How to Make Crackly, Chewy Amaretti Cookies

How to Make Crackly, Chewy Amaretti Cookies

Almond lovers will go nuts for these chewy Italian amaretti cookies. An added bonus? They’re gluten-free!

While “almond” translates directly to “mandorla” in Italian, amaretto is also synonymous with the nutty flavor that we all know and love. Similar in name—and taste—are amaretti, Italian cookies that are perfect for making around the holidays. Their crackly tops dusted with confectioners’ sugar make them look especially wintery, and the fact that they happen to be gluten-free means that more of your loved ones can enjoy these Christmas cookies without a second thought.

To make them yourself, you’ll probably only need to pick up almond flour and almond extract. All the other ingredients are baking staples you should have at home already. Now, get cracking!

How to Make Amaretti Cookies

3 large egg whites
2-1/4 cups almond flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Step 1: Prep the egg whites

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Place the egg whites in a large bowl, and let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Whisk the dry ingredients

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Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, whisk almond flour, sugar and salt.

Test Kitchen Tip: Make sure you don’t accidentally use almond meal instead of almond flour. They’re two different ingredients! Almond flour is more finely ground than almond meal.

Step 3: Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form

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Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Then, beat on high until soft peaks form.

Step 4: Add the extracts

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Beat in the almond and vanilla extracts. Make sure to beat for only a little bit longer to avoid collapsing the egg whites.

Step 5: Add the egg whites to the almond flour mixture

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Fold the beaten egg whites into the flour mixture until just moistened. The dough will be grainy and sticky. Again, don’t overmix!

Step 6: Roll the cookie dough into balls

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Scoop level tablespoons of cookie dough, and drop each into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Roll into a ball, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart.

Step 7: Bake the cookies

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Bake until lightly brown and tops crack, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Are Amaretti Cookies Gluten Free?
Yes! Since this recipe uses almond flour (as opposed to regular, all-purpose flour), you can count on amaretti cookies as being gluten-free. Here are more gluten-free cookies and gluten-free baking recipes if you want to make a whole tray of gluten-free desserts.

Amaretti Cookie Variations
While amaretti cookies are known for their almond flavor, you could swap the almond extract for another flavoring of your choice. You could roll the dough in chopped, sliced almonds instead of confectioners’ sugar. Give the amaretti cookies a little extra flair by pressing a whole almond on top of each cookie before baking—even though they’re gorgeous as is!

Why Are My Amaretti Cookies Flat?
Deflated egg whites=flat amaretti cookies. If you don’t beat the egg whites enough, there won’t be enough air whipped into them to get soft peaks, which helps the cookies puff up while baking. On the flip side, if the egg whites are overbeaten or stirred too much when incorporating them into the rest of the amaretti cookie dough, they’ll collapse, also resulting in a flat cookie.

The egg whites are also why you shouldn’t prep these cookies ahead of time. If you were to make the dough and store it in the fridge until baking, you’re giving the beaten egg whites time to deflate. Try one of these make-ahead Christmas cookies instead if you want to get a head start on holiday baking.

How to Store Amaretti Cookies
Once the amaretti cookies have completely cooled, transfer them to an airtight container at room temperature. They’re best eaten within two to three days—otherwise, you can freeze them for up to three months.

More Recipes That Use Almond Extract

Creamy Lemon Almond PastriesI love lemon filled doughnuts when I can find them. This recipe brings the concept to a new level by placing the filling into a baked beignet and enhancing it with a bit of almond flavoring and toasted almonds. The result? Sunshine in a bite. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

Cranberry Orange Almond Quick BreadYou can customize this bread to your family’s specific tastes. Try dried apricots and pecans, or dried blueberries and hazelnuts. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Almond Raspberry StarsThe first Christmas that I baked these, I ended up quickly making a second batch! The whole family enjoyed them. —Darlene Weaver, Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Delicious Almond BraidsSimilar to an almond crescent, this coffee cake is light and flaky with a rich almond center. It’s versatile, so you can serve it for dessert, breakfast or brunch. It tastes as if it came from a high-end bakery, but packaged puff pastry dough makes it easy. —Gina Idone, Staten Island, New York

Cranberry-Almond Pound CakeWhen you want an extra-special dessert for the holidays, it’s hard to beat a seasonal homemade cake. I like to drizzle mine with a simple but elegant glaze flavored with amaretto. —Jackie Howell, Tucson, Arizona

Chewy Almond CookiesMy children and grandchildren adore these old-fashioned cookies, and they make a good unfrosted choice for a holiday cookie plate. But they’re wonderful year-round, too—I even keep unbaked dough in my freezer so I can whip up a batch whenever my family comes for a visit. —Betty Speth, Vincennes, Indiana

Almond BlondiesThese make a nice change from the typical chocolate brownie. When I bake up a batch, they disappear quickly at my house. —Cindy Pruitt, Grove, Oklahoma

Almond & Cranberry Coconut BreadHere’s an all-around great bread for any season. The red bursts of cranberry lend every slice extra appeal for Christmastime. —Rosemary Johnson, Irondale, Alabama

Almond Cherry FudgeCooked in the microwave, this fast fudge is a sweet addition to any holiday gathering. I make it when I need a quick treat for a school party or to take to a neighbor. —Shellie Tucker, Hendersonvlle, Tennessee

Almond Spritz CookiesThis almond spritz cookies recipe can be left plain or decorated with colored sugar and frosting. In our house, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without some cookie press recipes.—Tanya Hart, Muncie, Indiana

Luscious Almond CheesecakeI received this recipe along with a set of springform pans from a cousin at my wedding shower 11 years ago. It makes a heavenly cheesecake. My son Tommy has already told me he wants it again for his birthday cake this year. —Brenda Clifford, Overland Park, Kansas

Almond Tea CakesWhen I have time—usually in the winter—I love to bake. I make these tea cakes every Christmas, double the recipe and freeze half for later. —Janet Fennema Ringelberg, Troy, Ontario

Hot Almond N Cream DrinkJust a few sips of this drink, with its rich almond flavor, will warm you up in a hurry. I’m the food service manager for a Christian camp and it’s a favorite each year at our Christmas party. —Kaye Kirsch, Bailey, Colorado

Cherry Almond Mousse PieTreat your loved ones to a luscious pie with chocolate, cherries and nuts in a creamy vanilla mousse. It’s a sweet yet refreshing dessert. —Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas

Apple Betty with Almond CreamI love making this apple betty for friends during the peak of apple season. I plan a quick soup and bread meal, so we can get right to the dessert! —Elizabeth Godecke, Chicago, Illinois

Chocolate Almond CakeFluffy white homemade frosting tops this rich chocolate almond cake. Sliced toasted almonds on top add a little crunch. —Sherri Gentry, Dallas, Oregon

Almond Cream SpritzLove spritz cookies at Christmastime? Try this version featuring almond-flavored dough. Sprinkle them with colored sugar for the holidays or chopped almonds for everyday cookies. —Jo-Anne Cooper, Camrose, Alberta

Lemon Tart with Almond CrustOur state produces an abundance of lemons, and everyone is always looking for new ways to use them. This beautiful tart is my delicious solution to the excess-lemon problem! —Lois Kinneberg, Phoenix, Arizona

Holiday Almond BarsThis fast, delicious dessert always makes an appearance during our Christmas celebrations.—Cheryl Newendorp, Pella, Iowa

Cranberry Cake with Almond-Butter SauceMake room for this recipe in your collection. Tart cranberries and sweet almond glaze turn this potluck cake into something truly special. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota

Almond Streusel RollsTry my prizewinning pastry! These rolls are so popular that they often don’t even cool completely before the pan is empty. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington

Vanilla Almond Hot CocoaTreat your family to this comforting, homemade cocoa as you decorate the tree or open holiday gifts. Vanilla and almond extracts make it taste even more special. —Vicki Holloway, Joelton, Tennessee

Honey Almond ButterTo me, nothing tastes better than a warm homemade muffin right from the oven and topped with this yummy flavored butter. It’s also wonderful on toast, quick breads and biscuits. —Pat Hockett, Ocala, Florida

Chocolate Almond Silk PieThis pie recipe is one I clipped years ago that became a big hit with my husband and three daughters. I’ve been baking since I was 9 years old. Back then, my friends and I would get together on Saturdays to bake chocolate chip cookies—but we liked the dough so much we ate lots of it raw! Of all the cooking I do today, I think I still enjoy baking best. —Diane Larson, Roland, Iowa

Almond Cherry CobblerThis bubbling cherry cobbler is one of my favorite dishes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. —Melissa Wagner, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Raspberry-Almond Jelly RollWith a whipped cream, almond and raspberry filling, the lovely swirled slices taste as good as they look. —Gloria Warczak, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Cherry-Almond Streusel TartBrimming with fresh cherries and topped with a crunchy streusel, this tempting tart is a great way to end dinner on a sweet note. It’s elegant, tastes delicious, and is so easy to make. —Marion Lee, Mount Hope, Ontario

Cherry Almond SnowdropsAs soon as I was old enough, I helped make these distinctive almond cookies. You can freeze the dough, so they’re perfect for the busy holidays. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

Cherry-Almond Coffee CakeEvery Christmas morning, I bake a coffee cake that’s rich and creamy like a cheesecake. My family loves cherries on top, but make it yours with any kind of fruit preserves. —Sue Torn, Germantown, WI

Almond MacaroonsThese almond macaroons have a wonderful texture, chewy inside and crisp outside. The milk chocolate drizzle dresses them up—everyone loves them! And they’re so easy: With only six ingredients, you can whip them up at the last minute. —Deena Dillion, Ossian, Indiana

Almond Raspberry TorteThis gorgeous torte looks and tastes like it came from a gourmet shop. Guests have a hard time believing it’s a homemade dessert!

Mango Almond Icebox CakeThis recipe was inspired by my friend who asked me to make a mango cake. It’s easy to prepare, refreshing, light, and tastes absolutely fantastic. Strawberries can be used as well. —Rachel Simoneau, Danbury, Connecticut

Swedish Almond RusksNot too sweet, these nutty, crunchy cookies go well with a cup of hot coffee…and travel well in care packages, too!

Almond Espresso BarsIf you like coffee, you’ll love these mocha morsels dressed up with toasted almonds. Save a few bars for afternoon snacktime or even breakfast, too. —Taire Van Scoy, Brunswick, Maryland

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