Chewy Italian cookies with a lemony twist. They’re also gluten free, butter free, oil free and dairy free.
I didn’t watch much Sesame Street as a kid. For some reason it just didn’t appeal to me. But there was this one character that I loved. One character that really ‘got me’: the Cookie Monster.
A fuzzy monster with an insatiable love for cookies? Now that was a character I could relate to.
Keep in mind this was years before Sesame Street‘s health-conscious twist in the 2000s. Cookies weren’t a ‘sometimes food’ for the 90s-era Cookie Monster.
Five-year-old mini me would beg my mother for any kind of cookie.
Ten-year-old little me was pickier and always wanted to grab some deliciousness from Mrs. Field’s. Or Oreos. I’ve never come across someone who doesn’t like Oreos.
Then there’s twenty-something-year-old me, who prefers to bake cookies – it’s a lot more fun than buying them. Plus, it means I know exactly what’s in them (and can avoid a bucketload of butter, corn syrup, and whatever it is they stuff into the middle of Oreos).
I wouldn’t go so far as to say these Lemon Amaretti are ‘healthy’ cookies, but they are healthier. There’s no butter, no oil, and less sugar than most amaretti. These cookies are also gluten-free and dairy-free.
As an added bonus, they only require one bowl (which means a lot to those of us who claim to be allergic to cleaning).
Since I was in the mood for something summery, these cookies are flavored with lemon zest and lemon juice – which means they pair perfectly with a cup of tea. And that’s coming from someone who almost never drinks tea (coffee’s more my jam).
Of course, you can also have them with coffee. Or a lemony smoothie.
If citrus cookies aren’t your thing, but you’ve got an Amaretti cookie craving, then take a look at my basic Amaretti recipe. I also posted a recipe for Snickerdoodle Amaretti Cookies a while back (which even picky ten-year-old me would approve of).
Finally, I simply can’t end this post without telling you that – if you haven’t already – you really should search for ‘cookie monster cupcakes’ on Google Images or Pinterest. Seriously, they’re just too cute.
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup raw sugar (or superfine/caster sugar)
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons almond meal
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 20 - 22 blanched almonds
- Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Line two baking trays with non-stick paper, or silicon baking mats.
- In a large bowl (or in the base of an electric mixer), beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the raw sugar until the egg whites are glossy and resemble uncooked meringue.
- Fold in the almond meal. This is easiest if you fold in one tablespoon of almond meal first, and then fold in the rest. When the almond meal is nearly incorporated, add the salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste and honey. Continue to fold the mixture until just combined. The cookie dough will be very sticky.
- Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls, and place on the prepared baking trays. Gently press a blanched almond on top of each ball of cookie dough.
- Bake for 14 - 16 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are a little bit firm when touched. Let the cookies sit on the trays for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.