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).
*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.