Chocolate amaretti cookies – soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and easily gluten-free and dairy-free.
It’s nearly Easter (seriously, it’s tomorrow)! Which means it’s time for chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! As much as I love carrot cake and other Easter treats, for me, nothing beats chocolate.
So, this Easter I decided to put a chocolate-y twist on my beloved amaretti cookies.
Amaretti, sometimes called ‘Italian macaroons’, are little almond cookies made primarily from egg whites, almond meal and sugar. And they never cease to amaze me. How can so few ingredients create soft and chewy cookies? How do they work without any butter, oil, or even baking soda? Amaretti are one of the many mysteries of Italian cooking, I suppose.
Fun Fact: The US produces more than 90 million chocolate bunnies, 700 million marshmallow Peeps and 91.4 billion eggs during Easter each year.
Amaretti generally come in two forms: soft or crunchy. I’m 100% on Team Soft Cookies (although the crunchy ones are good for recipes that require crushed cookies, such cheesecake bases). So, not surprisingly, today’s chocolate amaretti are soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside.
Since I like my chocolate baked goods to be really chocolate-y, there is quite a lot of cocoa powder in these little cookies. Meaning that you may want to keep a glass of milk handy when eating them. (Wait, shouldn’t you always enjoy cookies with milk?)
I can attest to the fact that these amaretti are particularly good with a cold glass of almond milk. (Which also keeps the almond theme going).
For fun, I decided to decorate the tops of the cookies with mini M&M’s, white chocolate chips and almonds before baking. While the decorations are optional, they definitely improve the appearance of the amaretti (I’ll be the first to admit that these aren’t the prettiest cookies in the cookie jar).
Also, while amaretti don’t spread much on the baking sheet, it’s still a good idea not to place the cookies too close together, just in case.
Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!
Fun Fact: More than 16 billion jelly beans are made in the US every year for Easter, which enough to fill a gigantic egg measuring 89 feet (27 m) high and 60 feet (18 m) wide.
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ cup (110g) superfine (caster) sugar
- 1 ½ cups (135g) almond meal
- ⅓ cup (25g) cocoa powder, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips, candies and/or nuts, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Line two baking sheets with non-stick paper.
- In a large bowl (or in the base of an electric mixer), beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the superfine sugar until the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
- Gently fold in the almond meal, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract. The cookie dough will be very sticky.
- Carefully roll the dough into walnut-sized balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets. If desired, decorate the tops with chocolate chips, candies and/or nuts.
- Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, or until the tops are no longer doughy.
- Let the cookies sit on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.
Almond meal is simply ground almonds. Ideally use almond meal made from blanched almonds, which is also called almond flour.
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
These cookies will be gluten-free and dairy-free as long as you use decorations that are GF and DF (such as nuts or dark chocolate chips).