I love almonds in all forms– Amaretto liquor, Amaretti cookies, almond flour, cakes laced with almond extract, and these delicious little almond cookies rolled in powdered sugar! Amaretti di Gavi are made of with loads of almond flour, toasted almonds, sugar, and egg whites. They are crunchy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.
They originated in the Piedmont region of Italy, in a small town named Gavi, near the Ligurian border. They are traditionally made with bitter almonds, but the United States prohibits the sale of bitter almonds because in their raw state, they contain traces of hydrogen cyanide, which can be lethal to animals and humans if not processed correctly.
Since this was news to me, I thought I would dive a little deeper and learned that almonds come in two varieties– sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are readily available in the grocery store and used for granola, cereals, trail mix, etc. Bitter almonds have a more intense flavor and are processed to make products such as almond extract, almond oil, liquors and almond butter. For this recipe, I substitute bitter almonds for sweet, and add a teaspoon of almond extract to amp up the almond flavor.
If you look at the recipe, you will notice I wrote it using metric system measurements rather than using our traditional customary measurements because I found that the egg whites are a wild card. Depending on the size of the eggs, you would add either two or three egg whites, but while testing, one of my batches came out too wet because the eggs were big. The dough is already somewhat wet and tacky, but if it has too much moisture, the cookies slump before they hit the heat and come out flat, and lose their characteristic shape. For this recipe, I recommend weighing the ingredients.
To begin, put the almond flour, whole almonds, baking powder and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until homogeneous.
Then, add the egg whites and almond extract. Process until the dough is uniform. It will be slightly tacky to the touch.
Place the dough onto a work surface and form the cookies into 2″ round balls. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Using your thumb, index and middle finger, pinch the cookies slightly to give them their characteristic look.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool completely before serving.
Amaretti di Gavi
- 350 grams almond flour
- 50 grams whole almonds
- 300 grams sugar
- 5 grams baking powder
- 100 grams egg whites
- 5 grams almond extract
- Put the almond flour, whole almonds, sugar and baking powder into the bowl of food processor and blitz until homogeneous.
- Then, and add the egg whites and almond extract. Mix until it forms a dough.
- Place the dough on a flat work surface and form it into a 2" round balls, roll in powdered sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Using your thumb, index and middle finger, pinch the cookies slightly to give them their characteristic look.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.