Making homemade Christmas gifts this year? Try my Chocolate Cranberry Amaretti Cookies!
The cookie/biscuit I make most often is hands-down the amaretto-spiked amaretti. Naturally gluten-free, they’re crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
I love making a big batch so that I have a large jar full when guests visit. They keep for weeks too – although they generally don’t last that long!
Although I still LOOOOVE the original cookies, I wanted to make a Christmassy version – so of course my brain automatically went to cranberries!!
Add some chocolate in there too and you’ve got an easy Christmas treat, or even a gift, if you’re will to give them away……
This is my second time experimenting with the original recipe. The first time was my attempt at an egg-free version – using aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) as an egg replacement. Sounds a little gross, and I wasn’t convinced when the whisked up aquafaba had a smell of cooked beans to it, but that soon disappeared when they were mixed with the other ingredients. I didn’t blog the recipe for that one, as they ended up pretty flat.
They still tasted great (although a little sweeter than the original ones), but a flat cookie is not a pretty thing. A bit more experimentation need on that one I think!
My chocolate cranberry version turned out perfectly though! Still gluten free, still crisp-yet-chewy. I also tried a version with Whisky instead of amaretto – and yep, that enhanced the Christmas flavour even more!!
A little note if you decide to make these – please use store-bought ground almonds (or almond flour I think it’s called if you’re in the US. It’s made from skinless ground almonds and has a slightly grainy texture). I’ve found that the texture of the cookies can vary considerably if using home-ground almonds. I believe it’s to do with the amount of oil released during the grinding process.
It’s also really important to make sure the mixture is a thick, sticky paste before you pour the amaretto in there, then just pour the amaretto in a dribble at a time to make sure the mixture remains thick and sticky. It needs to be roll-able – so that might mean adding a little less amaretto in there (you could replace with a few drops of french almond extract if you prefer). If you’re not sure, take a look at the video for my original recipe on my You Tube channel – that should give you a good idea of the consistency required.
Once you know the texture you need, these Chocolate Cranberry Amaretti Cookies are so easy – you’ll be making them again and again! If you don’t like chocolate try my original version here.
In order to make these delicious Chocolate Cranberry Amaretti Cookies you will need:
- A Mixer. In the video we use a Kenwood Mixer but have recently bought a Kitchenaid one.
- Shallow white bowls. For rolling the cookie mixture in.
- Silicone Baking Mat
- Measuring Spoons
- Wooden or Silicon Coated Spatula. We have just bought these and love them.
- Measuring Jug
- An airtight jar to store them in. I use these Kilner Jars.
The Chocolate Cranberry Amaretti Cookies Recipe:
- 3 eggs whites from large eggs
- 280 g store-bought* ground almonds (or almond flour I think it's called if you're in the US. It's made from skinless ground almonds and has a slightly grainy texture)
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder sifted (make sure it's a gluten-free variety if required)
- 280 g caster sugar
- 100 g dried cranberries
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 35 ml Amaretto liquor
- 4 heaped tbsp caster sugar
- 4 heaped tbsp icing confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Line two baking trays with a silicone mat or baking parchment.
- Using a hand whisk or mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold in the ground almonds, cocoa powder, caster sugar, dried cranberries and vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the amaretto. Add just enough so that the mixture is a thick paste that can be formed into a ball in your hand (it should be sticky, but should hold its shape).
- Place the caster 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). Roll it in the caster sugar, then roll it in the icing sugar and place on the baking tray.
- Repeat with the remaining dough until you've used it all up. Leave a bit of space between the cookie balls as they will expand slightly during cooking.
- Use your finger to squash the cookie balls a little, then place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven, and leave to cool on the baking tray before serving.
*This recipe works best with store-bought ground almonds. Home-ground almonds can give the cookies variable results. I believe this is due to the amount of oil produced during the grinding process, depending on how long you grind them for.
Once cooked and cooled, stored these cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature, where they should keep nicely for up to two weeks.
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