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All Italian cookies are wonderful, but it has to be said that Amaretti cookies just have to be one of the best ever! They go amazingly with coffee or another drink and are the perfect snack at the end of a long day. In fact, any occasion is ideal for soft amaretti cookies, so why not whip up a batch and get ready for lots of praise coming your way!

Gluten-free Amaretti Crinkle cookies dusted with powdered sugar, perfect for Christmas baking.

Are you are looking for cute cookies ‘just like Nonna used to make’? Maybe you fancy something sweet and yummy to spoil the family with. Try this tasty cookies recipe for size!

If you are a fan of Italian cookies, you should try these Italian Easter Cookies, Italian Rainbow Cookies, or even these Italian Chocolate Chestnut Tortelli Cookies.

A plate of Christmas baking cookies with powdered sugar.

Why You’ll Love Them

Easy:  There’s nothing hard about making Amaretti cookies. In fact, if you’re looking for an easy cookies recipe, you’re going to be glad you made these!
Delicious: These cookies have been around seemingly forever and that’s largely because they’re so tasty, flavored delicately with almonds.
Versatile: They’re just as good served before bed with a glass of milk as with your after-dinner coffee.

A plate of Christmas amaretti cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

Ingredients for Amaretti Cookies

You only need six ingredients to make amaretti cookies and a little powdered sugar for rolling. Christmas baking couldn’t be simpler!

A group of bowls containing flour and eggs for baking homemade amaretti cookies.

Some people like to add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract or a dash of orange or lemon juice to theirs. That’s optional though of course.

A bowl of brown flour ready for Christmas baking with a whisk.

We are using almond flour and granulated sugar, as well as egg whites and almond extract. For a more authentic flavor, swap the almond extract for amaretto liqueur. Hey, why not? These are festive little bites after all, after one doozy of a year. Let’s do some holiday baking, and then eat, drink and be merry!

If you like these lovely little Italian almond cookies, you might also enjoy this amaretto cream pie with almond crust.

A group of amaretti cookies on a plate.

How to Make Italian Amaretti Cookies

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Mix the eggs and almond extract:  Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and add the almond essence or almond liqueur and whisk some more.
Combine the dry ingredients: Mix the almond flour or almond meal with the caster sugar in another bowl.
Now combine both mixtures: Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and use your hands to blend everything together, adding more ground almonds if it’s too wet.
Let it rest: Chill the amaretti dough overnight in the refrigerator.
Shape the cookies: Divide the cookie dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in icing sugar, then arrange on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies: Bake them in the oven until they’re golden, then let them cool completely on a wire rack.

A pile of amaretti cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

Substitutions and Variations

There are some changes you might wish to make in this Amaretti cookie recipe. The choice of almond extract or almond liqueur is yours.

A plate of naturally gluten free cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

If you want to use almond extract, you’ll probably need a bottle (depending on strength) or if using almond liqueur a splash should be sufficient. You can also swap the sugar for sweetener if you prefer or add a little lemon zest.

Sometimes amaretti cookies are sandwiched together with jam, buttercream or ganache, like their French equivalents. A bowl of vanilla ice cream goes well with a couple of Amaretti cookies, too. That could be a great idea if you’re in both a holiday baking and ice cream mood!

Italian Amaretti cookies on a baking tray for Christmas baking.

How to Serve an Italian Amaretti Cookies Recipe

This Amaretti cookies recipe is ideal and served with anything from a glass of milk to a cup of coffee, glass of tea, or anything else you like.

A pile of classi Italian amaretti cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

If you have some left over, which are beginning to dry out a little, there are still some great uses for them. Some people even chop or grind these cookies up and add them to trifles and other desserts like this budino cake to boost both flavor and texture. Once you have prepared these little treats, you might want to try this out, especially if they get a day or so past their prime.

A plate of traditional Italian amaretti cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

How to Store Amaretti Cookies

Store:  These soft and chewy cookies will stay fresh for a few days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Freeze: You can freeze the uncooked dough balls for up to a couple of months before thawing and proceeding with the recipe, or freeze the baked cookies if you have too many.

A plate of amaretti cookies dusted with powdered sugar for Christmas baking.

Recipe for Amaretti Cookies FAQs

What is amaretto liqueur?

In this recipe, you can use amaretto extract, but if you have it, amaretto liqueur is the traditional ingredient. Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur from Saronno, Italy. It makes an excellent aperitif and kicks off any party in style. The only thing sweeter than a glass of amaretto is enjoying these tasty amaretti cookies on the side. Go on, spoil yourself!

What does Amaretti mean anyway?

The word ‘amaretti’ is the Italian way of saying macarons. These little treats are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, just like French macarons. (Those are not to be confused with macaroons, which are super-heavy and made with coconut flakes). The Italian word ‘amaro’ translates into English as ‘bitter’. This is because these cookies are flavored with bitter almonds. Following that, ‘amaretti’ literally means ‘small bitter ones.’

Are Amaretti cookies gluten-free?

Yes, as they’re made with almond flour or almond meal (ground-blanched almonds), these Italian almond cookies are naturally gluten-free.

Should you use cups or weights for measuring?

It’s up to you and you can use whichever you prefer, but I find weights works better than cups because it’s more accurate that way.

Can you use almond flour or almond meal for these?

They tend to come out a bit doughy if you use regular almond flour. They are better if you use almond meal.

Do you need a hand mixer or stand mixer?

The dough is very thick so a Danish Dough whisk is perfect. You might find the dough too thick for an electric mixer to handle.

A plate of Italian cookies topped with powdered sugar.

Amaretti Cookies Recipe

5 from 9 votes

Amaretti Cookies

By: Bella Bucchiotti
All Italian cookies are wonderful, but amaretti cookies just have to be one of the best ever and perfect for Christmas baking.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 34 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 500 Grams almond meal , about 5.2 cups
  • 300 Grams white sugar , about 1.3 cups
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 Ounce almond extract , approx one bottle, or use almond liquer
  • 4 Cups icing sugar (powdered sugar), to roll them in

Instructions 

  • Place the 5 egg whites in a bowl and whisk until bubbles form.
  • Add the almond extract (or liqueur) and whisk again.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the almond meal and sugar together.
  • Pour the egg white mixture into the dry ingredient bowl. Thoroughly mix.
  • If needed, you can use your hands to combine everything. If it feels wet or sticky, add a small amount of almond meal.
  • Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours minimum.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Put the icing sugar into a shallow bowl.
  • Make a 1" ball with the dough in your hands. If your hands get sticky dip a finger in a bowl of water and wet palms.
  • Roll each amaretti cookie ball in the icing sugar. Shake off excess and place on the baking sheet. Press down into a thick oval shape, and repeat to use all the dough.
  • Bake cookies for 15 minutes until lightly brown. Remove from tray to cool on a rack.

Notes

Allow time for your dough to chill. It will need at least 2 hours. Roll the cookies into balls and put them on a plate if your kitchen is really warm and only roll in sugar the cookie balls that will fit on your cookie sheet. Keep the rest of them in the refrigerator until ready to be baked. If you roll them in sugar too early some of the sugar will soak into the dough which you don’t want.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

These little amaretti cookies are found all over Italy, and not just during the chillier months. They are typically dome shaped and range from 1½ to 2 inches wide. Amaretti are sometimes known as ‘biscotti da credenza’ which means they can sit in the kitchen drawer (credenza) for a while. At least, until someone wants a speedy snack or the kids get home from school hungry! Flavored with almonds, these little treats are always a popular option.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Just came across this recipe for Amaretti cookies and thinking about making a batch.
    The Ingredients list calls for egg whites but then in the first line in the instructions calls for whisking the egg yolks. Am I correct to assume that’s a typo and should read whisk egg whites.