What is Amaretti?
Amaretti are a dome-shaped cookies, flavoured with almond, is widely made in the region of Saronno, Italy. These Italian macaroon are light with crispy and munch outside and moist, chewy inside. This classic biscuits are typically made from ground almonds or almond paste along with sugar and egg whites. Flavouring depends on the chef what they choose, as it may be done with honey, vanilla, chocolates, liqueurs, and buttercream, jam, cherries or sometimes with ganache.
These cookies are traditionally accompanied with desserts, wine, sweet liquors and even works great when served with ice cream, sherbets and mousses. To add flavour and texture to smoothies and ice-creams, the macaroon are grounded and seasoned at the top of the cream.
The biscuits are available commercially and are specially produced by two most notable companies of Saronno- ILLVA and PLF.
Amaretti were first originated in Venice during the renaissance period in the late 18th century. It has a long story related to the birth of the cookies, where a bishop of Milanese dialect visited the town of Soronno. His sudden visit was welcomed by a young couple, who on that day baked biscuits with kernels, almonds, sugar and egg whites.
The biscuits were presented to him as an accolade, which satisfied the bishop that lead him to bless the couple a happy & lifelong marriage. Thus this recipe went for generation to generation and is known as a secret to happy married life. Now, with the recent tradition the cookies too have undergone through various changes and are made with varieties.
This classic Italian almond macaroon is prepared with 3 cups of ground almonds, fine white castor sugar, 3 or 4 egg whites, almond extract and butter. First one needs to pre-heat the oven to 170°C and leave it while you proceed into the baking process. Take a bowl and beat the egg whites till they become firm.
Grind the almonds in a food processor and mix sugar to it. Continue the process for the next 30 seconds and add egg whites and almond extract to get a moist and soft dough like paste. Place the baking parchment over the baking sheet and slightly grease it with butter. Put rounded spoonful of dough over the baking sheets keeping a spacing of 1 and ½ inch.
After filling up the sheets with cookie mounds, press the top of the cookie with a damp paper towel to smooth out the surface. If needed you may sprinkle sugar on top of it. Bake the cookies in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until they are risen and turned to deep golden colour.
When you see your cookies to appear cracks they are ready to be taken out of the oven. Place them in a pan and leave them to cool. Your Amaretti is baked and is ready to be served with desserts during Christmas and New Year.