What are Amaretti?
Amaretti are traditional Italian almond cookies made with almond flour, sugar, and egg whites. Naturally gluten free, soft, chewy, and easy to whip up without a mixer, they come together in a flash and vanish just as quickly because they’re so delicious. Unlike the other amaretti cookies, like the Lazzaroni Amaretti Cookies, these are soft and chewy.
Almond Flour vs. Almond Meal
Almond flour is made from blanched ground almonds while almond meal is made from whole ground almonds with the skins intact. Almond flour has a pale neutral color while almond meal is speckled with brown specs from the almond skins. It’s possible to make your own almond flour or almond meal at home by blitzing the almonds in a high powered food processor, but nowadays, it’s relatively easy to find them both in the grocery store and especially online. For this recipe, I prefer almond flour.
Naturally Gluten Free Cookies
Since this recipe contains only almond flour, it’s a delicious treat that’s naturally gluten free. It’s a great recipe to make for a group of friends, especially if you have friends that prefer to live a gluten free lifestyle. With these cookies, everyone can enjoy them freely!
How to Make Amaretti:
- Eggs – start with room temperature eggs, and divide the whites from the yolks. Save the yolks to make a delicious batch of homemade pudding, carbonara, or an egg wash for soft breads like my Turkish Poga?a. Whip them until nice and frothy like steamed milk.
- Sugar – add in the white sugar and continue to whisk until thickened, glossy and silky smooth. It should fall of the whisk in soft ribbons.
- Extracts and Flavor – almond extract adds more delicious almond flavor, salt enhances the sweetness of any dessert and lemon zest will add a touch of brightness.
- Almond Flour – the almond flour finishes out these simple cookies. They’ll have a nice chewy and subtle almond flavor that’s absolutely delicious.
Amaretti (Italian Almond Cookies)
- 2 large egg whites
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract optional
- ¼ tsp table salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest optional
- 2½ cups almond flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together two egg whites until frothy.
- Add ¾ cup white sugar and continue to whisk until the eggs are slightly thickened and glossy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Whisk in ½ teaspoon almond extract (if using), ¼ teaspoon table salt, and lemon zest (if using).
- Gradually fold in the almond flour with a spatula a little at a time until a firm dough comes together.
- Using a tablespoon, divide the dough into even balls and roll in the powdered sugar. Then arrange on a cookie sheet with at least 1 ½ inches space between the cookies.
- Using the bottom of a clean glass, flatten each cookie to about ½ an inch thick or 1½ wide.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until cookies are golden brown on the bottom.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling wrack to finish cooling.
- Store cookies in a airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 1 month. They freeze very well!