Add my vegan and gluten-free Italian Amaretti Cookies to your holiday cookie platter and watch them go! The dough takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and is made entirely in the food processor.
Amaretti cookies are one of my favorite holiday treats to make and eat. I had posted a vegan version long ago on this blog, but this time I have for you a cookie that’s gluten-free. Not only that, it’s incredibly simple and easy to make.
And it’s so close to the real thing, you will be blown away.
If you’re asking now what are Amaretti cookies are, here’s the primer: they are light, soft, airy and somewhat chewy, and they have been called Italy’s answer to the French macaron. And did I say they are altogether delicious?
The texture of these cookies depends heavily on egg whites but since those are no-nos on this blog, I used aquafaba, or chickpea brine.
Making these cookies couldn’t be easier. I first whip up the aquafaba in a food processor until it’s holding soft peaks, and then I throw in all the ingredients one after the other. Press a button, and your dough’s ready.
All you have to do now is roll the cookies into little balls, place them on a baking sheet, flatten them a bit, and bake.
You need just eight ingredients for this cookie, and there are no added oils or fats:
- Almond flour
- Gluten-free all purpose flour
- Powdered sugar
- Turbinado sugar — for rolling the cookies in for that pretty look
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract or liqueur
How to make the perfect vegan and gluten-free Amaretti Cookies:
- Make sure you whip your aquafaba. It couldn’t be easier in a food processor, but be patient. Wait until it begins to hold soft peaks. You can help stabilize your whipped aquafaba with a pinch of cream of tartar– they way you would if you were whipping egg whites.
- Make sure you use some almond flavoring, in addition to the almond flour, for cookies that really taste like almonds. Almond extract or almond liqueur both would work.
- Use powdered sugar in your cookies for the right texture, not granulated.
- You can use either granulated or powdered sugar to roll your cookies just before baking. Both give different-looking but equally delicious cookies.
I love the fact that these bring a touch of the exotic to the holidays. Try ’em today and come back and let me know how they turned out for you.
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea brine)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract (or almond liqueur like Amaretto)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar or powdered sugar for rolling the cookies (I used turbinado)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
If using a food processor, place the aquafaba in the bowl and run it on high speed, with the feed tube open, for about five minutes. The quantity of liquid is too small for it to splash through the open feed tube and on you, but if you wish hold a kitchen towel over the mouth of the feed tube for a few seconds until the aquafaba starts to get foamy. You can also whip your aquafaba and continue making the dough in a stand mixer or with bowl and a hand mixer.
When the aquafaba starts to firm up and holds soft peaks when you pick it up with a spoon, add the powdered sugar, 1/4th cup at a time, pulsing for a few seconds after each addition, until all of the sugar is incorporated.
Now you can just dump in the remaining ingredients -- the almond flour, gluten-free flour, baking powder, and vanilla and almond extracts. Close the lid and pulse for a few seconds or until the dough comes together.
Remove the blade carefully from the food processor bowl. Prep a cookie sheet by spraying lightly with oil or by covering the bottom with parchment paper.
Place the sugar for rolling in a dish.
Use your fingers to take a small piece of dough and roll it into a ball, about 3/4 inch in diameter. Roll the ball of cookie dough in the sugar and then place it on the cookie sheet. Press lightly on the top to flatten a little.
Do this with the remaining dough. You will get around 18 cookies. Place the cookies at least an inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the bottoms are golden-brown.
Remove the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookies to cool at least 10 minutes before sliding them off the cookie sheet. Let the amaretti cookies cool completely on a rack.