Little Bitter Things

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Amaretti is the Italian name for macaroons, which means “little bitter things.” Crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft inside, these small, domed-shaped cookies originated in Venice, Italy during the Renaissance.

Amaretti cookies are made from either ground almonds or almond paste, along with sugar and egg whites, and can be flavored with chocolate or liqueurs. Oftentimes, two baked cookies are sandwiched together with ganache, buttercream or jam.

Traditionally, these cookies are served with a sweet dessert wine or liqueur, but they are also wonderful with a bowl of ice cream, sherbet or mousse. Another favorite way to use these cookies is to finely ground them and then add them to desserts (such as trifles) for added texture and flavor.

Choclatique Amaretti Cookies

This is the classic Italian almond macaroon with a Choclatique twist. We always have them available in a cookie jar near the Chocolate Studio. When first baked they are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. As they sit, they get crunchy throughout.

Yield 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups blanched slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300º F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor, grind the almonds into a fine meal. Add the sugar, cocoa powder and continue to process for another 15 seconds.
  4. Finally, add egg whites and almond extract, continue to process until a smooth dough forms around the blade.
  5. Using a teaspoon or a very small scoop, place well-rounded spoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Cookies should be at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Cookies will be done when they begin to slightly crack on the top.
  6. Allow cookies to cool completely on the paper before removing.
  7. Store in a cool, dry place.

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