amaretti. These little Italian biscuits hold a special place in my heart. You see, it was the first (baking) recipe which I successfully carried out back in my university years- and you just never forget your first.

I was a late bloomer in the kitchen, and only became truly interested in my later years of university (shame on me). There was loads (loads) of experimentation (most of it pretty unsuccessful, to say the least), but after a while I got the hang of baking (precision, precision, precision).

So these amaretti were my first. Easy peasy to whip up, but with a taste that rivals even the most complex of biscuits. Almond flour, sugar (I have since switched to evaporated cane juice and it works perfectly), egg whites and a dash of almond extract. That’s it.

A crunchy crust, a soft ‘n chewy centre- it is no wonder these are an Italian staple. Give them to loved ones in little baggies (I have) or simply make for yourself (I have as well), these keep extremely well for at least 3 days (probably longer, but they are always gone at chez van der Hulst before I can test the theory).

click through for recipe

200 g (2 cups) almond flour
140 g (2/3 cup) evaporated cane juice (you can use normal sugar if you prefer)
2 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
powdered sugar, for dusting* (optional)
butter, for greasing

Butter a baking sheet and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour and evaporated cane juice until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the egg whites to the almond mixture. When roughly half way through incorporating the egg whites, add the almond extract and continue to fold gently. Be careful not to overmix.

With a spoon (or just your hands and a good eye), gently form balls and place on the baking sheet. Let rest for two hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 10-15 minutes (10 if you prefer them softer and 15 if slightly more crunchy), or until tops are golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from the baking sheet and store in a cool dry place (these keep well for a few days)**. Dust with powdered sugar (optional).

makes 20

*I make my own powdered sugar by simply running some evaporated cane juice through the blender. That easy.

**I have never had the opportunity to keep them for more than 3 days (always gone before!)- but up until then, they still taste heavenly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: while I provide measurements in both grams and cups throughout my recipes, I tend to favour weighing the ingredients for greater precision. Measuring by cups depends on too many variables (starting with how you pour the flour) and can be imprecise. I therefore highly suggest following the metric measurements for best results.

a bit more #gnom-gnom:

(vegan) cocoa pumpkin loaf
(gluten free) chia banana muffins
polvorones (mexican wedding cakes)
rosca de reyes

by Paola in breads 'n biscuits gluten free



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  1. December 11, 2012

    i just found your blog through foodgawker and i think it is lovely! i look forward to reading more ;)

  2. Jenna #
    December 11, 2012

    I also found your blog via foodgawker and my am I gawking!!! Your photography is so stunning and the recipes… ! I had no idea amaretti were so simple to make, or ‘healthy’. Will definitely be whipping these up for the holidays thanks!

  3. December 11, 2012

    There’s is also a liquor made with amaretti, isn’t it?

    • Paola #
      December 11, 2012

      Amaretto yes! It can also be added to these instead of the almond extract.

  4. December 11, 2012

    I’ve been wanting to make these for a while. Better get my skates on now a good recipe has fallen into my hands :-)

  5. December 12, 2012

    Love almond and these amaretti cookies or bisquits look breath-taking! I bet they did not last long.

  6. December 14, 2012

    One of my very favorite cookies!
    Thank you for sharing, Paola, and have a wonderful weekend.

  7. Chris #
    December 21, 2012

    I’m sorry, is almond flour the same as almond meal? Also, is it absolutely necessary to rest for 2 hours?

    • Paola #
      December 21, 2012

      Yes, although some people differentiate and say that flour is ground thinner than meal, but both work fine (you can make it at home by blanching almonds and running it in the food processor- taking care not to make almond butter).

      Regarding the resting time, I would highly suggest it as it makes sure they keep their shape. One time I was in a rush and did not wait and they lost their shape (super tasty nonetheless).

  8. January 29, 2013

    great photos!!! I LOVE amarettis..yummy :)

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