Because of the crisp texture of the amaretti biscuit along with the strong association to coffee the word biscuits tend to be a better descriptor then the word cookie, as some call it. They are crisp on the outside and very lightly chewy in the center. It’s the rich almond flavor that stands out to me making them the perfect accompaniment to coffee in it’s many fantastically addictive forms. Amaretti biscuits are one of my lost loves. There was this cafe in Vancouver, BC that sold them 4 for $1, and where my love affair began with amaretti. It is such a rich warm comforting flavor that helps you just wash all other thoughts away as the crispy exterior slowly erodes into the soft chewy meringue center. The rich almond flavor then washed away with the bitter notes in a warm cappuccino it was perfection after a long car ride, or night out.
Not only are they delicious with coffee but they make great additions to any dessert, like my gluten free tiramisu cupcakes. The texture of the crunchy exterior and rich almond flavor that gives them a versatility that makes their possibilites in the kitchen limitless. They can be used in many desserts from cakes, pies, trifles, cupcakes. Crumble up some of the cookies and create a textural delight of a layered dessert with some fresh berries and cream. A great addition to trifle or a pudding style of dessert to add extra texture and a wonderful look, or just crumble a few cookies over the layer of custard based pie and they will add amazing flavor and texture. Another thing to note my friends, are these are gluten free. If you are a biscotti with coffee type of person these are a fantastic replacement.
The amaretti biscuits do last for quite a while if stored properly. They can be prepared, cooked, and you can have the mess cleaned up in about 30 minutes, which to many is a big plus. They do not require that you have a food processer, at least 4 cup capacity, but it does make it easier to prepare. The recipe originally asked for 2 egg whites, but I found I needed to add another half egg white from a 3rd egg to get the correct texture from the cooked product. Adding in half of an egg white is easier then you might think. Just scramble up the white and then it is easy to add in just half of the white to the mixture as you have broken up the proteins that generally hold it together.
I also learned a fantastic trick, I had to share. After the cookies have cooled for about 5 minutes turn them upside down on the tray so the parchment is now the top and the cookies are face down on the tray. With a wet paper towel, wipe the bases of the cookies through the parchment, and pull the parchment slowly away from you while gently easing the cookies off. This technique with the residual heat of the cookies will make them easy to remove with out tearing out the chewy center. This also provides you with further ease in transferring them to a cooling rack.
- 1 cup bakers (castor) sugar
- 8 oz almond paste
- 2-3 egg whites
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 16″ or larger pastry bag with a round tip and set aside. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and In the food processor add in the sugar, almond paste, two egg whites and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Add in half of the white from the third egg. Blend until completely smooth and no lumps of the almond paste remain. It should be the constancy of cake batter. Pour into the prepared pastry bag, and drop 1-1.5″ rounds on the prepared cookie sheets with a 1″ space between each cookie. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until a deep golden brown.
- Cool for 5 minutes and remove from parchment, see technique in the post, transfer to cooling rack and cool completely. Store in cookie jar for up-to two weeks.
Adapted from Joy of Baking