Here is the awesome Italian Almond Macaroon Cookies or Amaretti.
Definition: [am-ah-REHT-tee] Intensely crisp, airy macaroon cookies that are made either with bitter-almond paste or its flavor counterpart, apricot-kernel paste.
In the United States, pairs of paper-wrapped Amaretti di Saronno (made with apricot-kernel paste) are sold under the label of Lazzaroni.
Amaretti is served frequently in Italy. These puffy confections are perfect for a light ending to a big meal. A cup of espresso or cappuccino is a the perfect complement.
Amarettini are miniature cookies with the same flavor.
Serving: Makes about 40 amaretti cookies
- 1 1/4 cups blanched (cooked quickly and skins removed) whole almonds*
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- In a large mixing bowl let the egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or brown kraft paper.
- Set aside. In a food processor bowl or blender container process or blend whole almonds with 1/4 cup of the sugar till almonds are finely ground. Set aside.
- Add the cream of tartar and almond extract to the egg whites.
- Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed till soft peaks form (tips curl).
- Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed till very stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and sugar is almost dissolved.
- Fold in ground almonds.
- Drop meringue mixture by rounded teaspoons 1 1/2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- Sprinkle a few slivered almonds over each cookie.
- Bake in a preheated 300 degrees oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or till cookies just begin to brown (centers will be soft).
- Turn off oven and let cookies dry in oven with the door closed for 30 minutes.
- Peel cookies from paper then store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.
Note: Blanched almonds can be found in most supermarkets.
Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron’s Educational Series, from The New Food Lover’s Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst