Easy Italian Almond Paste Cookies (Italian Almond Macaroons) are moist and chewy on the inside, crispy and crunchy on the outside. Made with just a few ingredients, they’re super easy to make and naturally gluten-free.
These Italian Amaretti, also known as Pasticcini di mandorle or Almond Paste Macaroons, are fragrant with the flavor of almonds. They can be baked plain, decorated with almonds or maraschino cherries, drizzled with chocolate, or made into thumbprint cookies.
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The BEST Almond Paste Cookies Recipe– Why you’ll love these Italian Almond Macaroons
- Amazing almond flavor – one bite and you’ll be hooked!
- Easiest cookie EVER!
- Moist, chewy interiors
- Crispy, crunchy exteriors
- Keep for several days, ideal for making in advance
- The perfect holiday cookie
Ingredients in Italian Amaretti Cookies recipe with Almond Paste
- Almond Paste – Use my Easy Homemade Almond Paste recipe or store bought. Almond paste gives these Italian cookies their intense almond flavor and their chewy texture.
- Egg whites – Two large egg whites should weigh 60 grams. Using more or less will change the texture and spreading of the cookie. For best results, measure the egg whites.
- Almond extract or flavoring
- Sliced almonds - for pressing onto the dough balls. You can also use chopped sliced almonds.
How to make Almond Paste Cookies
Break up the almond paste into 1 inch pieces and put it in the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar, salt, egg whites, and almond extract.
Process until a smooth paste forms. The dough will be wet and sticky, but you should be able to roll it into balls between your hands after it’s refrigerated.
Chill the dough for 1 hour or up to 3 days. Chilling isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does make the dough easier to work with and the cookies will have a more mounded shape if you do.
Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough and roll into 1 inch balls, about 25 grams each.
Press almond slices onto the sides of the cookie. The stickiness of the dough will help the nuts stick.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake until the bottom edges are starting to turn golden, about 15-18 minutes. Don’t overbake.
Italian Almond Cookies Recipe Flavor Additions:
I haven’t added any extra flavors to this basic Italian Almond Paste Cookie recipe because I love to let the flavor of the almonds shine through. If you’d like to add a little extra flavor, however, here are some ideas:
- Orange zest
- Lemon zest
- Rose water
Italian Almond Macaroons Recipe Variations
Here’s the fun part! One cookie – so many variations!
- Chocolate Almond Macaroon - Drizzle the cookie with Nutella or melted chocolate
- Dip the cookie into Nutella or melted chocolate
- Roll the cookie in powdered sugar or chopped almonds instead of sliced almonds.
- Almond Paste Cookies with cherry - Make a thumbprint in the cookie dough ball before baking and place on a halved maraschino cherry
- Almond Paste Thumbprint Cookies - Make a thumbprint in the baked cookie immediately after removing from oven. Fill with Nutella or your favorite jam.
How to store Almond Paste Macaroons
Store Almond Macaroons in an air tight container at room temperature for up to four days. Place sheets of wax paper or parchment between each of the layers.
Can you freeze Chewy Almond Paste Cookies?
Almond Macaroons can be frozen. Put in the freezer in a single layer until frozen, then transfer to a plastic freezer bag. Try to press out as much air as you can for the freshest cookie.
They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature. You can crisp them up in a 250° F oven for a few minutes.
Tips for Success:
- Measure the egg whites by weight – this recipe uses 60 grams of egg whites. If your egg whites are more than that, the dough will be stickier and will spread more during baking.
- If you don’t have a scale, be sure to use large eggs.
- If the dough is too sticky, use wet hands when rolling into balls. If necessary, add almond flour a spoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Don’t overbake. The cookies are done when they are starting to turn golden around the edges.
Why did my Almond Cookies become hard?
- A longer baking time will result in a crunchy cookie. They also get harder over time after baking. For soft, chewy Almond Paste Cookies, bake just until the bottom edges start turning golden.
How do I make Almond Cookies with almond paste with no food processor?
- These Almond Cookies can be made with a stand or hand mixer. Mix the almond paste, sugar, and salt until it resembles corn meal. Then mix in the egg whites and almond extract.
How do I make Almond Paste Cookies without almond paste (From scratch using almonds)
- Make your own almond paste using whole blanched almonds, sliced or slivered almonds, or almond flour with my step by step recipe for Almond Paste.
How do I make Almond Macaroons without almond flour?
- As a substitute for almond flour in macaroons, you can use store bought almond paste (or whole, sliced, or slivered almonds to make your own paste).You can make the cookies without almond flour.
How do I make Almond Macaroons with almond flour?
- You can make Almond Macaroons with almond flour by making your own almond paste with almond flour.
Can I make Almond Macaroons with almond meal?
- Yes, just substitute the same weight of almond meal for the almonds in the almond paste recipe. Since almond meal is made from almonds that still have the skins on, it will be coarser with brown flecks.
MORE FAVORITE COOKIES TO LOVE:
- Italian Pignoli Cookies
- Slice and Bake Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Browned Butter Pecan Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Brown Butter Toffee Cookies
- Lemon White Chocolate Cookies
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Triple Chocolate Cookies
- Soft and Chewy Funfetti Cookies
Easy Italian Almond Paste Cookies are moist and chewy on the inside, crispy and crunchy on the outside. Made with just a few ingredients, they’re super easy to make and naturally gluten-free.
- Almond Paste – one batch of this almond paste recipe or 16oz store bought
- 1 cup (198g) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites (60g), lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Sliced almonds for rolling
- Optional: powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Break up the almond paste into 1 inch pieces and put it in the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar, salt, egg whites, and almond extract and process until a smooth paste forms. The dough will be wet and sticky, but you will be able to roll it into balls between your hands.
- Chill the dough for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough and roll into 1 inch balls, about 25 grams each.
- Press almond slices onto the sides of the cookie. The stickiness of the dough will help the nuts stick.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake until the bottom edges are starting to turn golden, about 15-18 minutes. Don’t overbake.
- Cool on a rack.
- Optional: Dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar.
Makes about 27 cookies if the dough balls are 25 grams each.
Don’t overbake or the cookies won’t be soft and chewy inside.
The cookies with almond paste can also be made using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Mix the almond paste, sugar, and salt until crumbly. Then mix in the egg whites and almond extract.
Chilling the dough isn’t absolutely necessary, however, when unchilled they will spread a little more during baking.
If using store bought almond paste, well known brands such as Odense and Solo come in 7 and 8 ounce packages. Using 14-16 ounces in this recipe is fine.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: cookies, holiday, almond, almond paste, Italian
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