Soft Blueberry Amaretti Cookies made with blanched almond flour and scented with sweet amaretto di Saronno liqueur. Studded with reconstituted dried blueberries and coated in icing sugar they make a truly delectable gluten free treat.
When just recently I was asked if I had a gluten free cookie recipe, amaretti cookies immediately came to mind. As I set out coming up with a recipe I then decided to elevate this popular Italian cookie with the addition of dried blueberries. These dried sweet berries caught my eye every single time while strolling by the candy laden isles of Bulk Barn. After going through quite a bit of almond flour and dried blueberries I finally achieved one I was satisfied with. It only took 5 attempts and 2 weeks later…lol!
There are two different kinds of Amaretti cookies. The crisp and crunchy variety or the soft and chewy kind. Both are undeniably delicious and a true Italian classic.
Much like their French cousin le macaron, these Amaretti cookies have a light crispiness on the outside and soft chewy centers that are light as air.
As legend has it these cookies date way back to the renaissance period. At a time when a newly married couple from Saronno Italy presented the bishop with their original family cookies made with crushed apricot kernels, egg whites and sugar. In return the bishop blessed the couple with a long and prosperous happy marriage.
We’re not using apricot kernels in this recipe as there is some speculation on how safe their consumption really is, so there is no need to dash off somewhere in search of them.
We are however using blanched almond flour which is basically ground almonds without their skins and a much finer flour. Almond flour is known to add moistness to baked goods and delivers such a sweet taste which is simply perfect when baking up a batch of these soft amaretti cookies.
Although you most certainly can grind up whole blanched almonds to a flour like consistency, this can get a little tricky. You will have to take care that it does not turn into a nut butter as its grinding.
Both the almond flour and dried blueberries can be found in the specialty food section of most grocery stores or head on over to Bulk Barn if you should be so lucky as to have one nearby.
Lets make perfect Soft Blueberry Amaretti cookies.
Amaretti cookies are not difficult to make and shape out but it does take a little practice to get perfect little domes of goodness.
Use the amount of almond flour as a guideline because this will depend on the quantity of egg whites used. I used egg whites from 3 large sized eggs.
You can use a teaspoon or even better a 1 1/4 inch round ice-cream scoop for even sized cookies.
Scoop the dough onto a plate filled with icing sugar and turn to coat all over. Finally, shape the dough rounds between the palm of your hands into the size of a walnut in its shell.
You’ll find the dough soft and pliable to work with and will not spread too much during baking.
If your dough seems too soft to roll and hold its shape then simply fold in some extra almond flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time.
When they’re ready the amaretti will have golden brown tinged bottoms and soft centers. Allow to cool on the baking sheet placed over a cooling rack because they are very fragile while still warm.
Due to their softness, you’ll want to let them cool sufficiently before lifting them off the baking sheet.
I adore the little burst of sweetness that the blueberry imparts with every single bite and I find they elevate these little plump morsels to a truly special treat.
Some will have sweet blueberries peaking through while others…well you’ll simply have to bite into one to discover its hidden fruit!
Do try them and enjoy…I know you’ll love them!
- 3 egg whites (from 3 large eggs)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2¼ cups blanched almond flour
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
- a pinch of salt
- ½ cup dried blueberries (reconstituted in hot water and drained)
- ¾ cup icing sugar (for rolling)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a hand held mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Gradually whisk in the sugar just until combined.
- Fold in the almond flour then the honey, amaretto and a pinch of salt.
- Gently fold in the reconstituted and well drained blueberries.
- Use an ice cream scoop about 1¼ inch in diameter to scoop out the dough, rolling it generously in the icing sugar.
- Roll the cookies between the palm of you hands to shape them roundly about the size of a walnut in its shell and place them on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 13 minutes.
- When ready the cookies will have golden brown tinged bottoms and soft centers.
- Transfer the cookie sheets to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before lifting them off the pan.
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers.