximately 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons per ball.
Then roll in powdered sugar and place on prepared baking sheet.
Chill remaining dough while the first batch bakes.
Bake until lightly browned, approximately 20-30 minutes (it's about 23-25 minutes in my oven).
Remove cookies from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Then prepare to fall in love!💗
Soft Amaretti Cookies
- 3 large eggs separated
- 1 ⅓ cups 300 grams superfine granulated sugar
- 1.1 pounds 500grams almond flour**
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- Powdered sugar for rolling
- Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the superfine sugar. The mixture will become very thick and you will need to switch to a rubber spatula along the way.
- Slowly add the almond flour, mixing until just combined. (**I ALWAYS weigh my almond flour for this recipe, but 1.1 pounds is around 4 ¾ cups). The mixture will hit a point where it is so thick that it won’t accept more almond flour.
- In a clean bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until they are at a soft peak. Be careful not to over whip them.
- Fold about ⅓ of the egg whites into the sugar/almond flour batter and add your vanilla and almond extracts. This should loosen the batter and allow you to finish adding the almond flour. Fold in the remaining egg whites and mix until just combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and prepare baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Roll amaretti dough into small balls, approximately 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons per ball and then roll in powdered sugar.
- Place on prepared baking sheets about 1-2 inches between cookies.
- Chill remaining dough while the first batch bakes.
- Bake until lightly browned, approximately 20-30 minutes (it’s about 23-25 minutes in my oven).
- Remove cookies from baking sheet and place on a cooling rack to cool.
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