Soft and chewy Italian Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies made with whisked aquafaba. Easy to make. Naturally Gluten Free.
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A VEGAN version of my amazing Italian Chocolate Amaretti Cookies
These Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies are brought to you by popular request. After recently posting a recipe for my divine (non-vegan) Italian Chocolate Amaretti Cookies (Amaretti al Cioccolato), I was contacted by a number of people who asked if they could be made egg-free. The honest answer was that I didn’t know… So I’ve tested and checked! It turns out that with a couple of minor tweaks to my original recipe, Chocolate Amaretti Cookies can indeed be made Vegan… using aquafaba.
In this post, I will share not just the recipe, but also a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the best results.
Soft Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies (Amaretti Morbidi)
First though, I need to be clear that the recipe shared here is for SOFT Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies (known in Italy as Amaretti Morbidi). And they are quite different from the crunchy almond biscuits most often found in the UK. However, in my opinion, Amaretti Morbidi are WAY more delicious… Their texture (crisp and crackled on the outside giving way to an incredible chewy, almost marzipan centre) is simply to die for.
What is Aquabafa?
Put simply… Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas (the liquid left after the chickpeas have been drained from the can). In recent years, using aquafaba has become increasingly popular in vegan baking. Why? Because it turns out that chickpea water is the perfect vegan substitute for egg whites!
Weird as it sounds, it can be whipped up in the same way (to stiff peaks) and also offers binding qualities to bakes. I honestly would love to know who discovered these magical properties… Because their utter genius has opened a whole world of ‘copycat’ recipes for vegans that simply weren’t there before.
From homemade marzipan to vegan pavlova… Even as a substitute for eggs in bread… aquafaba can be used to make our favourite recipes egg-free. And when it comes to eating my Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference against the standard egg white version.
Can I buy aquafaba without the chickpeas?
Because aquafaba has become so popular, there are now companies offering this magic liquid packaged on its own. So while chickpea water saved from the can is the cheapest way to obtain aquafaba (assuming you eat chickpeas), you may also be able to find it as a stand-alone product on your local supermarket shelf.
In the UK, I’ve used Oggs Aquafaba to make Vegan Amaretti Cookies. It comes in 200 ml pourable cartons and is currently available in Asda, Waitrose, Coop and several other independents.
If you can’t find it however, there are loads of ways to use up the ‘leftover’ chickpeas from the can. They can be used to make…
- Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
- Pesto Roasted Chickpeas
- Homemade Houmous
- Hummus with Caramelised Onion and Turmeric
- Used in a Buddha Bowl
- Or popped into stews, casseroles or soups
Are these Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies gluten free and safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs)?
Absolutely, yes! These Chocolate Amaretti Cookies are not only Vegan, but are naturally gluten free too. There are no gluten-containing ingredients involved at all. And that means they are safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac).
Nonetheless, it is always important with gluten free baking to double-check ingredient labels for any hidden gluten or ‘may contain’ warnings. When making Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies, ingredients that need particular checking are ground almonds, cocoa and baking powder.
If you are unsure about label checking and why it is important, my page ‘Coeliac Disease + Food’ may be helpful for you.
Is Amaretti Liqueur Vegan?
The vegan status of Amaretti (almond) liqueur varies from brand to brand. So, if you are Vegan for moral reasons (rather than just ‘egg free’), be sure to check the brand details for confirmation.
Tips for making the best Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies
When it comes to making them, Vegan Amaretti Cookies are equally as easy as standard ones. The process is identical, but with a couple of minor ingredient tweaks. So here’s what you need to know to make sure your Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies are the best!
- Mix the ground almonds, sugar, cocoa and baking powder separately and before adding to the whipped aquafaba. This will ensure that any clumps are broken down and the mix is even.
- When whisking the aquafaba, it is ESSENTIAL that the bowl and whisk heads are spotlessly clean. If there is the slightest residue of oil or grease, the aquafaba will NOT whisk… (And yes, I learned that one the hard way!). To get the equipment clean, wipe the inside of the bowl with a little lemon juice and a clean paper towel. And dip the whisk heads in boiling water containing a drop of lemon juice (in a deep jug). Allow to air dry. This should remove any greasy traces.
- The aquafaba must be whipped to stiff peaks. You will know they are whisked enough if you can tip the bowl upside-down and the aquafaba stays put… If it slides when you start to tip the bowl, whisk them more!
- While it is important (for best chewiness) not to over-bake Amaretti Cookies, be aware that aquafaba is not the same as egg white. Thus Vegan Amaretti seem to need a little longer to bake than a standard version. Only by about 5 minutes.
- If you find the cookies spread too much, adjust the aquafaba quantity for the next batch. I would advise however, reducing the quantity by no more than 5 ml/g before retesting.
Tips for rolling Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies
Amaretti Cookie Dough (Vegan or not) is very sticky. So, here are my best tips for rolling it ready to bake…
- Prepare the two sugar bowls for dipping the dough (caster and icing/powdered sugars) BEFORE starting to roll.
- Wear food-safe gloves to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. Seriously… This makes a huge difference.
- It also may help to drop the scooped dough portion into the caster sugar before rolling by hand… This coats it a little and makes it less sticky when handling.
- Roll one ball at a time and place it finished on the baking tray before starting on the next.
- In terms of additional ingredients, the observant will see that I have added the tiniest amount of baking powder to the vegan mix, which isn’t there when I make standard Amaretti. The reason for this is to compensate for the extra natural leavening that egg whites would otherwise offer. Nonetheless, the amount is carefully balanced… Add too much and the cookies will ‘explode’ in the oven… I learnt that one from experience too!
- I have also lowered the sugar content in the recipe. This is because the first test batch of Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies I made were way too sweet (much sweeter than the standard ones). Lowering the sugar improved the flavour but left the texture unaffected.
Ready to make Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies?
And that’s the best advice I can give… I hope you love making my Vegan Chocolate Amaretti Cookies. Do let me know how you get on. Leave a comment, or contact me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest). If you post any photos on your feed, don’t forget to tag me, so that I see them.
For lots more gluten free cooking and baking inspiration, don’t forget to check out our mainGluten Free Recipe Index. Or for gluten-free vegan recipes, we also have a dedicated Vegan + Gluten Free Index too.
All shared with my love
More amazing Gluten Free Vegan treats you’ll love…
VEGAN Chocolate Amaretti Cookies
- large mixing spoon
- 2 shallow bowls
- food gloves (optional)
- wire cooling rack
- 60 g aquafaba (water from chickpea can)
- 200 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- 140 g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp amaretti liqueur (almond liqueur)
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 2 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, cocoa powder and baking powder, making sure the mix is even and all lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
- In a large very clean bowl (wipe with lemon juice to ensure spotlessly clean), whisk the aquafaba to stiff peaks. See NOTES
- Fold the almond-sugar-cocoa mix into the whisked aquafaba.
- 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 a spoon 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 15 to 20 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 10 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