For long-time readers, it comes as no surprise that though I’m not Italian, I am an Italophile. My passion for Italy’s language and culture extends to its cuisine, of course! Italian almond macaroons originated in Venice during the Renaissance; the name amaretti translates as “little bitter things” (though these crescent-shaped cookies are anything but bitter!).

Amaretti (Almond Cookies) | Tutti DolciFragrant with almond, the cookies have a slightly crunchy exterior that yields to a perfectly chewy center. In addition to being molto delizioso, these are the ideal gluten-free treat.

Amaretti (Almond Cookies) | Tutti Dolci

Amaretti (Almond Cookies) | Tutti Dolci

3 egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups almond meal
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sliced almonds
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Fold in almond meal, sugar, almond extract, and salt; cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 300°F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Place sliced almonds in a small bowl and press with the back of a spoon to break into smaller pieces. Scoop 1 1/4″ balls of dough and shape into crescents (the sticky dough is easier to work with if your hands are damp). Roll each crescent in almonds (gently press almonds to dough if necessary), then place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake until firm, about 22 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Yield – 30 cookies
Calories – 100 (per cookie)
Carbs – 10

  1. I didn’t know what “amaretti” meant – quite the opposite of what I’d expect! Your version looks delightfully sweet, and delicious, and far from bitter. 😀

  2. Oh, boy, these look amazing! I may have to add these to my Christmas cookie list…I only make the best of the best for my cookie trays 🙂

  3. i love amaretti! manu has an aunt who makes them for all the family occasions and they are so chewy and amazing! you can find them in all the bakeries year-round too, so every now and then i indulge in a little packet of them. happy easter my friend! buona pasqua!

  4. What terrific cookies! Almond is the perfect light and fresh flavor we are craving as winter slowly lets go it’s grip and spring lavishes it’s sweet charms!

  5. Bravissima, Laura! These look fabulous. They look like something you would find in an Italian “biscottificio” {cookie bakery}. I love using almond meal in my baking too. It has such wonderful flavor and texture. Are you sure you aren’t part Italian? 😉

  6. These are beautiful, Laura. My parents are heading to Italy in a few weeks. I have to admit, I’m jealous. As much as I have traveled, I have yet to travel to Italy. These cookies would definitely transport me there. So pretty!

  7. I learn something new every day! So curious to learn the true meaning of amaretti! I will have to try this the next time I have extra egg whites (I’m always looking for something to make with them).

  8. Even though you’re not Italian, you are Italian at heart. What’s not to love about our culture and especially…FOOD:)Love your delicate cookies, Laura. Buona Pasqua. xx

  9. Thank you for the recipe! I made these cookies today, they taste wonderful, and I have a couple questions for you. 1) what do you mean by “beat egg whites until foamy”? Some foam on the top but egg-like underneath or actual foam with peaks? 2) also, I shaped the cookies nicely (thank you for the wet hand tip), but they pretty much flattened out while cooking. Should they be refrigerated before going into the oven or am I missing another step?

    1. Hi Alisa, glad you liked the cookies! I beat the egg whites until they were foamy, but they weren’t holding stiff peaks. I’m not sure why the cookies flattened out on you; mine puffed up slightly. Depending on where you are located, it could be the humidity. I chilled the batter before shaping and then baked them right after shaping. Hope that helps!

  10. Such a lovely cookie, a perfect cookie to enjoy with a steaming hot cup of coffee:-) I love that you love Italy, then I can learn and enjoy wonderful things you share! Hugs, Terra

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