Soft Amaretti Cookies

These perfect, soft, chewy and totally moreish cookies are actually dead simple to make.  Technically Amaretti cookies, which get their name from the Italian word for bitter amare, should contain a mix of sweet and bitter almonds –  however most store bought versions contain a mix of almond and apricot kernels (sometimes only apricot kernels). 

This recipe uses only sweet almonds, as this is what is most readily available off the shelf in most supermarkets.  They take only a few minutes for make, and whilst an electric mixer makes the task easier, they can be made without it any special tools.

Soft Amaretti Cookies

Recipe by Paul MacielCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Deliciously moreish, easy to make and homemade means no unwanted ingredients.


  • 216gms almond flour

  • 150gms white sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 large egg whites room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (Note 1)

  • 50gms cup icing sugar, for rolling


  • Start by preheating your oven to 150C. Line a large cookie sheet with baking paper and set aside.  Prepare ½ cup icing sugar on a plate.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, using a mixer or balloon whisk, beat your egg whites until soft peaks, now add your almond extract and whisk until you have stiff peaks.
  • Now add your beaten egg whites to the dry ingredients, and using a spatula, gently combine the wet and dry ingredients until well combined. (Note 2)
  • Using a 1 ½ tbsp cookie scoop, or regular spoon, scoop out the almond dough and roll it into a 2.5cm ball.
  • Now roll the ball of dough in the icing sugar to cover each cookie on all sides and transfer to your prepared baking sheet. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough.  Set the cookies aside for a few minutes before baking (Note 3)
  • Bake in your preheated 150C oven for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are just set and the trademark cracks have appeared, if you check the bottom of a cookie they should be a light golden color.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to stand for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, this will allow the cookies to finish baking without drying them out.  Then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool them off completely.


  • NOTE 1:  Technically you should use an almond extract, a natural almond product, this is difficult to find and also very expensive, so use almond essence, which though from a synthetic source have a wonderful almondy flavour
  • NOTE 2: Whipping the egg whites until stiff allows you to increase the volume of egg white making it easier to distribute the egg through the dry ingredients, whilst you are gently combining you will not be able to fold it through as you are producing a soft dough.
  • NOTE 3:  Allowing the cookies to stand for a few minutes allows them to hydrate the icing sugar you rolled them in, this process will give your amaretti cookies their trademark cracked appearance once baked, so don’t skip it.