Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Orange Scented Amaretti Cookies

Amaretti are fabulous little italian cookies, almond flavoured and perfect with an espresso or cappucino. The great thing about them is that they are very easy to make...the hardest part is waiting 3 hours to actually bake them. My favourite kind of amaretto is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and this is what this recipe with produce, at least for the first few hours. But even once they have hardened they are still delicious and will keep very well in a closed container.

1 lb whole, shelled, raw almonds (about 2 cups)
1 cup white sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp orange extract
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp icing sugar for dusting

-in a food processor process almonds and sugar until almonds are finely ground and well mixed with the sugar
-in a small mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
-add the extracts and orange zest and beat a few seconds longer
-gently fold the almond mixture  into the egg mixture until  well combined
-line cookie sheets with parchment paper
-drop teaspoonfuls of mixture onto cookie sheets, keeping about 2" apart (you can also roll the teaspoonfuls in your hands to form small balls, for a rounder cookie)
-dust cookies with icing sugar, then set  sheets aside to dry for about 3 hours, at room temperature
-after 3 hours preheat oven to 300F
-bake cookies for about 20-23 minutes
-immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool

* makes about 36

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