Amaretti Cookies w/ Homemade Almond Paste

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by Chris on August 11, 2010

pasta di mandorle/almond paste

First, I want to express my big thanks to Kim Ford of Jubilee Magazine and the Alicia Edwards of the Examiner (Atlanta) for including the cake I made for Loft 22 in their articles!

When I began baking, I mean really baking, amaretti cookies kept my oven going strong in my little midtown Atlanta apartment.  In fact, cookies in general kept my baking itch satisfied in those days.  I am not sure where a veered off the cookie course… probably because I ate them all myself!  Ha! Ha!

Because I don’t make cookies very often now, I have enjoyed rebaking several different kinds for my new Joy of Baking gig.  When I saw amaretti cookies on my list to “to be baked”, I was totally stoked and placed them as first on my list. Once I was done, I wanted more; I wanted a batch for me to eat! So, back in the kitchen I went,  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any almond paste in my personal pantry. No worries…time to go back to the days when I made my own almond paste. It’s really easy to make, like marzipan, and I think it is so much more cost efficient making it at home.

These cookies are an adapted version to my pinoli (pine nut) cookies.  The pearl sugar takes the place  of the nuts, giving then that Lazzaroni Amaretti Cookies look.  Don’t you think?

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Amaretti Cookies

1 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces almond paste  (recipe below, or store bought is fine)
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons pearl sugar for dusting

Spray baking sheets with no-stick cooking spray and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine granulated sugar, almond paste and zest using an food processor or electric mixer. Add the egg whites and beat until totally combined and smooth. Dough should be soft, but still thick…not runny. Using a pastry bag, pipe 1/2-inch dots of dough 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden and set. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to wire racks.

Note: (1) If you do not have a food processor, use a nut, spice, or coffee grinder to process the almonds. Then, to combine the rest of the ingredients, use an electric stand mixer with a dough hook. (2) If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can use 2 spoons to shape rounds that are about 1 tablespoon in size.

Almond Paste

1 ½ cups (200 grams) whole blanched almonds
1 ½ cups (165 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Place almonds in a food processor; cover and process into a fine powder.  Add the confectioner’s sugar, egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt and continue to blend until a stiff paste forms. ~ yields about 1 ½ cups/9 ounces

Note:  If you’re not using the paste immediately, be sure to cover with plastic wrap (releasing as much air as possible) and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle August 11, 2010 at 6:49 AM

I do love Amaretti cookies, have never made them myself but what I love most…a recipe for almond paste. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! I pass on recipes with a tube from the store. Never more!

Mele Cotte August 12, 2010 at 4:23 PM

You’re welcome Barbara! The tube/can is very convenient, but making it can be fun, too! 😉

tiffany (foodfinery) August 11, 2010 at 11:41 AM

love this simple delicious recipe! they are so pretty too! my father will just swoon over these… he loves almond!

Mele Cotte August 12, 2010 at 4:23 PM

I love all things almond, too Tiffany!

Becky August 11, 2010 at 11:48 AM

My husband is also a huge almond fan!! I will have to make these soon.

Mele Cotte August 12, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Thanks Becky! They are fun to make and I find…very hard to keep around!

Lynn August 11, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Amaretti cookies are my favorite! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Can’t wait to try it out!

Mele Cotte August 12, 2010 at 4:25 PM

THanks Lynn, Eliana, and Wanda. I love the crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside part about these cookies. 😉

Eliana August 11, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I’m a total sucker for a good cookie. And this one looks like a definite keeper. thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

The Teacher Cooks August 12, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Wow, homemade almond paste! I love the almond flavor in so many ways. Beautiful cookies, Chris.

Kayla Daniels August 12, 2010 at 9:34 AM

I learn how to combine granulated sugar, almond paste and zest using an food processor or electric mixer.

Le'Keitha Combs August 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I learned that it takes time a patience to make this recipe the right way

Mele Cotte August 12, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Le’Keitha and Kayla, I love that you learned something! And yes, this recipe does take patience, or the cookie will cave in the center.

dena August 18, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Sounds like another winning recipe! With minor adjustments, I am adding this cookie to my passover recipe file.

Mele Cotte August 18, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Thanks Dena, can’t wait to hear about them!

Amelia from Z Tasty Life September 5, 2010 at 8:45 PM

they look perfect!!! Brava :)

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