Ever since we returned from Italy, I’ve been (unsuccessfully) trying to recreate what may have been the best thing I ate the entire time I was there. Amaretti Morbidi, or soft Amaretti cookies. Not to be confused with the little crunchy amaretti cookies, which, aside from the delicate almond flavor, are completely different creatures.
So far, I have not been able to recreate the soft, cloud-like texture of the cookies I enjoyed in Italy. Boo hoo.
These were my best attempt. And while they were quite delicious (as anything almond-flavored will be), they were chewy. Definitely macaroons rather than amaretti. Maybe I used too much egg white. Maybe I baked them too long. Who knows.
All I know is when dipped in chocolate, they were by no means a failure. A failure only in the sense that they were not the cookies I intended, but if you looked at them independently and not as failed amaretti, the result was a delicious success.
Needless to say, I indent to keep trying, and am confident I shall prevail.
Yield: 20 cookies
Total Time: 3 hours
2 cups blanched almonds
1 cup superfine or powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 oz. semisweet chocolate or chocolate candy coating (optional)
In a food processor, grind the almonds together with the sugar to a fine powder. Add the almond extract.
Slowly add the egg whites, one at a time, until the dough comes together.
Drop by teaspoon fulls onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the cookies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden in color. Transfer to racks and cool completely.
For chocolate coating, gently melt chocolate in a double boiler set over a pot of gently simmering water. Carefully dip half of each cookie into chocolate, and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set.
Adapted from ItalianFoodForever.com