Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Italian Almond Macaroons: Amaretti
I don't know if you have had these cookies, but if you are missing out on them, I suggest you make them. These cookies are on every single Italian Cookie Tray. They are an Italian cookie staple next to the Cannoli. They are simple to make even it's flavor says otherwise. They have that crisp crunch outside and the ooey gooey goodness of almond flavor. The main ingredient to this cookie is Almond Paste. You can make your own if it's really hard to find in your grocer or baking supply shop. You can also order it online at King Arthur Flour HERE.
I wouldn't suggest buying it in a tube because it tends to be drier. But if that's what you can get make sure it's still good and squeezable.
These cookies make a great anytime cookie. They are special and the almond past you buy which can be a little on the expensive side is all worth it. You can make many. If anyone gave me a tray of these yummy little presents I would certainly feel happy inside. You can swirl them through a pipe bag or you can simply round them out by using a cookie scooper. I suggest that in the baking process you definitely watch them because you don't want to over bake them.
These cookies are easy and I found that even though I have yet to find my camera and using my daughter's camera, I just can't do it justice. Plus it's such an easy cookie to make and uses very little ingredients.
The best toppings on these cookies are using halved green or red cherries, espresso beans or toasted almonds. These are also great drizzled with Dark Chocolate which I find best but you can certainly use milk, semi-sweet or white.
If you want a cookie that has the essence and flavor of what Italy is, then these are your cookies. They have been around a long long time and never fail to indulge!
PS: They are also naturally Gluten Free Cookies.
1 can(8oz) Almond Paste
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
10 Maraschino Cherries, espresso beans or slivered almonds to top off the cookies. (These are optional but recommended)
Preheat oven to 325'F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Break almond paste into small pieces and place into food processor or mixer. Add sugar and mix well. Add the egg whites and mix until moist, about 2-3 minutes.
Pipe using a large star tip into rounded swirls about 2 inches in diameter or roll into a ball and gently press down a little and top with half of a maraschino cherry, almond or espresso coffee beans. Cookies should be at least 1 inch apart.
Bake 20 minutes on middle shelf, move to upper shelf, (about 4" above middle shelf); for approximately 8 minutes until light golden brown. Move parchment paper with cookies onto baking racks to cool. When completely cool carefully peel macaroons off paper. Store in airtight container.