This is a classic recipe for soft Amaretti biscuits – they are very sweet so you’ll probably only want to eat one or two at a sitting. They keep for a few days in a tin and improve with age.
3 egg whites
255g ground almonds
255g caster sugar
1 tablespoon (15ml) Amaretto liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (not essence)
Almond nibs for decorating (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
2. Beat the egg whites until stiff in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and fold them in until you have a homogenous paste (don’t worry, you won’t be able to keep the air in the egg whites – here they act as a binder).
3. Roll about a teaspoon of the mixture into a ball. Place on an oiled parchment-lined tray and gently press the top of the ball to flatten the base but so you maintain the round shape on top. Keep going until you have used up all the mixture. If you are using almond nibs, press one into each biscuit. You will need two trays or to bake them in two batches. Leave a space between each biscuit so they can expand. Bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until they are golden.
– Amaretti biscuits are actually a type of macaroon though the traditional macaroon is lighter in texture.
– To make a lighter amaretti biscuit, add 1 tablespoon of plain flour to the mixture with the ground almonds.
– Amaretti are incredibly rich and sweet so make them quite small. Serve them with strong espresso.
– They keep for about a week in a sealed tin – they are better eaten the day after they are made.