Amaretti

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Title: Amaretti
Yield: 42 Servings
Categories: Cookies, Italian

Ingredients:

1/2 lb Canned almond paste
1 c Sugar
2 lg Egg whites
Granulated sugar
- for dusting


PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375F. Break the almond paste into small pieces and
combine it with the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low
speed until very fine. Add egg whites in 4 additions, mixing about 1 minute
between each. Beat the paste until very smooth, about 2-to-3 minutes. Fill
a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tube with the mixture. Line 2
cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper. Pipe the mixture on
the paper in 1-to-1 1/2-inch mounds, about 1-inch apart. Fold a clean
kitchen towel into a long strip and moisten the towel with water. Squeeze
lightly to eliminate excess water, leaving the towel more than damp. Slap
the surface of the Amaretti gently with the towel to moisten them and make
the surface smooth. Sprinkle the Amaretti with granulated sugar. Bake about
15-to-20 minutes, until they are well risen, a deep golden color, and their
surface is covered with tiny cracks. Remove from the oven and place the
pans on racks to cool. To remove the Amaretti from the papers, turn the
papers over with the Amaretti still adhering to them and wet the papers
with hot water, using a brush. Leave a few minutes, then pull on the papers
to release the Amaretti. HERE ARE 2 VARIATIONS OF AMARETTI: Amaretti di
Pinoli: After moistening the piped Amaretti, strew them with pine nuts,
sprinkling them on heavily, then pressing lightly with the fingertips so
that the pine nuts adhere. Do not dust with sugar. Bake as for the
Amaretti. Fior di Mandorla: This variation of Amaretti is popular in
Southern Italy and Sicily, where the mixture is sometimes colored green or
pink during the mixing. Their rough, craggy appearance is a nice contrast
to the smoothness of the standard Amaretti. Prepare the Amaretti, up to,
and including, moistening them with the towel. Dust heavily with
confectioners' sugar and allow the piped mixture to dry at room
temperature, uncovered, at least 12 hours, or overnight. After they have
dried, indent each of the piped mounds with the thumb, first and middle
fingers of one hand, positioning them equidistant around the circumference,
and pinching gently inward, about half way into the center. Bake the Fior
di Mandorla at 375F, about 15-to-20 minutes. Cool and loosen the Fior di
Mandorla as for the Amaretti.

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini