I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister, speak to me of God.’ And the almond tree blossomed. – St. Francis of Assisi
These Amaretti cookies are amazing and a paradox. Light and textured, sweet and a slight taste of bitter almond, chewy and soft – all at the same time. The beautiful blonde color comes from using blanched almonds and egg whites only. They are perfect for breakfast with a strong cup of coffee. You can also make them as smaller bite size cookies for an Italian sweet table.
Soft & Chewy Almond Cookies
- 3 eggs whites large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups medium coarse-ground raw blanched almonds (can also use almond meal)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp. of fine salt
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line baking sheet with a silicone mat or baking parchment.
- Blanch and grind the almond to make a coarse-ground almond meal.
- Mix almond meal, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites to semi-stiff peaks.
- Gently fold in the egg whites and almond extract to the almond meal mixture and mix until you get a dough that can be gently packed with your hands to form cookies.
- Using an tablespoon-size ice cream scoop, scoop out dough and lightly form a ball in your hands. The size of the cookie is up to you. The size of a apricot or walnut works best.
- Roll ball in the powdered sugar and place on the baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough until you've used it all up. Leave a bit of space between the cookie balls as they will expand slightly during cooking.
- Use your palm to gently squash the cookie balls, then place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the baking tray.
- Serve warm, or allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Tip: To quickly and easily blanch almonds, pour boiling water of the almonds in a small bowl. Let them sit for 2-3 minutes. Drain, place in a tea towel and rub together. For any remaining almonds with the skin still on, just squeeze the almond and the skin should slide right off. If the skin does not come right off, soak in boiling water a little longer. It is easiest to work in small batches. Grind the freshly blanched almond in a blender until a coarse meal. This method is not only cheaper than buying ground almond meal but produces a fresher tasting cookie.