Soft Chewy Amaretti Cookies, are classic Italian almond cookies, made with just 5 ingredients: egg whites, almond meal, sugar, vanilla and Amaretto di Saronno liquor. Soft, chewy, sweet, and delicious, gluten-free treats.
Song of the day: Candyman – Christina Aguilera.
Now, I really wouldn’t like to sound like one that is never happy and always finds something to whine about, because you would get the wrong picture of me. But, yes, there’s a but, I am not totally delighted at the moment. I was anxiously waiting for signs of spring, after a long, everlasting winter, wet and cold. And my prayers were answered because these past few days have been gorgeous, sunny, warm and bright. So what am I whining about?
I got sick. I got the last winter nasty bug while on holidays on the beautiful Salt Spring Island in British Columbia (post to come). That showed us its beautiful sunny side only for a few hours on Sunday, for Loreto’s birthday (thank you!), and then poured on us gallons of thin heavy rain, high humidity, fog, and chilled wind. It was Loreto’s birthday but I was gifted with a bad sore throat, that developed into a bad cold and even worse cough. And with that, a complimentary package of watery eyes, red and puffy nose, scratchy throat, a deep, baritone voice (that Loreto finds very sexy), and ribs that hurt every time I cough.
Thank God I had made these cookies before, who would eat my cookies seeing me in such poor conditions? Or better, who would have the strength to do something else other than blowing my nose?
Sorry, no more gruesome details, I promise.
Let’s get back to a week ago when the weather was awful but at least I was well and could make these Soft Chewy Amaretti Cookies. That are amazing if I am allowed to say it myself. If I were you, and I’d probably like that right now, I’d waste no time and see if I have all the -very few- ingredients necessary to make these beauties.
Amaretti Cookies, ready, set, go!
You will need:
- egg whites (always at room temperature. I often freeze egg whites in numbers of 2, 3, and 5, in plastic sealable containers and take them out when needed);
- almond meal (the coarse one, not the fine one. They will flatten too much with the fine ground almonds);
- granulated sugar (white, caster sugar. I have yet to try a substitution, like brown sugar or coconut sugar for this kind of cookies);
- vanilla extract (the real, pure vanilla extract, no artificial flavors, please);
- Amaretto di Saronno (the classic, unmistakable Italian Amaretto flavored liquor. It will make the cookies the real deal;
- icing sugar (or powdered sugar, to roll the cookies before they hit the oven and that, together with the granulated sugar will give the cookies the crackled top).
The dough incorporates very quickly and the result you are looking for is a wet (not too wet, though), sticky dough that can be formed easily by hand into a ball, the size of a walnut, more or less. After forming the balls you will roll them in granulated sugar first, and then in icing sugar, and finally, before thy hit the oven, a nice press with your fingers to flatten them a bit. They already look pretty and most important, smell amazing.
When the Amaretti cookies are in the oven, the scent of the Amaretto liquor and the caramelization of the sugars together with the almond flour is infectious.
As a baker, you develop certain intuitiveness and begin to become confident in your gut instincts. As with these Amaretti cookies, you’ll know when they’re ready as the top starts to crackle and turn a light golden color, and the bottoms become a deeper caramel color. It’s time to get them out of the oven and onto a cooling rack.
Patience is not my virtue and I grasped a cookie almost immediately and with it being slightly hot I broke it open and bit into it.
The sugary, crunchy top gives way to a luxuriously soft and chewy texture, with a prominent almond flavor stemming from the almond meal mixed with the Amaretto liquor. Loreto told me that the cookies brought back those fond memories of shopping at the Italian store with his parents and winning the battle of the “I want these cookies!”. He recounts the experience, once home, of biting into the Amaretti cookies and its crispy, chewy softness melting in his mouth accompanied by that cold glass of milk, as pure bliss.
Enjoy your Soft Chewy Amaretti Cookies! And if you like these, you might also like these other Italian classic cookies “Brutti Ma Buoni“.
Song of the day: Candyman – Christina Aguilera.
This recipe is a keeper! Based on a recipe found on Kitchen Sanctuary.
Based on the recipe found on Kitchen Sanctuary
- 3 eggs whites
- 280 g almond meal
- 280 g granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 30 ml (1 oz) Amaretto di Saronno liquor
- For rolling:
- granulated sugar
- icing (powdered) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325° F (170°C) and line two baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Using a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Fold in the almond meal, granulated sugar and vanilla extract.
- Slowly stir in the Amaretto.
- The mixture should be like a thick, sticky, paste that can be formed into a ball in your hand.
- Place the granulated sugar and icing sugar for rolling on two separate plates.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out a chunk of the cookie mixture and roll it into a ball in your hands (about the size of a walnut), repeating the process until you use up all the dough.
- Roll each ball in the granulated sugar first, then roll it in the icing sugar.
- Place on the baking tray and use your index and medium fingers to squash the cookie balls just a tiny bit
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, according to oven and when they are looking a nice golden brown.
- Take out of the oven, leave on the sheets to cool for 5 minutes then allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
The Amaretti cookies keep well for 3-5 days in a tin cookie box with a sealed lid. They also freeze well.
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