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These easy Italian gluten free amaretti biscuits are naturally gluten free and super easy to make - plus they go perfectly with a coffee!
I first made these gluten free amaretti cookies - which are a traditional Italian biscuit - back in lockdown and became a bit obsessed with them.
But for some reason it's taken me well over a year to realise I still hadn't shared the recipe on here yet!
These little Italian biscuits are naturally gluten free with a crispy exterior, a soft and chewy inside and a sweet almond flavour.
They're rolled in icing sugar before baking - just like my chocolate crinkle cookies - so they achieve a lovely 'crackle' finish too.
I love these chewy amaretti biscuits as an after dinner treat served with a frothy cappuccino as they're perfect for dipping!
Do amaretti biscuits contain gluten?
These soft and chewy Italian biscuits are a classic recipe which is actually naturally gluten free.
Instead of flour these Italian amaretti cookies are made using ground almonds.
It gives them that deliciously chewy texture and means that they're not even a recipe you have to specially adapt.
You only need a few ingredients to make these and none of them contain gluten.
This amaretti biscuit recipe is also dairy free - though it uses eggs so is not vegan.
There's a full printable recipe card below with the method and quantities, but here's a few pointers on the ingredients used in this recipe.
- Egg Whites - You'll need to whip these up a little like you would for a meringue. Make sure you save the yolks and add them to an omelette (or use them for brushing any pastry bakes). Don't just chuck them away!
- Caster Sugar - Some recipes for chewy amaretti cookies use icing sugar but I prefer to use caster sugar. It makes these biscuits deliciously sticky and sweet.
- Ground Almonds - These are essential for getting that lovely chewy texture in these soft amaretti cookies. Ground almonds are gluten free but always double check the pack for any 'may contain' warnings just in case. I'd recommend using ground almonds instead of almond flour, as you may not get the same result.
- Almond Extract - I use 1.5 tsp of this because I like a strong flavour, but if you want the flavour to be more subtle you can just use 1 teaspoon. Alternatively, use a tablespoon of amaretto for a lovely treat!
- Icing Sugar - this is essential for rolling the cookie dough in and ensuring you get that lovely, crackled texture.
Don't forget the full quantities are in the recipe card below but hopefully this gives you a better idea of the choice of ingredients and any substitutes!
How to make soft amaretti cookies
Making these Italian amaretti is actually really simple - you'll just need a mixing bowl and an electric whisk.
You could use a hand whisk but I recommend an electric one so you're not stood there for ages with an aching arm!
The first stage of this recipe is similar to a meringue, in that you want to whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
This is basically when the whites become thick and white - and when you lift the whisk beaters out they leave little peaks.
You should also be able to hold the bowl upside-down over your head and the mixture won't fall out. Go on - I dare you to try it!
Once the egg whites are whipped up, simply fold in the other ingredients being careful not to beat the air out of the mixture.
You then use your hands to form the cookie dough balls, roll them in icing sugar and bake until golden and chewy inside!
A great homemade gift idea
I realise I am publishing this recipe in May so mentioning the 'C' word is a bit rebellious.
However, amaretti are traditionally eaten around Christmas-time and these make a fantastic gluten free gift.
If you are looking to make your own homemade Christmas presents then these would make an absolutely lovely gift.
You could even make a little gluten free biscuit hamper using some of my other festive favourites.
Or give them in a hamper with some lovely coffee-themed gifts for the coffee-lover in your life? They'll love them!
My gluten free amaretti biscuits recipe
If you're ready to get your amaretti bake on, here's the recipe you need - you can even print it out too!
This recipe makes around 16 biscuits - if you want smaller or larger amaretti be sure to adjust the cooking times accordingly.
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
- 2 egg whites
- 160g caster sugar
- 185g ground almonds
- 1.5 tsp almond extract
- 2-3 tbsp Icing sugar (enough to cover the bottom a small plate)
- Preheat the oven to 170’C / Fan 150’C / Gas Mark 3. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set to one side.
- Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. You can do this with a hand whisk but it will take quite a lot more time and muscle power!
- Gently fold in the caster sugar, ground almonds and almond extract until the mixture forms a sticky dough.
- Using your hands, break off a small piece of dough and roll it into a golf ball-sized ball using your palms. Place the ball on the plate of icing sugar and roll it around until it is coated liberally before placing on the baking sheet.
- Repeat until both baking trays are filled – this should make around 16 biscuits. Make sure each one has a couple of inches between them as they will spread a little in the oven.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until crackled and golden on top. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the baking trays.
- If you prefer, you can substitute the almond extract for 1 tbsp of amaretto.
- Once baked and cooled, these will keep in an airtight container for a week-or-so.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g
Need some more gluten free baking inspiration?
Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free baking recipes on the blog?
Give some of these other gluten free bakes and creations a try and see what you think!
There are plenty to choose from depending what sort of dessert you fancy:
- Giant Double Chocolate Cookies
- Gluten Free Swiss Roll
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Toffee and Pecan Meringue Roulade
And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
Like this Gluten Free Amaretti Biscuits recipe?
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