Soft Amaretti Cookies (amaretti morbidi)

Those soft amaretti cookies have an amazing almond flavor and aroma, and a delightfully chewy texture. They are also so easy to make!

Soft Amaretti Cookies on a white cake stand and a bottle of milk in the background.

This recipe is for Gluten-free and dairy-free cookies! perfect to give as a gift on special occasions or to treat yourself to an afternoon snack along with a cup of tea.

What Are Amaretti?

Amaretti is a type of cookie of Italian origin prepared with almond flour, egg whites, and Amaretto liqueur.

They were born in the Middle Ages, in Italy, around the end of the 13th century, and spread rapidly through the Arab countries and then – during the Renaissance period – throughout Europe.

These cookies take their name because in old times only bitter almonds were used in their preparation. Amaro means bitter in Italian.

When people tried them, the first comment regularly was ‘sono buoni, ma un po’ amaretti!’, Which would translate to something like “they are good, but a little bitter”.

A close-up of soft amaretti cookies piled on a wire rack with one cookies half eaten.

There are two traditional versions of this Italian cookie recipe, the most typical and popular is crunchy amaretti, also called amaretti di Saronno, which consists of a cookie so crumbly that it practically melts in your mouth.

The other popular version and the one I actually prefer are soft amaretti cookies. In Italian they are called amaretti morbidi and have the typical almond intense flavor but with a nice soft and chewy texture inside.

The Ingredients Needed

To Make soft amaretti cookies you will need the following ingredients. I strongly suggest using a kitchen scale for the best results.

  • ALMOND FLOUR: You will need 9.7oz/275g of almond flour, which is about 3 cups.
  • SUGAR: Granulated white sugar 4.75oz/135g, about ⅔ cup.
  • EGG WHITES: 3 small egg whites.
  • AMARETTO: For the typical and authentic flavor, you need amaretto liqueur, or you can substitute it with almond extract.
  • SALT: Just a pinch.
  • POWDERED SUGAR: Optional ingredient for coating the cookies, also known as confectioners’ sugar.

How To Make Soft Amaretti Cookies

Place the egg whites in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, whisk with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Showing soft peaks on egg whites.

Place almond flour, sugar, and Amaretto liqueur in a mixing bowl. Add egg whites to the bowl.

All ingredients on a bowl.

Using a spatula, mix the dry ingredients with the egg whites little by little until everything is nicely combined.

Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

The dough ready onto a glass bowl.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Prepare a cookie tray (grease it with oil or use parchment paper).

Form small balls with the dough and coat them with the confectioner’s sugar. The coating is optional, you can only shape the cookies without sugar if you want.

Small balls of dough coated with confectioner's sugar.

Place them on the baking sheet at least 1,5″ (4 cm) apart each, then carefully, flatten them a little with your fingers.

Cookies flattened a bit on a baking tray.

Bake for 5 minutes. Low the temperature to 345°F (175°C) and continue to bake for another 13-15 minutes or until the cookies start to turn slightly golden.

Remove from the oven and carefully arrange them on a cooling rack, let them rest for 5 minutes.

Transfer the amaretti biscuits to the plate with the confectioner’s sugar and coat them until they are well covered. Place them again on the wire rack and let them cool completely.

Soft amaretti cookies coated with confectioners' sugar and placed on a cooling rack.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Soft amaretti cookies are gluten-free and dairy-free, however, before giving them to people with serious allergy or intolerance problems, you must be sure that there has been no cross-contamination.
  • You can add a few chopped almonds to the cookie dough for a crunchy touch.
  • If you want to make these Italian cookies proportionally the same size, you can use an ice cream serving spoon, but make sure is a small one. Also, a melon ball cutter works well for this matter.
  • You can also use ground almonds to make this recipe, the texture will be less refined but they will taste great anyway.
  • For a coarse outside texture, you can coat the cookies on regular instead of powdered sugar.

How To Eat

Italians eat soft amaretti cookies mostly for la merenda (afternoon snack) pairing them with tea. They will offer them to guests as a sign of hospitality.

But they are also served at the end of a meal as a dessert along with coffee.

How To Store Amaretti Morbidi

Soft amaretti keep great for up to 2 weeks in a cool (not the refrigerator) and dry spot in your kitchen. You can place them in a bag or in an airtight container.

Soft amaretti cookies recipe.

Soft Amaretti Cookies

author Maricruz
20 cookies
Soft amaretti cookies have a delicious taste and aroma of almonds and a chewy texture. The traditional Italian recipe is easily prepared in just a few minutes using simple ingredients.
prep 10 minutes
cook 18 minutes
total 28 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups almond flour (275g)
  • cup sugar (135g)
  • 3 small egg whites
  • 2 tsp Amaretto liqueur (or ½ tsp almond extract)
  • pinch salt
  • confectioners' sugar (for coating)

Instructions
 

  • Place the egg whites in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Add to the bowl the almond flour, sugar, and Amaretto liqueur.
  • Using a spatula, mix the ingredients until combined. Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a cookie tray with parchment paper.
  • Form small balls with the dough and coat them with confectioners' sugar.
  • Place them on the baking tray at least 1,5″ (4 cm) apart each and flatten them a little with your fingers.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, then low the temperature to 345°F (175°C) and continue to bake for another 13-15 minutes or until the cookies start to turn slightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and carefully arrange the amaretti cookies on a cooling rack. Let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to the plate with confectioners' sugar and nicely coat them on all sides.
  • Place them again on the cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely.

Notes

  • All ingredients should be at room temperature.
  • Soft amaretti cookies are gluten-free and dairy-free, however, before giving them to people with serious allergy or intolerance problems, you must be sure that there has been no cross-contamination.
  • You can add a few chopped almonds to the cookie dough for a crunchy touch.
  • If you want to make these Italian cookies proportionally the same size, you can use an ice cream serving spoon, but make sure is a small one. Also, a melon ball cutter works well for this matter.
  • You can also use ground almonds to make this recipe, the texture will be less refined but they will taste great anyway.
  • For a coarse outside texture, you can coat the cookies on regular instead of powdered sugar.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.001g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
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More Italian Sweet Treats

If you love Italian sweet recipes, then you should check out these 15 best Italian desserts.

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