amaretti cookies

Amaretti Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sliced blanched almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 11/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • Coarsely chopped blanched almonds and confectioners’ sugar, as needed, for garnish

Directions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the sliced almonds, sugars, lemon zest, salt, and extract until they form a coarse paste, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the egg whites and continue to process until the mixture forms a smooth paste. (It should be scoopable, not spreadable.)
  4. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets with a #100 scoop (small ice cream scoop) about 1½ inches apart. Top with a sprinkling of chopped almonds. Let the cookies dry at room temperature for 1 hour (this gives the cookies their crisp crust).
  5. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400° F.
  6. Dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Bake until evenly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate and switch the baking sheets as necessary for even baking.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool for a minute on the baking sheets and then transfer, using a spatula, to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container.

Variations
Cinnamon Amaretti: Replace the lemon zest with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Chocolate Chip Amaretti: Fold ½ cup mini chocolate chips into the finished batter.
Orange Amaretti: Replace the lemon zest with 1 tablespoon grated orange zest.
Candied Ginger Amaretti: Fold ¼ cup finely diced candied ginger into the finished batter.

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