Amaretti Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 10 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
Almond lovers will go nuts for these chewy Italian amaretti cookies. An added bonus? They're gluten-free!

Updated: Mar. 11, 2024

While “almond” translates directly to “mandorla” in Italian, amaretto is also synonymous with the nutty flavor that we know and love. Similar in name—and taste—are amaretti, Italian cookies that are perfect for making around the holidays. Their crackly tops dusted with confectioners’ sugar make them look especially wintery, and the fact that they happen to be gluten-free means that more of your loved ones can enjoy these cookies.

To make them yourself, you’ll probably only need to pick up almond flour and almond extract. All the other ingredients are baking staples you should have at home already.

Ingredients for Amaretti Cookies

  • Egg whites
  • Almond flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Step 1: Prep the egg whites

Amaretti Cookies egg whitesTMB Studio

Place the egg whites in a large bowl, and let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Whisk the dry ingredients

Amaretti Cookies dry ingredientsTMB Studio

Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, whisk almond flour, sugar and salt.

Test Kitchen Tip: Make sure you don’t accidentally use almond meal instead of almond flour. They’re two different ingredients! Almond flour is more finely ground than almond meal.

Step 3: Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form

Amaretti Cookies beaten eggsTMB Studio

Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Then, beat on high until soft peaks form.

Step 4: Add the extracts

Amaretti Cookies beaten egg whitesTMB Studio

Beat in the almond and vanilla extracts. Make sure to beat for only a little bit longer to avoid collapsing the egg whites.

Test Kitchen Tip: Since almond is the star here, it’s important to use a good quality extract. Our Test Kitchen found the best almond extract brands.

Step 5: Add the egg whites to the almond flour mixture

amaretti cookiesTMB Studio

Fold the beaten egg whites into the flour mixture until just moistened. The dough will be grainy and sticky. Again, don’t overmix!

Step 6: Roll the cookie dough into balls

Amaretti Cookies doughsTMB Studio

Scoop level tablespoons of cookie dough, and drop each into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Roll into a ball, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart.

Step 7: Bake the cookies

Amaretti Cookies bakedTMB Studio

Bake until lightly brown and tops crack, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Amaretti Cookie Variations

While amaretti cookies are known for their almond flavor, you could swap the almond extract for another flavoring of your choice. You could roll the dough in chopped, sliced almonds instead of confectioners’ sugar. Give the amaretti cookies a little extra flair by pressing a whole almond on top of each cookie before baking—even though they’re gorgeous as is!

How to Store Amaretti Cookies

Once the amaretti cookies have completely cooled, transfer them to an airtight container at room temperature. They’re best eaten within three days—otherwise, you can freeze them for up to three months.

Amaretti Cookie Tips

Are amaretti cookies gluten free?

Yes! Since this recipe uses almond flour (as opposed to all-purpose flour), you can count on amaretti cookies as being gluten-free.

Why are my amaretti cookies flat?

Deflated egg whites = flat amaretti cookies. If you don’t beat the egg whites enough, there won’t be enough air whipped into them to get soft peaks, which helps the cookies puff up while baking. On the flip side, if the egg whites are overbeaten or stirred too much when incorporated into the rest of the amaretti cookie dough, they’ll collapse, also resulting in a flat cookie.

The egg whites are also why you shouldn’t prep these cookies ahead of time. If you were to make the dough and store it in the fridge until baking, you’re giving the beaten egg whites time to deflate.

Amaretti Cookies

Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 22 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2-1/4 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, whisk almond flour, sugar and salt. Beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Beat in extracts. Fold into flour mixture until just moistened. (Dough will be grainy and sticky.) Scoop level tablespoons of dough and drop into confectioners' sugar; roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough. Place balls 1 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  3. Bake until lightly browned and tops crack, 20-25 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 98 calories, 4g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 34mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

These amaretti cookies are slightly crispy on the outside with a soft and chewy center. The classic Italian cookies are mildly sweet with a pleasant almond flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen