These soft, chewy Italian Amaretti cookies are simple, easy, and bursting with big almond flavor. A classic Christmas cookie, they are perfect for the holidays.
Traditional amaretti recipes fall into two basic categories: soft and chewy, and crisp and crunchy. This recipe falls into the first, and most closely resembles di Sassello amaretto - an almond macaron with a chewy outside and a soft, marzipan-like interior.
This amaretti recipe was gifted to me by my sweet friend, Beth. As best as I can figure out, Beth's recipe is based on King Arthur Flour's Almond Cloud Cookies recipe; however, her version cuts the sugar in half, resulting in a subtly sweet cookie with a strong almond punch. (Half the sugar means you can eat twice as many, right?)
Less sugar and four kinds of almond flavoring in this recipe make for a deliciously chewy, gluten-free, yolk-free almond cookie that is bursting with flavor.
Amaretti cookies are a classic Christmas cookie, perfect for the holidays. Easy and inexpensive to make, the ingredient list for these Italian macarons is short, simple, and big on almond flavor.
All ingredients should be room temperature.
- Almond Paste: Almond paste can be found in most grocery stores; usually in the baking section near the pie fillings. You can also make almond paste at home, but we haven't tried that yet.
- Almond extract
- Bitter almond oil: This is an essential oil, and can be expensive. You only need a little, but we have found that, in the case of this recipe, an artificially-flavored bitter almond oil works just as well as more expensive products.
- Almonds: We use blanched, sliced almonds.
- Powdered sugar
- Egg whites
- Sugar: Use granulated white sugar.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Italian Macarons
Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer or food processor, blend the almond paste, sugar, and salt until crumbly.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until very frothy. (Don’t beat long enough to form peaks.)
Gradually add almond extract, bitter almond oil, and beaten egg whites to the almond paste mixture.
Using a small scoop, form cookies and place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies lightly with confectioners' sugar and sliced almonds.
Using three fingers, press indentations into the center of each cookie. (This keeps them from puffing up too much during baking.)
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the very edges are just turning golden. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
There are many variations of amaretti cookies around the world. Most traditional recipes fall into two basic categories: soft and chewy, or crisp and crunchy. This amaretti recipe falls into the first category and most closely resembles di Sassello amaretto - an almond macaron with a chewy outside and a soft, marzipan-like interior.
The cookie sheet you bake on makes can have a big impact on the outcome of your cookies. We recommend baking amaretti on parchment on a natural aluminum insulated cookie sheet.
If you bake on a dark cookie sheet, line the cookie sheet with parchment, reduce the baking temperature by 10°F and check the cookies a minute of two early to avoid over-browning.
These cookies can also be frozen. Cool the cookies completely, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once the cookies are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Italian macarons (sometimes called French macaroons, apparently just to confuse everyone) are a delicate meringue and almond-based cookie. Like a French macaron, Italian macarons can be sandwiched with a ganache or jam filling, but most often they are eaten plain, without a filling.
Macaroons are also made with egg whites, but they are a coconut-based cookie.
Macaroons can be distinguished by their mounded shape, dense coconut-packed interior, and chewy texture.
More Cookie Recipes
Soft & Chewy Italian Amaretti Cookies
- confectioners sugar i.e., icing sugar
- sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 325°F | 165°C. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer or food processor, blend the almond paste, sugar, and salt until crumbly.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites until very frothy. (Don’t beat long enough to form peaks.)
- Gradually add almond extract, bitter almond oil, and beaten egg whites to the almond paste mixture.
- Using a small cookie scoop, form cookies and place on prepared baking sheet.Sprinkle cookies lightly with confectioners' sugar and sliced almonds.Using three fingers, press indentations into the center of each cookie. (This keeps them from puffing up too much during baking.)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the very edges are just turning golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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