If you’re craving French macarons but don’t have the skill to bake them, try Amaretti cookies instead!
They’re also crisp on the outside, soft and chewy inside, and bursting with almond goodness.
And these cookies are just so easy to make. There’s no need to learn new skills or worry about achieving a perfect meringue. Humidity and temperature conditions aren’t a concern either.
With Amaretti cookies, beat egg whites and mix a few ingredients. It’s so simple, it’s foolproof.
Let’s get to it!
What Are Amaretti Cookies?
Amaretti cookies are Italian almond cookies. They’re crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside.
Think French macarons, but so much easier to make! This recipe uses the same ingredients as macarons: almond flour, sugar, and egg whites.
They also happen to be gluten-free, which is a nice bonus.
The word Amaretti is derived from the word amaro, meaning bitter. But don’t worry, these cookies aren’t bitter at all. The term refers to the almonds. A traditional amaretti cookie calls for a mix of bitter and sweet almonds.
But this recipe doesn’t call for bitter almonds, as they’re hard to find. Good old almond flour is perfectly fine.
There are two kinds of Amaretti cookies:
- Amaretti morbidi: soft cookies with a slightly crispy, crackled exterior. That’s what this recipe makes.
- Amaretti secchi: Baked longer, these cookies are crunchier and harder than the morbidi.
These Amaretti cookies are ridiculously addictive, yet only call for six simple ingredients!
- Almond Flour: Amaretti cookies are almond cookies, after all.
- Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the cookies. I use granulated sugar, but if you want your cookies chewier, use powdered sugar. You also need more to roll the cookies in.
- Salt: To balance out the sweetness.
- Egg Whites: The key to soft, light, and airy amarettis.
- Almond Extract: Traditional Amaretti cookies call for almond liqueur. But almond extract is cheaper, and it gets the job done. Use good-quality almond extract for the best-tasting cookies.
- Powdered Sugar: Rolling the cookie dough balls in powdered sugar gives them those lovely cracks on top.
How to Make Amaretti Cookies
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
2. Combine the dry ingredients.
Add almond flour, sugar, and salt to a bowl. Set it aside.
3. Separate the eggs and beat the whites.
You only need egg whites here. Beat them with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Mix in the almond extract.
4. Combine the dry ingredients with the egg whites.
Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Do this in three batches and use a rubber spatula to avoid overmixing. Stop as soon as they’re well combined.
5. Shape and roll the cookie dough balls.
Pour the powdered sugar and granulated sugar into separate bowls. Form the dough into bite-sized balls. Roll them in granulated sugar, followed by powdered sugar.
6. Bake and cool the cookies.
Place the cookie dough balls 1 inch apart on the lined baking sheets. Press the cookies gently to flatten them a little. Bake them for 20-23 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The cookies will be golden brown with cracks on top. Let them cool in the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Serve and enjoy
Serve the Amaretti cookies with tea or coffee. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Cookies
- Separate the eggs while they’re cold. It’s easier.
- However, use room-temperature eggs. They’re easier to combine with other ingredients. Beat them to soft (not stiff) peaks for the best results.
- Don’t overmix the dough. Stop as soon as the ingredients are well combined.
- For extra chewy cookies, use powdered sugar instead of granulated. The exact measurement applies.
- Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to form the dough. This will ensure evenly sized and baked cookies.
- How to remedy your dough: The dough will be sticky, but it should hold its shape when you roll it. If it’s too wet, add a bit more almond flour. If it’s too dry, add more beaten egg whites.
- Let the dough rest for at least an hour. This will keep the dough from overspreading when baked.
- Press the cookies before baking. Flatten them a little before popping them into the oven. This will give them more of those pretty cracks on top. Use the back of a spoon or measuring cup.
- Don’t overbake the cookies. You know they’re done when they’re slightly golden brown on top yet still soft to the touch. Overbaking will make them dry.
- Let the cookies cool completely. This will help them set properly, making them crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy inside.
- Freeze extra egg whites. Just place them in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze them for future use.
Can I Make Them Ahead of Time?
Absolutely. Scoop the dough into bite-sized balls and place them on a baking sheet. Freeze them for an hour or until they’re rock solid. Transfer them into freezer-safe bags and freeze until you’re ready to bake.
Let them thaw for 30 minutes to 1 hour on the countertop. Roll them in granulated and powdered sugars, and bake them as instructed.
How to Store & Freeze
Store cooled Amaretti cookies in an air-tight container or jar for up to 3 to 4 days.
For unbaked cookies, place the cookie dough balls on a baking sheet and freeze them for 1 hour or until they’re rock solid. Transfer them into freezer-safe bags and freeze them for up to 1 month.
Allow frozen cookie balls to thaw on the countertop for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Roll them in powdered sugar, and bake them as instructed.
For baked cookies, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them for 1 hour or until they’re rock solid. Transfer them into freezer-safe bags and freeze them for up to 2 months.
Let them thaw in the fridge or the countertop until soft.
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