One of the best things about making these Italian amaretti cookies is that they make use of all your leftover egg whites. I’m always looking for recipes to use egg whites because some of my favorite other recipes call for so many yolks!
Amaretti are a type of Italian cookie that fall into the meringue category of desserts. However unlike a pavlova which is a true meringue, amaretti use almond flour for a light and airy almond based cookie.
I have a few fruity meringue-cookie recipes on this site like my strawberry walnut cookies or my peach coconut macaroons. However this amaretti recipe is a no-nonsense, traditional Italian cookie that you would be likely to find traversing the Italian countryside.
What Are Amaretti Cookies?
Amaretti is the Italian plural of amaretto, which translates to ‘little bitter’ in English. It is most often used to describe a liqueur, however it is also a descriptor for anything flavored with almonds or stone fruit kernels.
What You Will Need
- Baking Tray
- Silicone Mat or Parchment Paper
- Stand Mixer or Electric Whisk
- Piping/Pastry Bag
- Sieve (optional)
How To Make Classic Amaretti Cookies
Amaretti cookies do not require many ingredients, so it is an easy cookie to make when you want to use up all those leftover egg whites. However if you don’t have leftover whites, I will include some egg yolk recipes at the bottom of this post so nothing goes to waste.
Italian Amaretti Cookie Ingredients
- 500 grams Almond Flour – make sure you get almond flour and not almond meal, the latter is far too rough for these delicate cookies.
- 4 large Egg Whites – you have to make sure there is not a single bit of yolk in your whites or they will not whip up to stiff peaks in the mixer.
- 250 grams Sugar – white granulated sugar is fine here.
- 1 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur – you can also sub for a few drops of almond extract if you prefer.
- 1 Orange – zested, optional.
Begin by preheating your oven to 160C or 320F. In a bowl combine the flour, orange zest and half the sugar. You can just whisk everything quickly to combine.
Using a stand mixer or electric whisk beat the egg whites with the remainder of the sugar until you have stiff peaks. Add the meringue to the dry ingredients and combine everything with a rubber spatula. Do not worry about deflating the meringue, it is okay if it happens. Just stop mixing as soon as everything is incorporated. Lastly fold in the liqueur.
Fill your piping bag about 2/3rds of the way up, and pipe about a tablespoons worth of batter onto a silicone or parchment baking sheet. Try your best to do it so there is no point, as that will cook more rapidly and make an uneven surface. Optionally you can dust them with powdered sugar.
Place your tray in the oven and bake for 16 minutes. Then remove the tray and allow the cookies to come to room temperature before picking them off the baking mat.
What To Do With Extra Egg Yolks?
Since I’m a fan of no-waste cooking, I hate throwing out ingredients. If you made this recipe without using leftover whites, then you are sure to have leftover yolks. Here are some recipes to make with the leftover yolks so nothing goes to waste.
- Cured Egg Yolks – These are not only fun to make, but they are an excellent replacement for Parmesan cheese. Grate some cured egg yolk over pasta, into soup, or on baked veggies for a burst of umami.
- Hollandaise Sauce – the classic topping for eggs benedict, hollandaise sauce uses egg yolks for a rich and creamy texture.
- Creme Anglaise – this fabulous pouring custard uses egg yolks to make a delicious sauce perfect over souffles or ice cream! Related: Creme Patisserie
- Lemon Tart – many of the famous French filled tarts use extra egg yolks to help the filling set. My delicious lemon tart is a reason why I always have so many extra egg whites! Related: Chocolate Tart
- Carbonara – One of the most famous Italian pasta dishes, Carbonara achieves its signature silky sauce by making an emulsion of egg yolks, cheese, and pork fat. If you want an entire Italian night, why not make carbonara and then amaretti cookies for dessert!
Italian Amaretti Cookies
- 1 mixer | stand or electric whisk
- 1 Piping Bag | to pipe the cookies
- 1 Silicone Baking Mat | or parchment paper
- 1 Oven
- 1 Baking Tray
- 1 Microplane or Rasp | optional, for the orange zest
- 500 grams Almond Flour make sure you get almond flour and not almond meal the latter is far too rough for these delicate cookies.
- 4 large Egg Whites you have to make sure there is not a single bit of yolk in your whites or they will not whip up to stiff peaks in the mixer.
- 250 grams Sugar white granulated sugar is fine here.
- 1 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur you can also sub for a few drops of almond extract if you prefer.
- 1 Orange zested, optional.
- Preheat your oven to 160C
- In a bowl combine the flour, orange zest, and half of the sugar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a separate mixing bowl add the egg whites with the remainder of the sugar. Beat hard until you have stiff peaks.
- Fold the meringue into the dry ingredients until they are completely combined. Do not worry about deflating the meringue, it is not necessary to be extremely gentle in this recipe. Lastly add in the liqueur and mix completely.
- Fill a piping bag about 2/3rds of the way up with the amaretti mix and pipe tablespoon sized mounds a few centimeters apart. Optionally dust with powdered sugar. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 16 minutes. Remove and let cool before removing the cookies from the baking tray/mat.