‘Amaro’ in Italian means ‘bitter’ and so the name ‘Amaretti’ translates to ‘little bitter things’. Made from almonds and egg whites, these are essentially an Italian almond macaroon. Crisp on the outside, grainy, soft and chewy on the inside, these little cookies are delicate and oh-so-delectable!
In my pursuit to make all things ‘macaroon’, it was impossible that I leave this one untried.
A little history…
It is said that this almond macaroon was created by a young couple as a spur-of-the-moment offering to a cardinal who surprised the small town of Saronno with a visit. The cardinal liked this macaroon so much that the couple decided to keep the recipe secret within their family for several generations. Well, the cat’s out of the bag since, and all you need are 5 simple ingredients to make Amaretti.
Starting with Ground blanched Almonds. You can either buy these from the store, or make it yourself.
Make your own Ground blanched Almonds at home…
Simply soak almonds for a few hours till the skin loosens up. Alternatively you can blanch them in hot, boiling water for a minute or so until the skin can be peeled away. Either way, once the skin if off, dab off moisture with a clean kitchen towel, and bake at 350°F/180°C for 5 minutes to dry it up a bit.
Once cooled, grind it in a food processor, pulsing ever so quickly until crumbled. Sieve the ground almonds, and re-process any large pieces until the entire thing goes through the sieve. Store for later, or bake them into these Amaretti!
Making an Amaretti is child’s play – you throw all the ingredients into a bowl, whisk at medium speed of an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Pipe it into small circles and let it sit overnight. This is important to get the texture soft and chewy and not crumbly. If you mind the wait, bake immediately. But it’s worth the wait, cause the next day, the cookie basically melts into your mouth.
Next morning, if you were patient enough to wait, bake the Amaretti for about 12-15 minutes until it’s golden brown on the outside and absolutely soft and chewy on the inside. Cool completely before popping one, and then another, then maybe one more into your mouth.