9.11.2011

amaretti

i almost always have egg whites left over when i make ice cream. and since i'm not a fan of meringue and a girl can only eat so many scrambled egg whites, i've been on a mission this summer to find uses for whites. and these amaretti are perfect light clouds of almond goodness. yes, i was slightly afraid they would be more like meringues, but good news (for me, anyway) is that the almonds add just enough texture. and the crackly tops are the best part. be sure to eat a few right after they come out of the oven, when the bottom is perfectly chewy and hasn't had a time to cool and get crunchy. perfect.


what else can i do with my whites? yes, i know i can freeze them. every time i do, i forget they're in the freezer, only to find them a few months later when i'm cleaning out the freezer. not a pretty sight, and completely ruined.

amaretti
adapted from ready for dessert
30 minutes, makes 36 two inch cookies

1 1/2 cups almonds, toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3 egg whites, room temperature
9 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. preheat your oven to 300F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. don't skip this as the cookies will stick like glue to your baking sheets. position the racks in the upper and bottom thirds of your oven.
  2. pulse the almonds, flour, and confectioners sugar in a food processor until the almonds are finely ground, about ten times.
  3. in a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. while whisking, add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until combined. continue whisking until shiny, stiff peaks are formed.
  4. using a spatula, fold one third of the almond mixture into the eggs, being careful not to deflate the whites. repeat with the other two thirds of the almond mixture. fold in the almond extract last. 
  5. use a pastry bag to pipe mounds of batter onto the baking sheets in whatever size you like, spacing them about three quarters of an inch apart. if you don't have a pastry bag, transfer the mixture to a quart size zip top bag. zip the top and snip one corner to pipe the batter onto the baking sheets.
  6. bake the cookies for ten minutes, rotate and move to the other rack, and bake an additional ten minutes or until lightly browned. turn off the oven and leave the cookies in for another twenty minutes.
  7. transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. store in an airtight container.

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