I went to Dianda’s Italian bakery the other day and loaded up on cookies. Usually I go straight for the cakes – rum and custard, so good. But that day I kept it ‘lite’. Among the mixed bag o’ yummy was one of my favorites – Amaretti, after having Dianda’s version it IS my favorite. It was perfect, light and sweet but not too sweet, delicate crispy outside and chewy in the center. MAN, I’m in love.
Don’t ask me why I haven’t tried baking Amaretti myself, I couldn’t tell you. But it’s so easy! Here is the recipe , make some and send me a sample or 5. 🙂
2 large egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups (8 ounces) finely ground, blanched almonds
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Beat egg whites until foamy, gradually beat in sugar and almond extract. Continue beating for several minutes until whites form very stiff, shiny peaks.
Stir in almonds and cornstarch until well combined.
Drop generous tablespoon of batter into small mounds about 2″ apart on parchment-lined, baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 17-22 minutes until firm and lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Makes 30 cookies.
Beat egg whites with a fork until broken up and slightly frothy. Stir in sugar until combined; then mix in remaining ingredients (and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon optional cardamom if desired) to make very stiff paste.
With moistened hands, form scant tablespoons of paste into 11/4″ balls. Arrange 2″ apart on baking sheets. Use moistened fingertips to flatten each ball slightly. Bake at 325° for 15-20 minutes or until firm and very lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. These are like traditional macaroons.