Amaretti are my go-to gift whenever I’m visiting or going to friends for dinner. Ring the changes with different nut and spice combinations.
200 grams ground almonds (almond meal)
⅓ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground five spice
finely grated zest 1 lemon
¼ cup tart dried cherries, finely chopped
2 large eggs, size 7, whites only
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
½ cup sliced almonds, finely chopped
icing sugar, for sprinkling
Grease a flat baking tray and line with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Put the ground almonds, caster sugar, spices and the lemon zest in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub everything together to infuse with the oil from the lemon zest. Add the cherries and toss through the mixture so they’re all separated and coated in the ground almonds.
Whisk the egg whites and vanilla in a separate bowl until foamy. Tip onto the almond mixture and stir everything together to form a thick paste.
To assemble: Spread the almonds out on a large plate. Lightly wet the palms of your hands with cold water and roll tablespoons of dough into balls, gently squeezing to compact the mixture. Place on the bench and roll out under your fingers into 10cm lengths then roll each one to coat in the nuts.
Place on the baking tray about 3cm apart then sieve generously with icing sugar. Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly golden. Cool then store in an airtight container for up to one week. Makes 18–20