These super-easy Chocolate Amaretti Cookies (Amaretti al Cioccolato) are simply divine… Soft and chewy with a crisp coat, they are authentically Italian, naturally gluten free as well as dairy free and perfect for gifting.
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Chocolate Amaretti Cookies – Soft Italian chocolate-almond deliciousness
Super easy and quick to make, you’ll love my Chocolate Amaretti Cookies (Amaretti al Cioccolato). Not only are they exceptionally moreish, but making them at home is so much better than anything you’ll find in a packet… I’m besotted with these gorgeously light morsels for their crisp coat, gently chewy interior and undeniably delicious chocolate-almond flavour.
At GFHQ we make and eat them all year. However, Amaretti cookies are probably best associated outside of Italy with Christmas. Let’s change that! Because they are absolutely PERFECT with morning coffee… Or when you need a filling but relatively low-calorie, sweet treat at any other time of the day. Each one is just over 100 calories, which isn’t bad… right? And they are that simple to make, that I reckon even my cat could knock up a batch.
And with that rather insane thought, I share them with you… with my love x
Authentic recipes from my Italian heritage…
As someone growing up with an Italian heritage, authentic Italian food is close to my heart. It’s something that is an integral part of my life. And as with all my recipes, when I make an Italian recipe gluten free, it’s essential that I keep its authenticity… for flavour and texture as well as appearance. That for me is an obsession! If there’s one thing that really irritates me, it’s gluten free ‘copycat’ bakes that don’t taste like the originals, even if they look like them.
With Amaretti al Cioccolato, the job was simple, as the recipe I grew up with had no gluten-containing ingredients to start with.
However, I am gradually working through favourite childhood Italian foods (both sweet and savoury) one by one. And as I reach the point of authentic perfection for each, they will be shared. I am proud to have cracked some of the best already…
- Soft Italian Amaretti Cookies (almond Amaretti Morbidi)
- Lemon Amaretti Cookies (Amaretti al Limone)
- Traditional Fruit Panettone
- Chocolate Chip Panettone
- Perfect Gluten Free Biscotti (with fruit and nuts or plain)
- Double Chocolate Biscotti (Cantuccini)
- Chocolate Salami
- Gluten Free Savoiardi Biscuits (Ladyfingers)
- Tiramisu Trifle
- Baci di Dama (Ladies Kisses Hazelnut Cookies)
- Vanilla Panna Cotta
- Gluten Free Focaccia Genovese
- Basil Pesto
- Homemade Gluten Free Pasta
- Cheese and Spinach Ravioli
- Green Beans and Tomatoes
Soft Chocolate Amaretti Cookies (Amaretti Morbidi al Ciocccolato)
It seems important at this point to make clear that the recipe shared here is for soft Chocolate Amaretti Cookies. Soft Amaretti cookies are known in Italy as Amaretti Morbidi. And they are texturally quite different from the crunchy variety more common in the UK, which have altogether different ingredients.
I make no apology… Amaretti Morbidi (of any flavour) have the most divine texture… A crisp and crackled outer shell which yields to a chewy, almost marzipan centre. In my opinion, most definitely the better of the two variations.
Chocolate Amaretti Cookies – Naturally gluten free – Naturally dairy free
They are also naturally dairy free too! How cool is that?! Perfect for gifting!
As with all gluten free baking however, I would always advise double-checking the ingredient labels for any ‘may contain’ warnings and hidden gluten. For Chocolate Amaretti Cookies, the most likely suspects would be the ground almonds and cocoa (which may be processed in factories alongside gluten products). If you are new to label-checking and cross-contamination, my page ‘Coeliac Disease + Food’ is a helpful guide around the issues.
NOTE: We also have a recipe for VEGAN Chocolate Amaretti Cookies on the blog (and honestly, it’s hard to tell them apart).
What ingredients are needed to make Chocolate Amaretti Cookies?
Chocolate Amaretti Cookies are made from a few simple ingredients…
This can be either fresh egg white or egg white from a carton… But because it is whipped into stiff peaks, it is important that it (and the bowl) are free from any oily residue or egg yolk. If the white isn’t pure, it won’t whisk properly. The easiest way to ensure the bowl and whisk heads are clean is to wash or wipe them with a little lemon juice mixed with water first.
The shared recipe specifies the egg white weight needed to make Amaretti al Cioccoltao Cookies. This is to ensure the recipe is as consistent as possible wherever you are in the world. If the cookie dough is too wet, it will spread and flatten. Too dry and it will not have the appropriate squidginess.
As with all Amaretti, the key ingredient for Chocolate Amaretti Cookies is ground almonds. In the States, ground almonds are (I believe) known as almond meal.
I use standard white caster sugar (also known as superfine sugar) for the cookie dough. It provides the right texture for Amaretti and allows any other flavour add-ins to shine.
But you will also need a little icing sugar (confectioners or powdered sugar), for coating the dough balls just before baking.
This provides the chocolate hit while keeping the texture of the dough as it should be. You’ll need cocoa powder that is unsweetened (ie not a drinking chocolate blend).
Amaretti Liqueur and Almond Extract
Both Amaretti liqueur (such as Disaronno) and almond extract bring almond flavour to the Chocolate Amaretti Cookies. Don’t worry, the cookies won’t taste of alcohol as this will be evaporated off during the baking process.
If you would rather not use almond liqueur, add an extra half teaspoon of almond extract and switch the liqueur for either cold coffee or water.
Tips for making perfect Chocolate Amaretti Cookies
I can’t emphasise enough just how easy these Chocolate Amaretti Cookies are to make.
However, it’s always good to have a few tips and tricks ready to make them as perfect as possible… Here are mine:
- Pre-mix the ground almonds, cocoa and sugar in a separate bowl and make sure they are blended evenly without any remaining clumps. This will make mixing into the egg white easier, while maintaining air from its whisking.
- See below for specific tips on how to roll Amaretti Cookies…
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks for the best cookie texture. (And as mentioned above, ensure the bowl and whisk are spotlessly clean before beating).
- Be careful not to overbake the cookies, or they will lose their best chewiness.
Top Tip: Rolling Chocolate Amaretti Cookie dough into balls…
Amaretti cookie dough is very sticky! Here’s my best advice for rolling it into balls ready for baking, without getting into an almighty mess…
- Get the two bowls of sugar for coating (one caster – one icing/powdered) ready BEFORE the cookie dough is rolled.
- Line up the mixing bowl, sugar bowls and baking tray one next to the other in order of use (for less mess)… Ready to work from one to the next.
- Because the dough is super-sticky, wear food-safe gloves when rolling it. This will prevent the dough from sticking to fingers and will help to make rolling a cinch.
- Roll one ball at a time… Scoop a dollop of dough with a spoon… Dip and coat in caster sugar and then roll into a ball (dipping first before handling helps avoid stickiness)… Then dip and roll in the icing sugar, before setting on a lined baking tray.
Storing Amaretti Cookies
Amaretti Cookies can be simply stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will be good for 1 to 2 weeks.
Ready to make my Chocolate Amaretti Cookies recipe?
And that brings me to the recipe for my incredible Chocolate Amaretti Cookies or Amaretti al Cioccolato. The recipe is just below (scroll a further inch or two). Enjoy!
If you make them let me know… Leave a comment at the bottom, rate the recipe or tag me on social media with your yummy cookie pics (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest). Don’t forget to tag me in (@glutenfreealchemist), so I don’t miss you.
For lots more biscuit and cookie inspiration, head over to my Gluten Free Cookies and Biscuits Index. And for everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe Index is the place to start… All my recipes (sweet and savoury) in one place. And no one will ever guess that any of them are gluten free!
More almond-based cookie recipes to love…
Chocolate Amaretti Cookies (gluten free; dairy free)
- large mixing spoon
- 2 shallow bowls
- food gloves (optional)
- wire cooling rack
- 70 g egg whites (approx 2 large)
- 200 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- 170 g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp amaretti liqueur (almond liqueur)
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2½ tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 2½ tbsp icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar)
- Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar and cocoa powder, making sure the mix is even and all lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
- In a large very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Fold the almond-sugar-cocoa mix into the whisked egg whites.
- Add and gently fold through the liqueur and almond extract. You should now have a very thick, sticky dough.
- Tip the caster sugar and icing sugar for coating the cookies into two, separate shallow bowls.
- Scoop out walnut-sized chunks of the dough using teaspoon and roll into balls using your hands (the mix is very sticky, so food gloves may be helpful). It helps to drop the scoop of dough into the sugar to coat slightly before rolling…
- Roll each ball as you make it in the caster sugar followed by the icing sugar and place on the baking tray, leaving a slight gap between them.
- Bake for 13 to 17 minutes until crisp on the outside, but not darkened.
- Check the bake part-way through. If concerned that they may be browning, turn the oven down slightly.
- Leave to cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist