These cookies are absolutely delicious and they couldn't be easier!
They are also gluten-free and added fat-free! And other than egg whites no-dairy! The shocker...They are the best cookies I have ever made or eaten!
This cookie has a nice crunchy exterior, while maintaining a yummy soft interior, almost like a meringue, but not.
A little background on how I came upon these gems... I have a dear friend who knows just how much I bake. She also knows I love a good challenge. She has frequently brought me bakery items from some of her favorite patisseries, for one, to share the yumminess, and for two because she knows I will geek all out on tasting and re-creating the tasty morsels. So, she recently discovered a new Italian bakery in town, that has provided me with tons of inspiration!
First with a lemon polenta cookie, or cornmeal cookie, that I quickly recreated and enjoy,(recipe for that to come) Then, with an Italian breakfast cookie. I loved them both!
I began researching different styles of baking Italian cookies because I have to know. Yes, I'm that person.
Surprisingly, to me, she never brought me an Amaretti Cookie. I was kind of disappointed because my parents have traveled to Italy many times and mentioned how delicious they were.
So, as is my way, I started researching them. When I say research, I mean that I read tons of recipes and methods and usually watch every video I can find!
From that, I use my favorite methods and ingredients with what I believe will bring about the best results. One thing I can tell you is I loved watching all the Italian"Nonna's"(grandma to most of us)! They are priceless. I trust Nonna's recipes any day over a newer, quicker, or updated version.
As with most good recipes, this recipe has as many versions as there are villages in Italy. I think that’s what I like the most about it. It is also very versatile. I saw many adding lemon or lemon or orange zest, and some just using only vanilla with no other extract. To be clear, this is not an amaretto cookie. An amaretto cookies made with actual amaretto liguor. “Amaretti” in English simply means “Italian biscuit, usually with almond flavor.” When I first asked Google it thought I said Amoretti, which means “loved ones,” I think I like that definition all the better.
Italian Amaretti Cookie Recipe
- 2-1/2, maybe a little more, Almond Meal (you can use a combination of almond meal and almond flour, here, but after 10 batches, I think regular almond meal works and tastes best)
- 1 cup white, granulated sugar I've also done 1/2 cup powdered and 1/2 cup granulated, both were delicious)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, just a scant 1/2 tsp don't go heaping on this one
- 3 egg whites, 1 more if rolling in Sliced Almonds
- 2 Tablespoons of Almond Extract, you can get away with 1 tablespoon, but I love the flavor of 2
- 1-1/2 teaspoon of pure Vanilla Extract
- 2/3 teaspoon of orange extract, optional
- Powdered sugar for rolling
This is the almond meal I made from putting raw almonds in my food processor, a Money-saving tip.
In a separate bowl place your 3 egg whites (room temperature)
*If you don't have time to let your eggs to come to room temperature, just put all 3 eggs, in shell, into a bowl of warm tap water for a couple of minutes and you're good to go
Give them a little beat. You can easily do this by hand with a fork or whisk, but if you prefer, use a mixer, but remember we're just aerating the whites a bit, we don't need stiff peaks, here.
Add the flavorings.
A few little tips: Do store these in a wax paper-lined tin, if you can, I find they maintain their crunchy exterior better than in Tupperware.
If you don't have a scoop, these are about one and a half teaspoons each.
Don't be wary if yours stay in a ball or spread out about the taste will be just as yummy!
hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
By the way, my friend, the one that brings me the cookies, says I should include a warning that these are highly addictive, and I would have to agree. :)