Make Ahead

A Tender, Chewy Cookie That's A Dessert Swiss Army Knife

December 22, 2017

Welcome to The Cookbook Cookie Parade: a new cookie from a new cookbook every Friday. Are your sheet pans (and stomachs) ready?

Today: An Italian almond cookie perfect for jazzing up crusts and trifles, or simply as a partner with espresso.

Delicate, almond-y bites. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Crisp and crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy within, Italian amaretti cookies are the Swiss Army knife of the dessert world. Roll them into pastries, sprinkle into crusts, layer in trifles, or top off scoops of gelato. It’s hard to think of a place where these tender, almond-y cookies wouldn’t be welcome.

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This recipe, from Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Country Kitchen by Valeria Necchio, sticks to tradition:

The greatness of soft amaretti rests on the fragile equilibrium between the tender heart and the crumbly crystallised shell; the intense, marzipan-like sugariness and the contrasting notes of bitter almonds.

Another great thing about amaretti? The versatile little cookies will store in an airtight container or metal tin for up to 2 weeks. So go ahead—make a big batch and ship them to friends and family as a sweet gift.

What's your favorite way to use amaretti? Do you just dip them in espresso? Share in the comments!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.