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With a crispy exterior and soft interior, these almond flavored Italian Amaretti Cookies are perfect for your holiday celebration! There are many variations of this recipe, and most have been passed from generation to generation. This is my favorite version and just happens to be super easy, using simple ingredients – and naturally gluten free too! Want more cookie ideas to get you in the festive mood? Check out my Candy Cane Cookies or Christmas Shortbread Cookies.
What are Amaretti Cookies?
These traditional Italian cookies, sometimes called Amaretti Biscuits are made with almond flour, sugar, whipped egg whites, and almond extract. Depending on the region, the texture of these macaroon-like biscuits can vary from soft to a chewy center.
How to Make Amaretti Cookies
For full recipe details about these simple Italian cookies, including ingredient amounts needed, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is what to expect when making these chewy cookies:
Preheat Oven + Prep Baking Sheet
Preheat oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk Egg Whites to Form Peaks
In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until very soft peaks form. You are looking for lots of foaming bubbles, but not quite stiff peaks. You could use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for this step, but I feel like a whisk does this job perfectly.
Pro Tip: This recipe is a great way to use up leftover egg whites from a recipe that called for just egg yolks!
Whisk in Almond Extract + Sugar
Whisk in almond extract, and then granulated sugar.
Stir in Almond Flour
Stir in almond flour and mix *JUST* until dry ingredients are combined…cookie dough should be thick and a little bit sticky.
Form Dough into Balls + Roll in Powdered Sugar
Place powdered sugar in a bowl or tray. Use a small cookie scoop to spoon out the dough and form dough into small balls in the palm of your hands. Drop them in powdered sugar and roll them around to fully coat. Place on parchment paper lined cooking sheets (or silicone mat) a couple inches apart. Take 3 fingers and gently press the ball down forming a cookie.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are set and cracked and the bottom is a light golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack in a single layer.
Storing Amaretti Cookies
Store soft Amaretti cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Can I freeze these cookies?
Yes! You can freeze them after they are baked and cooled OR freeze them before you bake them. To freeze before baking, shape dough into balls, place on a baking sheet and flash freeze. Once they are frozen, you can throw them into a freezer safe ziploc bag and back into the freezer. Then thaw the dough balls when you’re ready to roll in powdered sugar and bake according to recipe directions.
Amaretti Cookies FAQ and Recipe Tips
These cookies can go by different names like Amaretti Morbidi or Morbido, which means soft, tender, smooth and white.
Unfortunately, you cannot use all-purpose flour in place of almond flour.
Some Amaretti Cookie Recipes call for Amaretto Almond Liqueur rather than (or in addition to) Almond Extract. I tested it with both and honestly, I prefer the Almond Extract. It gives a more intense almond flavor which is what you’ll want for these cookies.
This means “little bitter ones” and named as such because the little cookies (or biscuits) are flavored with bitter almonds.
Almond flour is made from ground almonds that have been blanched. Skins are first removed from the whole almonds, boiled, and then ground into a fine flour.
No. For some savory recipes almond meal and almond flour can be interchangeable, but for Amaretti Cookies you need the fine flour consistency for success.
More Cookie Recipes to Try
- Red Velvet Cookies
- Christmas Shortbread Cookies
- Best Gingerbread Cookies Ever
- Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Coconut Cookies
- Cake Mix Cookies
I hope you give this Amaretti recipe a try this holiday season! The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day!
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Whisk egg whites until very soft peaks form (lots of foaming bubbles but not stiff)
- Whisk in almond extract
- Whisk in granulated sugar
- Stir in almond flour and mix JUST until combined…dough should be thick and a bit sticky
- Place powdered sugar in a bowl or tray
- Form dough into small balls, drop them in powdered sugar and roll them around to fully coat
- Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet (or silicone mat) a couple inches apart
- Take 3 fingers and gently press the ball down forming a cookie
- Bake for 12-15 minutes