Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lemon Amaretti

It’s day one of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies! All the way to Christmas Eve, I will post 12 different Christmas cookie recipes. I hope that you’ll discover something wonderful to bake this Christmas. I try to make cookies with different flavors, and I think that is especially important if you are baking multiple cookies for a Christmas tray. Sure, there are always the family favorites, but it’s fun to try new things too!

I’ve decided to start with a sublime, simple little cookie: lemon amaretti. The original recipe called for orange zest, but I love lemon zest. Either would work. This cookie contains no flour, which is something you may be looking for as many people have gluten sensitivities these days. The base of these cookies is almond paste. I know that almond paste can be expensive, but I lucked out and my mom had a can in her cupboard that she wasn’t going to use. Sweet! Free baking supplies!

This recipe doesn’t make very many cookies, just over a dozen. You could make the amaretti smaller, but I made mine with about a tablespoon of dough. The dough is incredibly soft and on the sticky side, but it bakes up ok. You will go insane with how good these smell while baking. I think almond paste/extract is about the best smelling stuff in the world and your entire house will smell like this while these are in the oven. They do spread out a little while baking, so don’t put them too close together on the baking sheet. I hope you enjoy this year’s round of Christmas cookies.

Lemon Amaretti
 ¾ cup sugar
8-9 ounces almond paste
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the sugar, almond paste, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest. Mix on medium until crumbly. Add the egg whites, a bit at a time, until the mixture forms a paste.

Shape 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in the powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top of the cookies are cracked and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from Miss Renaissance

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