Derived from the Italian word for bitter (amaro), almond-rich amaretti cookies popped up in Italy in the Middle Ages. Though they can often be crunchy like biscotti, our quick and easy Soft Amaretti Cookies promise a soft, chewy crumb and unparalleled sweet almond flavor.
- 10 ounces (284 grams) blanched almonds, lightly toasted (about 1¾ cups) (see Notes)
- 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- ¾ cup (90 grams) confectioners’ sugar, divided
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- 2 large egg whites (60 grams), room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) almond extract
- ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine almonds and ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar; pulse until almonds are finely ground, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar and salt; pulse until combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, pulsing until combined after each addition. Add extracts, and pulse just until a dough forms.
- In a small wide bowl, place remaining ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar. In another small wide bowl, place remaining ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar.
- Scoop dough by tablespoonfuls (about 18 grams each), and roll into balls. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar; roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place 1 to 1½ inches apart on prepared pans.
- Bake, one batch at a time, until tops are cracked, bottoms are golden, and edges are set but still give slightly when pressed, 20 to 24 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire racks.
To toast, bake blanched almonds at 350°F (180°C) until lightly toasted, 4 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.