A Simple Recipe for Amaretti Almond Cookies
Fast, easy and oh so sweet.
A while back I got it into my head that I wanted to make Amaretti. Searching online for information I came across the family Amaretti recipe much treasured by Ivonne of one of my favourite blogs, Cream Puffs in Venice.
So I made a version of Ivonne's mother's cookies, without the nut topping, and I took them to a party, where they were quickly and happily devoured. And I might have left it at that, BUT, it had too much almond extract for my taste and I wasn't quite happy with the regular baker's sugar I had used to roll the cookies in. So I decided to try again.
Back to the drawing board. I went on a search for crunchier sugar, but the best I could come up with at first was some granular golden sugar which had too much of its own flavour personality that competed with the almond. This time I reduced the almond extract, but it still seemed to be too overpowering. Back to the drawing board, again.
Next up I asked the sugar question on chowhound: "I am having trouble finding the right kind of sugar, you know - those kind of opaque white large sugar granules you get on commercial amaretti. What is it called?". They came up trumps, and next thing I had a batch of pearl sugar on order.
My third batch of amaretti cookies were destined to be eaten by some very important people and I was convinced that having the new pearl sugar to roll them in would make all the difference. I have to apologize for experimenting on some of my fellow bloggers, because although this time around the cookies were getting better, I still thought there was some room for improvement. Pearl sugar is very large and sweet and as a consequence I felt their presence allowed for the amount of sugar in the cookies themselves to be reduced drastically. I also felt the amount of almond extract could be lessened even further and that the cookies were a little soft and could be cooked a little longer.
Although they were headed in just one direction this time, the fourth batch were, at last, good enough for sharing. So, without further ado...
How I Make Simple Amaretti Cookies:
12 oz almond meal (I use half and half blanched/non-blanched)
1/2 cup bakers sugar
3 tsp cocoa powder
2 medium eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup pearl sugar for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350F, making sure you have a rack in both the lower and central position.
- Line a Baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat.
- In a bowl stir together the bakers sugar, cocoa powder and almond meal.
- In another, smaller bowl whisk the eggs together with the almond extract.
- Add the egg mix to the almond mix and stir until a dough forms and everything is well blended.
- Put the pearl sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Using a 1 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, form level, dome-shaped cookies. Roll the domed area in the pearl sugar granules and then position flat side down on the baking sheet.
- These cookies to not change shape during cooking so you can position them close to one another. This recipe makes 36 cookies which should all fit on one sheet.
- Place the cookies on the bottom shelf of the oven for the first 10 minutes.
- Move them to the middle of the oven and leave for a further 8 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and transfer to a cookie rack.
- Leave to cool completely so that they crisp up slightly on the outside before packing them into airtight containers where Ivonne claims they will last for up to 10 days. I wouldn't know - I have trouble getting them to last 10 hours.
Bay Area Resources:
Almonds from | Alfieri Farms
Eggs from | Marin Sun Farms
Cocoa-powder from | Scharffen Berger
Buy Pearl Sugar Online
|Archive Alert! On this day in 2005: Paper Chef with stone fruit, yogurt, herbs and chilli chips|
Food | Eat Local | San Francisco | Recipe | Cookies A Simple Recipe for Amaretti Almond Cookies