Golden Almond Amaretti
My husband Jim loves these Italian macaroon cookies so much that I never have any leftover to share with family or friends. The cookies are loaded with ground almonds which produce a wonderfully chewy texture, and are both flour free and dairy free. They are double rolled in a mixture of eggs and Amaretto liqueur, along with a double coating of coarse almonds and sugar. Make sure you don’t overbake these cookies.
Recipe type: Dessert | Shaped Cookies | Almond
- 2 cups sliced unblanched almonds
- ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur (or substitute 3 tablespoons water plus 1 teaspoon pure almond extract)
- 1 cup sliced unblanched almonds, lightly toasted and then crunched into small pieces with your hand
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Place the almonds, ¼ cup sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor or small food grinder, or blender. Process until the mixture begins to clump together, 45 to 60 seconds. If using a blender, carefully pulse the mixture just until it begins to clump together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on medium high speed until they are thickened and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract; beat another minute until well mixed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the ground almond mixture in two additions, beating until well mixed.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, using a little less than 1 level tablespoon of dough for each (about ½ teaspoon less.) Place the dough balls in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes to firm them.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F while dough balls are chilling. Prepare 2 large baking sheets; line with parchment paper, and lightly grease the top of the parchment paper with butter, or grease lightly with vegetable shortening to keep dairy-free.
- In a low, flat dish, such as a pie plate, add the eggs and Amaretto liqueur; whisk together with a wire whisk or fork to blend. Set aside.
- In another low, flat dish, combine the crushed almonds and the sugar.
- Remove enough dough balls from the refrigerator to bake one pan of cookies (about 12 balls.) Keep remainder of dough balls in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the first coating, roll each ball in the egg coating, and then roll in the almond coating. For the second coating, roll each ball again in the egg coating and then roll again in the almond coating.
- Bake: Place the balls on the greased parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or just until the bottoms are lightly browned. Do not over bake or the cookies will lose their chewiness when cooled.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet 4 to 5 minutes, then remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Source: Walter, Carole, Great Cookies, Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York, 2003