It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I am finally in the holiday spirit because last night Kristopher and I enjoyed my favorite holiday tradition – I call it the Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!
I began this tradition many years ago, borrowing it from a dear friend. She would spend two days in her kitchen making hundreds upon hundreds of cookies to give to all of her friends. She had two ovens working around the clock and the finished cookies would be stored in her spare freezer until ready to be gifted. Of course I live in a studio apartment and have only one oven and freezer (although I joke that I could get a second one and use it as a coffee table – drape a tarp over it and who would know?!) Regardless, I stick with one day of baking and a mere hundreds of cookies.
On our cookie list this year – Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chip, my famous “Already Been Chewed” Gingerbread Man Massacre (see pic below), White Chocolate-Dried Cranberry-Almond, and classic Amaretti Cookies.
Amaretti Cookies were a tricky one to tackle. No matter whose recipe you use, there is never much deviation of ingredients – almonds, sugar and egg whites. What does change baker-to-baker is the technique. I attempted many techniques over the past few weeks – I tried using coarse almond flour; blanching the almonds and peeling off their skin; using a hand mixer; mixing with just my hands; high speed blending – every technique I attempted yielded drastically different results in texture, none of which I was please with.
The good news – I finally worked out the perfect technique for these traditional cookies just in time for the Christmas Cookie Extravaganza! And I want to share it with you. Spreading the gluten free joy and love from my home to yours. Enjoy.
Amaretti Cookies (Classic and Chocolate)
- 1 cup sugar (201g)
- 8 oz almond paste
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (30g) – optional; for the Chocolate Amaretti variation
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place sugar in a blender and pulse for 7 seconds (this creates superfine sugar)
- Place sugar, almond paste, and egg whites in a bowl. Mix with a hand mixer for 3 minutes.
- If making chocolate cookies, gently stir in the cocoa powder with a spoon after using the hand mixer. Stir until incorporated.
- Transfer the dough to a small plastic bag. Using a scissor, cut one corner of the bag to create a large hole in which to pipe the cookie dough out.
- Pipe 12-16 mounds of dough onto the parchment paper (they should be 1-2 inches in diameter).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops have cracked and lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely.
Happy gluten free baking!