Amaretti Cookies

 

I’ve been wanting to make these Italian meringue cookies for a long time…dreaming of them in fact.  They are wonderfully light and airy with a sweet almond flavor & a chewy yet crunchy texture when you take a bite.  They all but melt in your mouth.  I absolutely love to make Italian desserts and am so inspired by Italy’s cuisine.  I think I might just need to take a trip there soon so that I can experience it all first hand!  These meringue cookies remind me of French Macarons if you’ve ever had those.  You could easily envelop two of these cookies around a delicious filling; chocolate ganache, lemon curd or espresso buttercream would make a great pairing with the almond flavor in the cookies.  I chose to keep it simple though and just enjoy a couple (3 or 4) of them with my latte…life just doesn’t get better than that!

Amaretti Cookies          {Print Recipe}

Yield: 75-80 1 1/2 inch cookies

1 2/3 cups (8 oz) blanched almonds

2 cups (8 oz) confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup egg whites (from about 4 large eggs), at room temperature

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

2 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven.

Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor.  Process until the almonds are finely ground, pulsing to avoid turning the mixture into a paste and scraping the sides as necessary.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted.  Add the almond extract and continue to beat, gradually adding granulated sugar, until the egg whites are fluffy and very stiff with a dull sheen.  Pour the almond mixture over the meringue.  Fold with a large rubber spatula just until the dry mixture is fully incorporated.  Scrape the batter into a pastry bag.  Pipe low domes about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 3/4 inches high, 1 inch apart, on parchment lined cookie sheets.  You can also use a spoon to scoop tablespoons of batter 1 inch apart onto the pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cookies are golden.  Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.  Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool.  Let the cookies cool completely before storing.  The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for weeks.

Recipe from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt in Your Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

Enjoy!

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