Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Wednesday, 22nd June 2011

I threw my apron in the air and did a little victory dance after I pulled out my first tray of Amaretti. Finally, after all the failed attempts (too embarrassed to reveal how many), I was successful!  Sweet, soft and chewy – the coveted Amaretti made with my hands. Yahoo!

A photo of Italian Amaretti Cookies displayed on a white rectangular dish.

My Mother stopped by last week for a visit and another Amaretti tutorial (impromptu – I wasn’t allowing her to leave until I achieved the “perfect” cookie dough).  I must say if I am anything like my Mom in the kitchen I completely understand why Liana (my daughter) doesn’t want to bake with me.  At every turn she was trying to grab the whisk out of my hand and do it herself.  I kept tapping her fingers away and saying, “I’m never going to learn if you do it”. To her defense I’m sure she was a little frustrated with me too.  But really Mom – I do know how to separate eggs!

A photo of Amaretti Cookies cooling on a wire rack.

There’s definitely an art to the mixing of the batter, especially the egg whites.  I know, painfully I may add, first hand what happens when you beat the whites too long – flat cookies (trays and trays of them).  And the soft, chewy centre – forget about it!

A photo of Italian Cookies, Amaretti, displayed on black fabric with randomly scattered silver dragees.

Sadly, my sisters have long given up trying to achieve the “perfect” Amaretti and rely on my Mom to provide these tasty little treasures.  Connie, Anna are you both listening? – You must give these cookies another try, if I can do – so can you!

A photo of Italian Almond Cookies on a baking sheet ready to be set in the oven for baking.

I used very finely ground almond flour I purchased at the specialty market in my Amaretti.  The almonds were blanched and powder-fine.  My Mom was concerned about the texture; she uses coarser almond flour.  I am happy to report that she was very happy with the texture.

A photo of Italian Sweet - Amaretti cookie dough rolled in balls on a bed of confectioners' sugar.

Almond Flour is very difficult to find in my area.  Now that I have the cookie dough right I plan on trying with the coarser flour (I make my own).  The almonds don’t need to be blanched but I would definitely toast to bring out the flavour.

A photo of Amaretto Cookies stacked on a rectangular white dish lined with white doilies.

I was also very conscious of the size of the cookies.  You don’t want to roll the cookie balls to large; I weighed each of my cookie balls to an exact 13 g (about ½-ounce). They were the perfect two-bite (or one if you are so inclined) sized cookies.  Amaretti are the perfect accompaniment to “una tazza di caffè” (a cup of coffee) or espresso.

A photo of Italian cookies, Amaretti displayed on a bed of silver dragees in a martini glass.

Amaretti grace each and every one of our Italian Cookie Trays.  In fact they are the “star” of the tray and if you pay close attention you’ll notice rather quickly it’s the one cookie that disappears before all the others.  They also make a delicious, homemade gift from your kitchen.

A photo of Italian cookies - Amaretti displayed in a row on a white, rectangular dish.

Amaretti are my absolute favourite Italian cookie, I hope you’ll give them a try.

A photo of Amaretti on a bed of silver dragees in a martini glass.

Amaretti successful – the French Macaron is next, I quiver in fear at the very thought of making these.

I will be sharing another family cookie recipe, Pizzelle, very soon.  Pizzelle are a family favourite too. There are so many different recipes available for these cookies and the recipes generally vary from region to region.  I love Pizzelle!  They are so versatile. I’ve rolled them when warm to create ice cream cones. They can be rolled and dipped in chocolate and they can be flavoured any number of different ways.  I’m craving one just talking about them.  Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker shared a recipe for Pizzelle and they look so much like my Mom’s.  I think Michelle and I may own the same pizzelle iron.  I’m looking forward to trying her version very soon.

A photo of Italian Cookies, Amaretti, cooling on a black wire rack.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Biscotti, Cookies, Eggs, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base

Comments (97)

97 Responses to “Amaretti Cookies – Sweet – Soft and Chewy”

  1. Cookin' Canuck Says:

    Cute story about baking with your mum – it sounds like the quintessential mother/daughter story! It looks as though you achieved the perfect amaretti cookies. These are lovely.

  2. Janet@fromcupcakestocaviar Says:

    Those look wonderful! Congrats on getting them right. Isn’t it amazing the feeling we get when we finally succeed at that one cooking task that drove us batty before?
    Janet :-)

  3. Grace Says:

    I think I called everyone I knew that day – I was so excited Janet.

  4. Tina@flourtrader Says:

    These look delicious. I know that your persistence really did pay off. I have bookmarked the recipe and will need to set aside some time to try these. Thanks for posting.

  5. sippitysup Says:

    Wonderful accomplishment and sweet story. Just what I would expect. GREG

  6. cookingrookie Says:

    So pretty and elegant! I must try this recipe! Beautiful!

  7. Julia Says:

    These look beautiful! Great job! Can’t wait to try them! I remember that angry feeling when I was younger and cooking with my mom when she tried to teach me how to cook…I always felt the same way. Beautiful photography! It keeps getting better and better!!!!

  8. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    Gorgeous cookies and photos, Grace!

  9. Penny Wolf Says:

    I love your story and KEEP LEARNING from MOM! Do everything she tells you without a fuss no matter how simple. I struggle to make my Mother’s recipes now that she is gone. We still talk :) but
    the cooking lessons are harder now.
    I have never tried to make the Armaretti cookies and this recipe looks great!

  10. Grace Says:

    You’re right Penny I need to suck it up and play very close attention, the smallest detail can make the difference.

  11. Samcyn Says:

    Beautiful pictures…sounds like me and my mom in the kitchen, except I’m the “controlling” one.

  12. Grace Says:

    I’m sure I am exactly the same way with my daughter, it’s funny how that happens.

  13. Kate@Diethood Says:

    Oh my goodness…they are gorgeous!! I love these cookies, and I also have failed at every attempt… I am copying your recipe and crossing my fingers! :)

  14. Grace Says:

    Hi Kate, just remember barely a soft peak on the whites. And make sure to put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour, longer if you can.

  15. Rosie Says:

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I loooove amaratti cookies. Did you really do it all by hand??

  16. Grace Says:

    All done by my little hands Rosie, I’m can’t believe it either.

  17. torviewtoronto Says:

    delicious looking beautiful cookies

  18. Maggie @MaggieCooks Says:

    Grace I’ve been a fan for a while of your blog, but this cookies stole my heart! they look so pretty and elegant! :) Thank you for sharing!

  19. Chef Dennis Says:

    Grace, those cookies look so very very good! Perfect size and such incredible images!

  20. Evan @swEEts Says:

    These look absolutely delicious! I think I have to give them a go.. I’m still waiting to try making macarons too!

  21. pienarySystem Says:

    Those look gorgeous! Every time I’ve ever seen Amaretti cookie pictures in cookbooks, they’re flat; I had no idea they’re supposed to be puffy!

    Putting this on my To-Bake list, pronto!

    And I so know the story about mom pulling the whisk away. I thought it was just me! lol

  22. Valerie Says:

    They’re perfect!! I’ve made some lately, pistachio ones, a delight!

  23. Grace Says:

    I love the pistachio Valerie unfortunately my kids hate when I add nuts, to anything. Can you believe it?

  24. CoffeeBeing Says:

    I whipped these up yesterday for my boyfriend and I am sad to report that there are only about five survivors. Beautiful treats, thanks for this quick and scrumptious recipe =]

  25. Marly Says:

    What a fun story. My mom was the same way – never wanting to show me because she could do things easier (and faster) on her own. Good for you for conquering this cookie!

  26. Galletas de Almendras « Mi Vida en un Dulce Says:

    […] galletas están inspiradas en la receta Sweet – Soft and Chewy – Amaretti Cookies by Gracie, ella hace unas recetas de base italiana que son una delicia, ¿están listas? Entonces manos a la […]

  27. Pizzelles-Cookies Italian-Italian Cookies-Mascarpone Cream | La Mia Vita Dolce Says:

    […] few weeks ago I shared with you my Mom’s recipe for my absolute favourite Italian Cookie, Amaretti and I mentioned I would soon share another family favourite.  Here it is, thin crispy and oh so […]

  28. Nika Says:

    hi i love your recipes and i would love to try this one but where i live its impossible to get almond flour. is there any other kind of flour that i can use?

  29. Grace Says:

    Nika with this particular recipe you do need the almond flour. Do you happen to have a food processor? If you do you can make your own almond flour (I usually make my own). Put almonds in the processor and processor until you reach a fine crumb (don’t over process because it will become a paste). Once you’ve processed the nuts you can put them through a fine sieve and then you can begin with the recipe. Hope this helps!

  30. Lydia Says:

    Hi Grace, I just baked these. While they are delicious, mine flattened quite a bit. I rested them an hour in the fridge. The dough was quite sticky and a little difficult to work with. I guess having them sit overnight is a good idea. The cookies baked on parchment much better than those on a silpat. The ones baked on parchment browned nicely and were easy to lift off. Yours retained their shape and look so gorgeous. Mine look like the Chinese Almond Cookies. Where did I go wrong. Thank you.

  31. Grace Says:

    Oh Lydia I feel your pain, I’ve had that happen to me so often in the past. I do find resting overnight helps tremendously. I’ve not noticed a difference between the silpat and the parchment. I do believe I used parchment paper the last time I made them. You’ve more than likely over-whipped your egg whites, you do not want a soft peak. Did you whip the whites by hand or by electric beater? Doing it by hand will ensure you won’t over-beat. The egg whites will appear to be under whipped but that’s the consistently you are looking for. When I had one of my visitors (Sam) achieve the perfect Amaretti the first time I couldn’t believe it. I hope you’ll try again Lydia because they are amazing.

  32. Lydia Says:

    Grace, thank you for your immediate feedback. I definitely will try them again — they were delicious but flatter. I used a Cuisinart hand blender with the whip attachment. I thought I had whipped them to a soft peak. Was your dough sticky when you formed the balls? Guess standing the dough overnight solves this problem.

    Thank you Grace.

  33. Grace Says:

    Letting the batter chill overnight definitely does help with the stickiness, make sure to put batter in the fridge in between baking trays or it will warm up. I bake one tray at a time as well and just before one tray is ready to come out I roll another tray. I also use a small retractable ice cream scoop to doll out the batter. When you make them the next time don’t use the hand blender, use a hand whisk and don’t let the whites go to a soft peak, they still need to be frothy.

  34. Lydia Says:

    Thanks for all the tips Grace. Will follow instructions precisely. When I get them as beautiful as yours, I’ll be thrilled.

  35. Lydia Says:

    Hi Grace, I had to try these again. This time, I was successful. I guess the secret is COLD dough. I rested the dough for 5 hours in the fridge vs 1 hour and that made a big difference –overnight would have been even better. Here’s a tip I’d like to share re forming the balls. It is a technique I use when making marzipan fruit. Take a clump of dough, roll it into a 1-inch sausage. Divide into sections (3/4 inch sort of) and cut. Roll each section into a ball then in confectioner’s sugar as recipe calls for. This ensures that each ball is about the same size. Thank you for walking me thru this recipe.

  36. Grace Says:

    I am so happy Lydia – that is fantastic, wish it took me only two tries to get it right! And thank you so much for the tip Lydia, I will definitely use in the future. I am so particular and it takes me forever weighing each ball of dough. My sisters wouldn’t let me do that the other day when we were baking a bunch of different Italian cookies and it drove me up the wall. And I did notice it when I was preparing for photos, the cookies were all different sizes (secretly drove me mad).

  37. Pesche-Italian Cookies-Italian Pastry-Italian Dessert-Crema Pasticcera | La Mia Vita Dolce Says:

    […] for – insanely delicious!  I think I may have a new favourite Italian Cookie.  Move over Amaretti there’s a new cookie in town.Filling the cookie with Crema Pasticcera changed the texture of […]

  38. Kimber Says:

    I tried my hand at these for the first time and they are wonderful! Unfortunately I made them a bit too big so I don’t have as many as I would like but the texture and flavor are perfect! Thank you for posting great recipes for italian treats! Oh and I’m going to try Macarons this week as well.

  39. Grace Says:

    Kimber what a coincidence I found the same how to and saved it. I am so happy they turned out great and you enjoyed!

  40. Ella Says:

    Made the dough last night and just baked them this morning – delicious!

    I scaled down the recipe to a third as I didn’t have enough of everything for the full recipe. Having just one egg to work with was difficult but turned out fine.

    Mine didn’t flatten or crack quite as much as yours did, so they’re not as pretty – but I don’t think it matters when they taste so good!

    Thanks for the great recipe.

  41. Grace Says:

    I am so happy you enjoyed them Ella. They don’t last long here at our house and I am the culprit.

  42. Vince Says:

    I loved this recipe!

  43. Grace Says:

    So happy you enjoyed Vince, definitely my favourite!

  44. Tasha Says:

    I just made these tonight. It was difficult to get all the almond flour (Honeyville Farm) to work into the yolk/sugar mixture. It ended up being just lumps of dough with loose flour around it, almost like there wasn’t enough liquid for the amount of flour. I gave up, soft whipped the egg whites by hand, added the white to the chunky lumps and worked it all together. Added the rest of the almond flour after the whites had loosened things up considerably. In the end, they look exactly like yours (high and round)and taste delicious! Were definitely odd to mix up though…was I supposed to get lumps or did I do something wrong? My eggs were large (weighed them…2 oz each)…anyway, thanks for the recipe!

  45. Grace Says:

    Hi Tasha, not sure what happened there because I checked the Honeyville brand online and it appears the flour is quite fine, at first I thought it may be much coarser than the one I was using, although my mother grinds her own and it is no where near as fine as the one I use. It will be thick at first before you fold in the whites but not like you are describing. I am so glad it worked out in the end and you enjoyed them. Definitely my favourite. p.s. so sorry for the late reply my computer crashed over the weekend and I was finally able to borrow my daughter’s tonight to answer mail.

  46. MaryK Says:

    Hi Grace, this looks like the solution to my flat amaretti, I can’t wait to try. I’m wondering if they will keep for 4 days or so ? I’d like to make ahead for thanksgiving.

  47. Grace Says:

    Hi Mary, definitely would keep. I would put them in the freezer and remove morning of Thanksgiving for the best freshness. Happy Thanksgiving!

  48. MaryK Says:

    Thank you! Just purchased the Bobs red mill almond flour. Mixing tomorrow, refridg overnite and bake on Tuesday!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  49. Grace Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy!

  50. Sandy Salinas Says:

    Dear Grace: made my batch last night – all by hand – using no machine,and is waiting for me in the fridge. Will bake my first batch tonight. However, I do not have a weight scale so I figured your 1.1 lbs of flour to be about 2 cups + 2 Tbsps. However, spend the better part of my weekend trying to find the silver dragees. I live in California. Any suggestions?

  51. Grace Says:

    Sandy I’m afraid to write what I’m about to write, 1.1 pounds of flour is almost 41/2 cups, to be exact 4 1/4 cups + 3 1/2 tablespoons. How did the batter turn out, was it really thin? Did you happen to use homemade almond flour? Do you have a Michael’s close by? Or possibly a bulk store? Both usually carry and I also have luck at what we call Home Sense but I believe in the US it’s called Home Goods. Please let me know how the batter turned out. I really hope they turn out okay. If you can’t find the silver dragees you can also use slivered almonds.

  52. Jennifer Says:

    These cookies look georgous, I am preparing to make them this weekend. I will not be using the silver dragees as I’m not comfortable serving what I consider an inedible topping. Any other suggestions for a beautiful topper that is clearly safe to consume?

  53. Grace Says:

    Hi Jennifer, slivered almonds or whole almonds are delicious. Please let me know how you enjoy them.

Leave a Reply