My Chewy Amaretti Cookies are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. These Italian almond flavoured biscuits make a great (and naturally gluten-free) nibble to go with your afternoon coffee.
Meringue is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But don't just stop there - add a few more simple ingredients to that whisked egg and you'll end up with a jar full of amazing Italian almond biscuits.
I was going to add 'that will last you for the next few days' on the end there, but then I realised that we ate all of ours in less than 24 hours. Willpower is definitely a trait that Chris and I simply don't possess.
I really don't know how some people manage to refrain from enjoying excessive amounts of really tasty food when it's there - looking at them.
I probably shouldn't cook so many sweet things, but the little devil on my shoulder whispers 'it's your job, you need to bake nice things covered in sugar'.
When I do read health & fitness articles (usually whilst eating a chocolate digestive), I often come across the phrase 'eat to live, not live to eat'. That's usually enough to make me close down the article and go searching for my recipe for bottom-of-the-chocolate-box brownies (a great way to use up those quality street that everyone leaves behind!).
After all, Chris and I often plan our holidays around food!
He likes football, cars and gadgets. I like cooking, reading and TV programmes that make me cry.
But we both L-O-V-E food (and each other of course). I think that's an awesome thing to have in common.
To make the cookies you need to whisk up your egg whites to stiff peaks.
Pro tip: Did you know that egg whites can be frozen? So if you ever have leftover egg whites, freeze them in a little tub or bag (label how many egg whites are in each bag). Then you can defrost them in the refrigerator and use in this recipe.
Once the egg whites are whisked, mix in your other ingredients - ground almonds (note: if you're in the US, use blanched almond flour), caster sugar (superfine sugar if you're in the US), vanilla extract and Amaretto (for that lovely almond flavour). Then roll into balls and roll the balls first in more caster sugar, and then in icing (confectioners's) sugar.
The caster sugar helps to add a bit of chewy crisp to the outside of the cookies whilst preventing the icing sugar from melting into the mixture.
Place the balls on a couple of trays, squish them down a little, then bake for 15 minutes.
And that's it. Amaretti cookie perfection!
They will expand ever so slightly in the oven. They'll also flatten a little bit more too. If they're still looking too round, you can carefully squash them slightly as soon as they come out of the oven.
Delicious served warm or cold.
Do amaretti biscuits contain alcohol?
Yes, usually they contain a small amount of almond liqueur such as Disaronno. My recipe contains 2 tbsp of Disaronno. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can instead add a tsp of almond extract, and then a splash of water - to give you the right consistency for rolling.
How long with they keep?
These cookies can be stored in a sealed jar at room temperature. They should last for at least 1 week (up to two).
Ground almonds (don't grind your own)
It's best to use store-bought ground almonds (if you're in the US, use blanched almond flour - the fine grainy kind (NOT the powder kind that's like regular flour)) - for this recipe.
Please don't try using home-ground almonds, as grinding them yourself can result in ground almonds that are a little too fine, and slightly oily for the recipe - this can cause the amaretti to go flat.
I've tested this recipe with both regular UK ground almonds, and with blanched almond flour that I picked up in the US last time I was there. When testing the US almond flour, I used Full Circle Market Almond flour, and this produced the same results as the regular UK ground almonds.
Can I use egg whites from a carton?
Yes! 30g (1oz or 2 tbsp) is equal to one large egg white. So you'd need to use 90g (3oz or 6 tbsp).
Can I use frozen egg whites?
Yes, using frozen and defrosted egg whites won't impact the flavour or structure of the amaretti. Defrost the egg whites first and use them as per the recipe. The egg whites can be room temperature or slightly cool, but try to ensure they're not icy cold.
Won't folding the almonds and sugar into the whisked egg whites remove all the air in the egg whites?
Yes, folding the almonds and sugar will remove the air, but that's ok! We're not using the whisked egg whites for a fluffy-cake-meringue texture, we're using them to bind the ingredients together and react with the sugar for a sweet-sticky interior and crisp exterior. Whisking the egg whites is better for this, rather than mixing the ingredients with slimy, un-whisked egg whites.
Can I freeze amaretti cookies?
Yes, cool the amaretti, then freeze in a single layer on a tray for an hour or two. Once they're frozen, you can transfer them to a bag or an air-tight tub. Defrost the amaretti overnight in a single layer on a covered tray.
Troubleshooting - top tips for perfect amaretti:
- My first tip would be to weigh the ingredients if you can. Weighing the ingredients will give a much more consistent result than using cup measurements. If you don't have scales, then watch the recipe video to ensure your amaretti cookies are of the right consistency when rolling them out.
- If the mixture is too sloppy to roll into balls :- Hopefully you will have ensured you whisked the eggs to stiff peaks first. If you have , check out the video below to ensure your mixture is the right consistency before attempting to roll. If the mixture is too sloppy (this could be down to your eggs being slightly larger, or due to using almond flour that is too coarse), add more ground almonds and sugar in equal measures until the mixture is of rolling consistency.
- The balls spread when cooking :- This can be down to the mixture being too sloppy when you rolled it. The rolled mixture should be sticky but fairly firm, and should hold their shape when placed on the baking tray. It could also be caused by using home-ground almonds (grinding them at home releases more oils), or using almonds that are too coarse - and therefore won't hold together quite as well. The cookies will still taste great, but will be flatter.
- The cookies are too sweet: They're supposed to be sweet! Not like a regular cookie that's crumbly and a little sweet, or those amaretti that you sometimes get in coffee shops that are basically a crispy shell, filled with air. These amaretti cookies are chewy, sticky and sweet. They contain a lot of sugar, and this sugar starts to caramelize in the oven during the baking process to give that sticky-sweet result.
The Chewy Amaretti Cookies Video:
By the way - did you notice I've got a mix of light & bright photos and dark & moody photos of these cookies? I just couldn't decide which ones I like best. Which ones do you like best?
The Chewy Amaretti Cookies Recipe:
Chewy Amaretti Cookies
- 3 egg whites from large eggs - (about 90g of egg white altogether)
- 3 cups (280g) ground almonds - ** Note 1 **
- 1 1/2 cups minus 1 tbsp (280g) caster sugar - (superfine sugar)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp Amaretto liqueur
- 2 heaped tbsp caster sugar - (superfine sugar)
- 2 heaped tbsp icing/powdered 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, caster sugar 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 very sticky though).
- 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 - note, it will be sticky). 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 (they will crack a little at the edges - that's fine) then place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes then remove from the baking tray. You can serve them warm, or allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
**Note 1 ** Ground Almonds:It's best to use store-bought ground almonds (if you're in the US, use blanched almond flour - the fine grainy kind (NOT the powder kind that's like regular flour)) - for this recipe.
Please don't try using home-ground almonds, as grinding them yourself can result in ground almonds that are a little too fine, and slightly oily for the recipe - this can cause the amaretti to go flat. I've tested this recipe with both regular UK ground almonds, and with blanched almond flour that I picked up in the US last time I was there. When testing the US almond flour, I used Full Circle Market Almond flour, and this produced the same results as the regular UK ground almonds.
Storing the cookies:These cookies can be stored in a sealed jar at room temperature. They should last for at least 1 week (up to two). . Nutritional information is per cookie.
This recipe was first published in February 2015. Updated in December 2019 with new photos, tips and video.
In order to make these delicious amaretti cookies you will need:
- A Mixer. We bought this Kitchen Aid Mixer and absolutely love it!
- Shallow white bowls. For rolling the cookie mixture in.
- Silicone Baking Mat
- Measuring Spoons
- Wooden or Silicon Coated Spatula
- Measuring Jug
- An airtight jar to store them in. I use these Kilner Jars.
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