These amazing cookies I discovered back at home in Chicago. The local Italian goods store by the house I grew up sells all types of delicious cookies, pre-cooked lasagnas, and all types of pasta shapes. My mom would take us with sometimes to pick out our favorite butter cookies with sprinkles. They were just so soft they melt in your mouth. As we got older we got more adventurous and tried the Amaretti cookies. Flavored with almond extract, these chewy cookies were AMAZING! There are not a lot of desserts that incorporate almond extract, especially cookies, so I fell in love. If you love cookies and have ever tried a macaroon, this is the cookie of your dreams. The crisp crunchy from the exterior with the soft chewy almond-y interior is so good.
The process of making this recipe couldn’t be easier, but you have to have at least a hand mixer or it will be hell. Whip the egg whites until the peaks are firm and that will be your only leavener in this cookie. Here’s where all the chewiness and flavor live. Now to flavor, we add citrus zest and extracts. The lemon zest really amps up the almond flavor in the extract which is why I like to add it. My grandma Eda used to add both lemon and orange zest to her desserts and it’s a baking tip I’ll never forget.
Before you bake these cookies, the final step is to roll each dough ball in sliced almonds and powdered sugar. This takes time, so get some helpers. Gently giving each cookie a press when they hit the sheet tray, to form each cookie into a medallion shape.
These cookies should come out of the oven only slightly golden on top with a soft chewy interior. You and your family are gonna love these cookies. Especially for the holidays!
Makes 16 - 18 cookies
15m prep time
15m cook time
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven at 325° F.
- Using a hand mixer, whisk egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and almond extract with a pinch of salt and optional lemon zest to the egg whites. Set aside.
- Whisk together almond flour and sugar, then pour over egg whites. Fold the egg whites gentle to create a thick tacky batter.
- Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop cookies into even pieces and place onto a prepared sheet tray.
- Roll pieces into balls, then roll in almonds, then roll in powdered sugar. Place back onto the sheet tray and press gently to form a disc. Repeat.
- Bake for 25 - 28 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are slightly golden.
Recipe adapted from Simply Home Cooked.