Chewy Almond Cookies - Amaretti
These Italian chewy almond cookies or soft amaretti are a perfect little treat for marzipan lovers. They need very few ingredients, are flourless, gluten-free, easy, and quick to make. They also make a great gift idea for the holidays! Light, almondy and absolutely delicious!
Servings: 24 cookies
- 290 g blanched almond flour *
- 200 g sugar
- 90 g egg whites from 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp smooth apricot jam *
- 3-5 drops bitter almond extract *
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
- 1-2 tbsp orange zest optional
- 1-2 tbsp lemon zest optional
- 1 egg white
- 150 g slivered almonds
- powdered sugar optional
Whip the 3 egg whites for a minute or two by hand or with an electric mixer, until you get soft peaks. If you lift the whisk, the peak of the meringue will be soft and fold on itself.
Add the salt, almond and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
Combine the almond flour, sugar and the orange/lemon zest (if using) together in a separate bowl.
Add the whipped egg whites and the apricot jam to the almond mixture and fold it together with a spatula. The egg whites will deflate and the dough is ready when everything is nicely distributed and combined. *The dough should be sticky, but if you see that it doesn't hold the shape at all, you need to add more almond flour. Add as much as you need to get a dough that is sticky but workable. This will probably happen if you grind your almond flour coarser or if your got more egg whites.
Preheat the oven to 160 °C (325°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a smaller bowl or a plate, whisk the egg white for a few seconds with a fork just to break it up.
Place the slivered almonds on a plate, so that you can roll the almond mass into them.
If you want your cookies to also have powdered sugar around, prapare also a bowl with sifted powdered sugar.
Take a tablespoon of the prepared dough and shape it into an oval or a circle with your hands. If the mixture is too sticky, dampen your palms with water or egg whites.
Now lightly roll the dough into the egg whites, so it gets wet and the almonds will stick to it.
Place the cookie on the almonds, press and roll it over and around, so that almonds are covering all of the cookie. Don't worry if the cookies lose shape, they are meant to look rustic. You can easily fix the shape on the baking pan.*This part is a bit sticky and messy but, have fun with it and don't worry too much.
If you are also using powdered sugar, this is the time to roll the cookie in it.
Place the cookie on the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat with the rest of the dough. You can also do a few cookies at a time, placing 4 cookies into the egg whites and them rolling them in almonds.
The cookies don't really rise up that much, but they should be placed evenly apart, about 3 cm (1 inch).
Bake for around 20-25 minutes. The almonds will be slightly toasted and golden on the outside. Leave them to cool on the baking mat and then place on a wire rack.Enjoy!
- You can use store-bought blanched almond flour or make your own by grinding whole or slivered blanched almonds in a food processor.
- You may need to use more almond flour if you ground your own, or if your egg whites were really big, or if it's a rainy day and a lot of moisture in the air.
- Be careful with the amount of almond extract that you use, they are very potent. Try with less and next time use more if you want a stronger flavor.
- Different extracts have different potency.
- You can skip the almond extract but it's the thing that gives these cookies that distinct bitter almond flavor.
- The apricot jam can also be skipped, but it's there to make the cookies moister and more flavorful. You can also use orange jam or you can go crazy with any jam but be aware that it will change the look and the taste of the cookies. Have fun!
- The citrus zests are optional but they make the cookies even more aromatic and delicious.
- You can add some vanilla extract to the cookie dough.
- Amaretti can be made in many shapes. Try round, oval, crescent.
- They can also be baked without the slivered almonds on the outside, but they add great texture and flavor. Try rolling the cookie dough only in powdered sugar if you don't want to use almonds on the outside. Skip dipping the cookie dough in egg whites if you roll them in sugar.