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(Makes about 3 dozen cookies)
Amaretti are a classic Italian cookie. They are made with finely ground almonds and a very small amount of flour. Amaretti are enjoyed not only as a sweet treat but as an ingredient in many Italian recipes. In Italy, Amaretti are made with sweet and bitter almonds. Only sweet almonds are used in this recipe because bitter almonds are not available in the United States. You may wish to add some bitter almond extract to achieve a similar flavor.
1 cup blanched almonds 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar 2 tablespoons flour 2 egg whites 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them.
Grind the almonds with 3 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar to a fine powder in a food processor. Mix the nuts with the remaining confectioners' sugar and flour. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar, until stiff and shiny. Fold the nut mixture and almond extract into the beaten whites until blended.
Spoon the cookie mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe 1-1/2 inch wide mounds onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Smooth the top of each cookie with a damp finger.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until very lightly browned. Turn off the oven and allow the cookies to sit in the oven another 20-30 minutes. Cool on wire racks and store in airtight containers.
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