Amaretti—Crispy and Delicious Almond Cookies

A baking sheet with cookies on it.

If you try Amaretti, or bitter almond cookies, one time, you’ll never want any other versions. Easy to make, these delightful treats from Piedmont are common and loved all over Italy. These cookies come in several versions—crispy, soft, chewy, or sugar-coated; but one thing they have in common is that they all melt quickly in your mouth. Their intense taste comes from the almonds since there are just three ingredients: almonds, sugar, and egg whites. 

A pile of cookies on a piece of paper.

What are amaretti cookies made from?

Although the traditional recipe calls for the same quantity of sweet and bitter almonds, in my recipe, I will only use what we call “sweet” almonds because bitter almonds are hard to come by outside of Italy. Therefore, we will substitute almond extract for the bitter almonds because it is made from bitter almonds. 

What do amaretti taste like?

Their taste is unique; it’s a blend between something bitter and sweet at the same time. 

Do amaretti contain gluten?

In the classic recipe, they do not contain any gluten, so they are suitable for people following a gluten-free diet. These homemade delights are perfectly paired with a good cup of coffee and the bonet, a delicious chocolate custard. 

How are amaretti stored?

Since an average serving is about 3-4 cookies; store the remaining ones in an airtight container for 3 or 4 days so that they don’t get moist. You can also crumble and add them to sweet puddings, cooked fruit, ice cream, yogurt, or fresh fruit salad. 

Italian crispy amaretti cookies

I have already talked about these biscuits, but unfortunately they are not very well-known all over the world, let me introduce them: amaretti biscuits. They are so tempting that they may be enjoyed as a delicious treat after lunch or dinner, with your afternoon tea or a cup of hot chocolate (it makes me droll) , but they are also used to preparare a few  Italian traditional sweets such as ‘Bunet’. I am sure you won’t forget them! 
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Keyword amaretti, amaretti biscuits
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 3/4 cup of ground almonds (180g)
  • 1 cup of sugar (200g)
  • 4 eggs white
  • 1 tsp of almonds extract
Servings 30 amaretti


  • If the almonds are not peeled, toss them into boiling water for a minute, run them under cold water, strain them and blot them with paper towels. Squeeze the nuts so the skins come off easily. Lay them out to dry or dry them for a few minutes in the oven at 300°F (148° C); 
  • If you have bought peeled almonds, put them in a food processor and pulse them along with the sugar. Place the ground mixture in a bowl.
  • Beat the egg whites until firm (the test for firmness is to turn the bowl upside down, and if they don’t fall out, they are beaten enough); gently fold in the sugar, the almond mixture, and the almond extract to make a smooth paste;
  • Place some parchment paper onto a baking tray, use a pastry bag with a sized-10 tip (0.4 inches) to place walnut-size dollops of the mixture approximately 1 inch (2cm) apart; let sit for 1 hour;
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (148° C) and bake for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown;
  • Open the door, switch the fan on, and let amaretti cool down in the oven so that any trace of leftover moisture is eliminated, and your cookies get really crunchy.

The perfect amaretti: some advice 

  • If the paste turns out to be too solid and dry, add another egg white (after you have beaten it firmly).
  • Almond flour may make amaretti too dry, so use whole almonds instead.

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17 thoughts on “Amaretti—Crispy and Delicious Almond Cookies

    1. Hi Vivian, you are totally right, I forgot to write this ingredient into the recipe. I am so sorry! But now there are. In this recipe, you need 4 egg whites, 120g about.
      Thank you so much and please let me know if you like my amaretti biscuits 😊

    1. Yes Deidre! 180g of almond flour fit perfectly instead of 150g of shelled almonds + 30g of shelled bitter almonds.  If you decide to try this recipe, I’d love to see your amaretti cookies and hear what you think of them! 😉

  1. Pingback: Chewy Almond Cookies - Soft Amaretti
  2. The baking time at the top says 13 minutes but it says 30 minutes in the directions. Which is correct? Also, how much bitter almond extract should be used if bitter almonds can’t be found? It says to use 5-6 drops of regular almond extract, but not how much of the bitter almond.

    1. I am so sorry for this late reply. It was a mistake I will correct soon. The correct cooking time is 30 minutes. Try using a few drops (only 1 or 2) of bitter almond extract. It takes just a few drops because the bitter taste has to be very soft, not predominant. If you can’t find the bitter almond even in the extract, don’t worry. Even without this ingredient, the amaretti cookies are delicious, and after cooking, they develop a certain bitter aftertaste that makes them unforgettable.

  3. I’ve tried the biscuits and they turn out very good,They’re a bit to sweet for me ,do you think if I add less sugar,do you think they’ll turn out ok thanks

    1. Of course, try to use a little less sugar, and I don’t think there are any problems in getting the perfect cookies anyway

    1. Ahaha! Carole, to be honest, I usually eat more than ten! Glad you love this recipe! It’s at the top of my list of favorite recipes!

  4. My Wife and I just made these and I have never had an Amaretti cookie this good. They are so flavorful and crunchy but the centers have just a hint of chewiness to them. Thank you so much for this recipe

  5. I made some changes if anyone is interested in a small twist!
    I used 1/2 the amount of sugar but put some icing sugar right before baking.
    Used Amaretto (alcohol) instead of the almond extract.
    Also added some cocoa powder to make them chocolate flavoured sans the extra sweetness.
    I also brushed some amaretto after it was done cooking.

    Turned out amazing!

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