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.

Amaretti

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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. 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! :)

  13. Rosie Says:

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

  14. Grace Says:

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

  15. 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.

  16. Grace Says:

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

  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. 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?

  50. 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.

  51. Grace Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy!

  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.

  54. Steven Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! After a failed batch of Amaretti’s using another website’s recipe I landed on this page and this is how it should be! Having lived in Malta (close to sicily) I have had my share of authentic italian Amaretti and no recipe came close..until I found this website. Thx ;-)

  55. Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet Says:

    These sound so yummy!

  56. Noukie Says:

    Hey, I was just wondering about how long you have to beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Just until combined, or until it’s pale and thick/ribbon stage?
    Thanks a lot for the recipe, will try them out real soon!

  57. Grace Says:

    Sorry Noukie I should have put a visual cue,beat the eggs with the sugar until pale. But be careful with the whites, beat until barely a soft peak. The texture of the whites is the key to have a great tray of amaretti. Happy Easter!

  58. annette Says:

    I can not wait to make these yummy cookies! Can I half the recipe (6 dozen seems like a lot of cookies)? And how long does it keep?

  59. Grace Says:

    Hi Annette, these cookies keep for a very long time if you store in the freezer. It’s best not to half the recipe and trust me you’ll be glad you didn’t because they disappear very quickly!

  60. Amaretti Cookies: Italian, Soft, Almond Gems « Breakfast Socks Says:

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  61. Bev Says:

    Hi Grace,

    I too had major issues with having enough liquid to mix the almond flour into and was left with breadcrumbs even after mixing in the whites. I had to then add an extra beaten yolk and then the beaten white. The resulting biscuits taste great but they are little rock balls that are a bit chewy in the centre. I used three 62g eggs and then added an extra one. Can you please weigh your eggs next time you make them?

  62. Bev Says:

    Hi Grace,
    Having extensively researched the weight classifications of eggs I would like to know if you are in the US or Europe or elsewhere. It makes a big difference in the classification. I am also beginning to suspect that making your own almond meal/flour may give a much more moist flour. The bought one that I used, and have used in my attempts in the past, is coarse and really quite dry to feel. I suspect that more moisture and oil is retained when you make the meal/flour fresh yourself.
    For my next attempt I will grind my own flour and perhaps use extra large eggs (Australian classification).
    I’m on a mission now. Unfortunately my Mum doesn’t cook so I have no on-hand expert.
    Perhaps you could put photographs of the stages on your site instead of some of the beautiful photos of the finished product.
    Thanks for your tips.

  63. Grace Says:

    Hi Bev, the Canadian average egg weights (shell on) are as follows:

    Jumbo – 70 g +
    Extra Large – 63 g +
    Large – 56 g +
    Medium – 49 g +
    Small – 42 g +

    Very rare that I use anything but large eggs (didn’t realize we even had jumbo – never seen them at any of the retailers) and I just picked up a flat and weighed each egg and they all ring it at about 56 g give or take a gram. I cracked a few just to get the weight without the shell and they all rang in at about 50 g. This exercise proved to be a big surprise because I use a standard guide for weight measurement for recipes and the weights came in exactly.

    Bev for this recipe my mom always uses homemade almond meal (shell on or off-but if you want light coloured amaretti blanched almonds are necessary) where I use this almond flour (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YRBALU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002YRBALU&linkCode=as2&tag=grasswelif-20). It’s extremely fine and blanched almonds are used. One invaluable tip that I can offer is to barely reach a soft peak when whipping the whites (I would recommend whipping with hand-held balloon whisk). I struggled with these cookies for a long time before I was able to get a perfect batch but I found barely whipping the whites was the trick for achieving the best texture.

    Bev I wish I could photograph the steps (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time because photos can really help in explaining difficult steps in a recipe) but unfortunately I am not all talented in the area of photography. My daughter takes the images for the site and unfortunately with her school and work schedule it makes it difficult. I am looking at hiring someone to take video, especially for recipes where I think having a visual cue (like these cookies) could make all the difference. I also plan to house them all in one area, an easy go to guide. I’ve interviewed quite a few people but I’ve yet to find the perfect fit so far but I am continuing my search. This recipe will be one of the first featured in the how-to section.

  64. Pw Says:

    How long did you keep your mam captive with so many failed attempts and refrigerating your batter overnight.

  65. Grace Says:

    Hi Pw, so many failed attempts with the batter because she wasn’t standing right beside me. But once she showed me the proper way to whip the whites I was all set. And no I didn’t make her stay the night (thought about it though), but she did come back the next day.

  66. Bake Sale Recipes-Italian Cookies-The Bake Sale-Bake Sale Recipes Says:

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  67. Nanny Milton Says:

    Is there really NO almond extract in these?.?

  68. Grace Says:

    Nanny no almond extract, doesn’t need it, so delicious!

  69. Elizabeth Says:

    Thanks for this recipe. Yours are always great with the explanations and love how you respond with the helpful tips. If you can’t get almond flour, how do you make it? Food processor almonds?

  70. Grace Says:

    Hi Elizabeth, I would recommend freezing the amount of almonds required in the recipe prior to blitzing to a fine crumb in the food processor. Nuts release natural oils (I store my nuts in the freezer, keeps them fresher for a longer period of time) and if you’re not careful it could turn to a semi paste, freezing them helps prevent this. For extra assurance, you could also blitz the almonds with a small amount of the sugar called for in the recipe. Hope this helps, and remember whip the whites barely to a soft peak.

  71. Nancy Says:

    Hi Grace,
    I have made other versions of Amaretti so have that as a reference. I made your recipe last night, I found the batter to be extremely dry and hard to fold the nuts in and then the egg whites with only the 3 eggs. Not sure if I did anything wrong….I will be baking them today and will see results. Just wondering as you didn’t mention consistencey of the dough? Maybe I overbeated the yolks and sugar…I found it was alot of sugar for only 3 yolks? Will advise results when I bake.
    Thanks
    Nancy

  72. Grace Says:

    Hi Nancy, a quick question first, what area of the country do you live in? May seem like an odd question but egg weights can vary, our large eggs weigh in at roughly the following: with shell 57 without shell 50 whites 30 yolk 18. Also, did you use almond flour (store-bought) or did you grind the nuts in the processor? I’ve found on occasion if you don’t grind the nuts fine enough it’s a little more difficult to fold in (couple of tips, keep nuts in freezer (prevents natural oils from seeping out when grinding which will result in a finer crumb and if you’d like grind the nuts with about 1/4 cup of the sugar, again easier to get a finer crumb). When beating (large balloon whisk) the yolks and sugar make sure to beat until pale in colour. After adding the ground nuts (or almond flour) the mixture will be on the thicker side but it will loosen up when you add the egg whites. When beating the egg whites (by hand – prevents over beating) beat barely to a soft peak (between foamy and soft peak). By the way did you use a superfine sugar? Another tips if using granulated sugar, process in the food processor for about 30 seconds, it will dissolve better in the egg yolk foam. Please do not get frustrated it may take a few times to get the batter just right, believe me I know. I’m hoping to do a video in the future, which will make it easier to mix up the batter. Please do let me know ho it goes, I really hope they come out delicious because although the batter only has a few ingredients the nuts are expensive!

  73. Andrea Says:

    Darn. Same problem as the previous bakers. I actually couldn’t finish beating the sugar and yolks with the whisk because it was too stiff. I used regular white sugar but pulsed it in a spice grinder to make it superfine. My almond flour was purchased, but I made it even finer by pulsing it as well. The mixture was so dry! I added in the egg whites, beaten to almost soft peaks, and it didn’t seem to help. It’s in the fridge resting right now and I will bake tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers!! Any idea why so stiff and dry? I had these cookies in Venice this summer and I thought I was in heaven! They were so light – little puff balls. I am used to the chewy, dense amaretti, so I was delighted to find your recipe. I hope they turn out!!

  74. Grace Says:

    Hi Andrea, to be honest I am at a bit of a loss because some visitors are preparing without issue and some are running into problems. It could be one of three reasons (I think) one, the egg weights (maybe you could try with an extra yolk) differ in size depending on the area of the country you live in two, the yolks and sugar aren’t beaten long enough, egg yolk foam (with superfine sugar) should be pale and three, egg white foam is beaten too stiff, should be between foamy and soft peak. The mixture will be thicker before folding in the whites but you should be able to fold in the nuts. I usually make a much larger batch but I’ve tested with the three eggs several times and I’ve not had issue but I am going to prepare again over the holidays. I will make sure to test both with 3 eggs (separated) and also 4 to see which batter I prefer. I’ll make adjustments to the recipe if needed. But let me share with you and others Andrea it’s not an easy to prepare batter, it took me a while to perfect the technique. You would think with only a few ingredients it would be easy. Both of my sister’s have given up making the cookies because every time they make them it doesn’t work for them. I did mention to another reader that I think I should prepare a video walking through the steps and this way if batter doesn’t match at any point in time the visitor can either add a little more egg yolk or egg white. And it will also be the best way to show how far to take the egg whites. By the way did you use the mixer to beat the egg yolk foam or egg white foam? It’s best to prepare these cookies by hand, using a balloon whisk to prepare both egg foams and it’s also best to use flexible spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the nut meal/flour. I just thought of something important, which could solve mystery on why some are successful and some aren’t, when you’re preparing your mise en place are you measuring ingredients by weight or cups? I strictly go by weight. When I made the switch to weighing my ingredients I found I received a much better end result, because weight never changes whereas with cups depending on how you fill the cup could make a big difference. Andrea please let me know how the cookies turn out after baking, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  75. Nancy Says:

    Hi Grace,
    First, sorry you were under the weather I am very glad to hear you are feeling better.

    Second, THE COOKIES!
    (I hate to be long winded…can be so boring….but I think details are need to fill in the blanks with baking, so take what you need.)
    Ok…..I think I know largely what caused my problem, but here are some details:
    – I did pulse the sugar to make it fine.
    – I live just north of Barrie, using President’s Choice Organic large eggs, so this should not be an issue.
    – I did however, grind my own Almonds (skins on and I toasted them the day before) …I am certain I did not grind them fine enough. I did not freeze them as you suggested, and I ground them and tried to sift them, so on third of the way through, I gave up sifting them because I kept putting the remnants back through to regrind them, it because to difficult as not much was passing through the sieve, I grew very frustrated and gave up. The crumbs were getting moister and moister, so I ground them as fine as I could and decided to use them as fine as such.
    Although, it still feels like there weren’t enough volume in eggs to moisten all the almonds, certainly it did affect the consistency I was working with. I chilled the dough and baked them yesterday, they were delicious and it resulted in a nice, maybe a bit firmer cookie, but moist on the inside. Also, not to complicate things even more, but the first tray, I baked on “Convection” setting at 325 degrees for 12 minutes, found they dried out more than I would like, still really good, but rendered a crisper cookie. The second batch I baked on traditional “Bake” setting at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. So in both cases I used less time. (Ovens vary too…so another consideration).
    Grace, I hate to see you try to reformulate a recipe that you have now perfected. My conclusion on all of this, (and this goes out to Andrea who had similar issues – curious to know your results after you bake)…..in my opinion, this recipe isn’t very difficult or fussy, the results will be really good and anyone you serve them to will love them. I think for those that are striving for the elegant, moist and delicate, results that Grace has perfected will have to master her technique as per her instructions. Otherwise don’t be intimidated with it, your results however they are executed will be really, really delicious and gorgeous. If you want to match Grace’s perfection just keep trying!
    Today, I am going to make more, (the last batch are gone already). I am going to weigh my ingredients and use very powdery store bought ground almonds. I will however stick with my Kitchen Aide, I have every utensil and cooking tool on the planet so that I can enjoy the process and have them work for me….I should know enough to recognize the consistency I need and know when to stop, so I will make this work!

    Third….re: the Car Business, Oh Grace, I am leaving it….long saga, and too personal to put on your site in the middle of an amaretti recipe, although I have no doubt your readers would be entertained beyond belief!!! It really is too painful and personal to share here. Maybe we can chat over amaretti and a cappuccino!

  76. Nancy Says:

    Ok, I just mixed the next “double” batch…and definately I am experiencing a problem with the yolks. Maybe I am overbeathing them! They seem to thick and dry. I kick myself, because I did forget to pulse the sugar, but still there was way to much sugar for the volume of eggs to disolve the sugar, I did add it gradually, but just remained too granular. The amount of almonds were just crazy to the volume of eggs, a huge bowl of them to try to get into the yolks. I had to pick up little lumps of whatever yolks I could find and rub it together with the almonds in the palms of my hands to try to incorporate it. When I got to the whites, it combined it in pretty much the same way. This is not at all what you described. I will continue with the process, and I expect that they will be very good, I doubt they will look as delicate and light as yours did, they looked like little wedding cakes! I anticipate they will look more “a al paesana” and “rustic”! I may email pictures if I have time. I think next time I try this recipe I will whip the whole eggs, till they grow in volume, like a zambaglione, with the sugar and then fold in the almonds them. Anyway, I will post my results after I bake. Regards, Nancy

  77. Grace Says:

    Hi Nancy, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these cookies, I feel terrible that some like yourself are having a difficult time preparing the batter, I am really at a complete loss like I said to Andrea yesterday because some visitors are not having issues. I’m almost afraid to ask, are you going to try the cookies again? If so, can you try preparing by hand (I know it’s a pain especially when you have all the modern conveniences, I find with some things going back to the basics works best like doughnuts, I prepare by hand now because I find I achieve a better result) and also weighing all the ingredients first (if you process the sugar please weigh after processing). By the way you may want to make a single batch at a time, I know again, very inconvenient but I’m trying to weed out all the variables. Today I started questioning myself because at one point I was getting all my eggs from my cousin Nick, he has a farm just outside of town and on occasion some of his eggs were larger. I’m trying to remember if I finally perfected the recipe during that time. I’ve made them so many times after but again I can’t remember if I was using his eggs at the time. But then I think well if that’s the case then no one should be able to whip up the batch. It really is a mystery to me. I’m making them shortly and I’m going to make sure to use regular eggs. By the way do you have a Shoppers near by? They have superfine sugar there, very inexpensive (no name) and it dissolves really well in egg foams. Would you mind sharing the type of almond flour you purchased? I’ve only been able to find one brand here aside from the bulk store (I won’t buy them from the bulk store any more because every time I’ve purchased them they’ve had critters in the bin). You mentioned you were going to beat the yolks until they are high in volume, were you beating until they were pale originally? One last question because I’m a little embarrassed to share but I’ve never purchased organic eggs, do they weigh the same as regular eggs and how do they beat up?

  78. Andrea Says:

    Good news Grace!! The cookies turned out beautifully! Maybe a little bit different from the ones in Italy, but I have to say, they are excellent and I was very pleasantly surprised. I did beat the egg whites with my mixer because I don’t own a balloon whisk and I thought using my regular whisk would take all day – plus I was using it to whisk the yokes :) I weighed my ingredients rather than measuring them. I will definitely make them again and might try adding another yolk. Now I know the process and know what to expect. I do think a video would be a fantastic addition to this recipe. Even pictures of the process would be good. Can’t wait to try the recipe again. Just in time for Christmas.

  79. Nancy Says:

    Oh my gosh Grace…please don’t second guess yourself on MY results or reinvent the wheel…I am flabbergasted too!! Baking is science and I must have failed the experiment! I have made them twice and found the same difficulty. I can’t believe the eggs would make THAT much of a difference? The certainly would make some difference, but I tell you the amount of almonds just seems mountainous compared to those yolks. I tried to take some pictures, but I really couldn’t get shots that got across what seemed to me to be the problem.
    The ground almonds I found (and you’re right…hit and miss if you find them) I believe were at a Lawblaws chain…..I think they were the yellow no name brand, which I usually hate, but the only ones they had, so I had no choice. I did weigh them even though the weight was on the bag (but they did differ by about 4 grams per bag), however I did not weigh the eggs, but they whip up quite nicely. My son’s friend has farm eggs that I get eggs from once and in a while, I wish I could get them regularly! I certainly don’t think these are the same, but they are nice, similar to regular grocery store eggs really, a little nicer and very expensive! We have a lot of farms around here (Midland area), I really do have to take the time to source some I can get regularly!
    I did beat the eggs as much as I could beat them to get the most volume and they were very pale. As for results, I did bake them and again, they were good, but certainly not light…they were more heavy and a bit dry, and this was my double batch!…Actually, I liked the taste and texture of the first batch, where I ground my own nuts that weren’t as fine.
    Grace, I WILL try them again, but it will have to wait until the New Year. The 2 attempts is all the time I can afford for experimenting right now. I still have so much Christmas baking left to do.
    I hate to stray from your suggested, tested technique, but for my own sanity, I really would like to try whipping the whole eggs instead of separating them the next time I try….because truly while they rest they do not maintain the air in the whites anyway, so I am questioning whether this is vital to the results?….I don’t know?! I’m pretty decently experienced in the kitchen so I am baffled too as to why others have not experienced any problem at all and mine were so pronounced? Anyway, I agree, doubling a batch that you have not mastered is kinda dumb, but I had so much confidence in my ability…lol!!! When I make them, I am going to make 2 seperate batches, one your way…BY HAND, and one batch on my hunch by whipping whole eggs and proceeding. I will let you know and also, I will weigh the eggs, just to make sure….who knows? Maybe a combination of a few things could add up to the entire problem.
    Anyway my dear, do not sweat it really, not the end of the world. I have another recipe that I usually use that work really well, but yours look so light and delicate I thought would be a nice change. Now I am determined to figure this out and get it right!
    By the way I have made your Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake a couple of times and it’s a hit!! My son begs me to make it and is now promising it out to his friends!
    Anyway, thanks for all the guidance and follow up. Don’t you find this is the fun part? I love when I am trying to match Nonna or Zia’s recipe and there is this banter back and forth. My best friend Lia and I are always yelling at one another..”What do you mean it didn’t work?” I’ll say. And she will say, “I did everything you said and it didn’t come out like yours!” Then I’ll question some step that I think is a “given”, something EVERYONE knows, and she’ll yell at me like I have two heads as to “how is she suppose to know to warm the eggs in a warm water bath before beating them??!!!” We have a riot! I enjoy challenging her and trying to teach her and I think she enjoys trying to cook like me!!! Hahaha, she’d kill me if she read this!
    Anyway Grace, I will be in touch soon! If not before the holidays, I wish all the best to you and your Family for a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!!
    Warm Regards Nancy

  80. Grace Says:

    Good Morning Nancy! I didn’t realize Loblaws carried almond flour, I usually don’t shop there because it’s farther for me to travel but we have a Great Canadian Superstore down the street and I believe they carry the same products, I will have to take a look. The brand I purchase now at the market is fairly expensive, generally why I grind my own but for these cookies I like the flour better because the almonds are blanched giving the cookies the delicate blond colour. I could take the extra step and remove the skins but I don’t always have the time. Again, I won’t purchase from the Bulk Barn because of past experience, I guess what bothers me the most is when I point it out and show them the bin they don’t do anything about throwing out the contents. Andrea had good luck after baking but she did find she didn’t get the same look as mine, by the way are you using blanched almond flour? And when you made your own did you remove skins? Because you won’t get the same look as mine otherwise. I would be very interested with your results when not separating the eggs, please do report back. I’ve never attempted because the flour is so expensive. I’m hoping to post a favourite Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie in the next week or so, if your son likes the little mousse cakes he’ll probably love the pie, absolute decadence! I go through the same with my mom and sisters and what I’ve found is that they never put the tricks in their recipe or the amount of flour (usually whatever the batter can take is pencilled in – what?! is usually my response), the only way I finally perfected this cookie recipe was to keep my mother through the entire process, you learn so much by watching. I am going to attempt the Scarpelle again this week but the few times I’ve tried they are like golf balls, mom isn’t leaving until I get them right, it’s funny because when I was learning the history about the doughnuts I learned that they had to be shaped just so, something my mom can do with her eyes closed. My sister made them this week and although they came out fantastic she said she had the worst time shaping them. What’s funny is my mom said didn’t you oil your hands and my sister said you never told me that, mom insisted she did but I have to believe my sister on this one. Enjoy the rest of your baking and if we don’t chat before Christmas I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful holiday!

  81. Grace Says:

    I’m so happy the taste was there Andrea, please let me know if you have better luck with adding the extra yolk. By the way are you blanching the almonds and removing the skins before grinding? I use a blanched almond flour and this is what gives the cookies the delicate blond colour. Taste is the same but look will be different. Wishing you and your family the best Christmas!

  82. Melissa Says:

    I tried making these with Stevia. Made only one egg to try. Not too bad. Need to try again as dough was not mixed enough. But taste seemed nice. Need to make again

  83. Andrea Says:

    Oh, maybe you mixed us up. My cookies tasted and looked beautiful. They looked just like your picture. I used almond flour from the bulk barn and it is very nice and finely ground.

  84. Elizabeth Says:

    Grace!!
    Success!!!! Have to confess, not only did the batter stay in the fridge overnight, but a little over 5 days. We were so busy that I didn’t have time to think. Let me say, your directions were brilliant and not only did they turn out fantastically but they are now in demand!!! Guess the extra chill worked out in my favor. I have to admit, I was a bit bold and made two batches the first time. Not together: one after the other. Easy wasn’t even the beginning of it. I used Almond Flour (found in the Gluten Free Aisle). I followed your directions and advice as stated and it turned out to the letter! Next time I am going to try the food processor with the blanched. Did I say thank you for this recipe? You rock and thanks for the help.

  85. Grace Says:

    Hi Andrea, yahoo! I’m sorry you’re right I was confused. I can only blame it on this terrible cold and very little sleep. I was getting better and them it came back with a vengeance. I’m also very happy to see you’ve had better luck with the flour from the Bulk Barn, maybe it’s just my location, I should try another before I write them off. If we don’t speak again before Christmas wishing you and your family a very, Happy Holiday!

  86. Grace Says:

    Good Morning Elizabeth you have no idea how happy I am to hear you loved the cookies and that they turned out just right! If you have a moment would you mind sharing the brand of almond flour, I would like to have alternatives. All the best for a wonderful Holiday Season with your family!

  87. Grace Says:

    Hi Melissa thank you so much for trying an alternative and sharing your experience, very happy you enjoyed the taste.

  88. Jacky Says:

    Hi, Found this recipe and it sounded so good so decided to give it a go. I have a question, can the egg yolks and caster sugar be beaten in a mixer. I did it by hand but found the egg yolk mixture was so still. Was not sure if the sugar had to be beaten till mixture smooth and grain free? My mixture was so still I actually used my hands to mix through the store bought almond meal. I added the egg whites and found I ended up with a dough but not sure if its the right consistency. Could you please tell me, can the egg yolks/sugar be mixed by a mixer, and what should the consistency be like before adding the almond flour. Secondly what is the dough consistency like? and lastly should eggs like in most recipes be at room temperature? I hope mine still turn out, mixture is in the fridge at the moemnt.

  89. Grace Says:

    Hi Jacky, when beating the egg foams, both yolks and whites it is best to beat by hand, if you want to use mixer I would only suggest using it for the yolks because you have more control when beating by hand especially important when beating the egg whites because they are beaten just shy of soft peak (still foamy). When beating the yolks and sugar beat until pale in colour and sugar is dissolved. When folding in the almond flour the mixture will be thicker but when you add the whites the mixture should loosen up. And I recommend chilling the batter overnight (this will prevent the cookies from spreading). It took me a long time to get this recipe correct saying I was frustrated is an understatement. The feedback has been mixed some visitors haven’t had issues and some have. I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure why some are having issues. Please keep in mind I weigh all of my ingredients, if you have a scale please use when preparing this recipe because when using cups there is room for error. The dough is thick and sticky (another reason why chilling is important, by the way in between rolling place back in the refrigerator to chill). Eggs should definitely be at room temperature to get the volume. One thing I’ve found although some have had issues everyone enjoyed the flavour. It may take preparing the cookies a few times before getting the look right. I remember right after posting I had one visitor that prepared them and they came out perfect the first time, I was so jealous, haha. Please let me know how it goes. All the best!

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  95. Bree Says:

    I’ll add my two cents to the recipe & its outcome (which was delicious & perfect with my morning espresso!)…
    I weighed the sugar & nuts; I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour (readily available); I used standard large eggs, but they did weigh a wee bit more than Grace’s… ~ 60 grams vs. 56 grams, and I used Redpath Superfine (fruit) sugar. I left the dough in the fridge overnight.
    Yes, the egg yolk & sugar mixture is much too heavy to “whisk”, and even difficult to stir; don’t fret about this one bit! At the time, I did wonder if I had beaten the batter enough– it was just too stiff to do much with–but it turned out fine. Even if your sugar crystals are not completely dissolved in the batter, they will be after the dough rests in the fridge for a few hours. (Taste the raw dough after a couple of hours & you’ll notice the sugar crystals are no longer apparent.)
    I rolled scooped balls (13-14 grams) in sugar, then cooled in fridge & baked these for 25 minutes… I did try a few without the sugar coating, but they browned more & were a little less interesting in the final result, so I went with a sugar coating on all the rest. (I tired not to compress the dough too, too much when forming the cookies, to avoid a tough centre.)
    Let them cool completely after baking (yes, before testing!), and you will have the best cookie to go with your morning espresso… a nice crisp exterior & chewy interior.
    They are very much the same amaretti cookie as at the Italian café I visit in Caledon, Ontario…en route to the Toronto airport & back.

  96. irma Says:

    Hello, i don’t understand why is this recipe we have to use the eggs yolks, i’ve always know that for make amaretti you need to use just the whites from the egg :/ can you please tell me why this recipes asks for the eggs yolks? thank you, <3

  97. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    These are soft amaretti cookies not the crisp texture that maybe you’re used to.

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