One part egg white + two parts sugar + three parts ground almond powder, with a few extras. What could be simpler ? But I realized that most people were doing it all wrong ! This is the better and much easier way for perfect and flawless results …
It’s such a pity that I only make these when I have leftover egg whites and often with just one egg white, by simply weighing the egg white and multiplying the other ingredients by 2 and 3 because it’s all a question of weights : the egg white (with the extracts added later), twice that weight in sugar and three times that weight in almond powder, with a few extra candied citrus peel bits and zests added later !
Most of the people I know and love and respect who make these Italian cookies, combine the almond powder with the sugar, then add in the beaten egg whites and extracts and/or extras, but you end up with a soft mess that is difficult to roll into balls, even after chilling, so listen up !
The secret is to make a meringue mixture first with the egg whites and sugar and then adding the extracts before combining it with the almond powder and you’ll end up with a firmer more uniform dough that you’ll chill and then roll into balls, coat with icing sugar, chill again and bake for 15 minutes in a not-too-hot oven and let the outer crust slightly crisp up in a turned-off oven for another 15 minutes, as they gently cool, before removing them from the oven, to cool off completely.
It seems obvious but it was all trial-and-error and now I make these at least once or twice per month and often with just one egg white (if I used an egg yolk wash for a brioche or other baked goods) because even 10 soft amaretti are a wonderful thing to have on hand.
By the way, I specify almond amaretti in this recipe but I’ve also made them with other ground nut powders and sometimes stuffed them too, but that’s another recipe, so hang on … :)