When you read “amaretti” you maybe thought about Amaretto di Saronno – which is actually a liquor – or perhaps about those crunchy brown cookies you can find in Lombardy.
Today’s recipe is actually quite different.
These amaretti are soft and almost white, with a sweet and slightly crunchy outside thanks to the icing sugar covering.
I follow the recipe I found in the book “Quello che piace ad Irene” by Irene Berni, owner of a dreamy bed&breakfast in Tuscany. I wish a had such a magical place in Italy, where to live and host my cooking classes!
For now, I’ll just share with you this special yet easy recipe – which is also gluten free.
The birth of amaretti dates back to the 19th century, and the recipe hasn’t changed since then.
Apparently, at that time, every farmer in Piedmont owned some almond trees in order to enjoy the blooming in spring and fruits in autumn. Soon, the amount of almonds exceeded the needs of the families, so they had to come up with an idea to use them somehow… and amaretti were the perfect solution for that!
At the beginning, they were kept in jars in order to preserve their scent and softness. Then they started to wrap amaretti one by one – so the trade got easier and they became famous all over Italy and Europe.
Their name comes from a word that means “bitter” – this is because some recipes also use the kernels of apricot and peach, which look like a almonds but are bitter indeed.
As it often happens in Italy, amaretti are made in many regions, with different recipes and sometimes even names.
Are you ready to learn how to make the traditional ones from Piedmont?
- 150g sugar
- 180g almond flour
- 60g icing sugar
- 2 egg whites
1. Whip the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy.
2. Add the almond flour, mix gently with a spatula.
3. Shape into balls and roll in powdered sugar.
4. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 190°C.
5. Remove from the oven as soon as they begin to change on color.
Here are the ingredients to make chocolate amaretti, the steps are the same:
35g egg whites (1 egg white)
30g cocoa powder