Spring is less than two weeks away, to be more precise 11 days away. The weather this week is behaving as it should, the snow is melting. I thought my car was a dirty sand colour, but after washing it, apparently it’s charcoal grey – who knew!? I’ve been really busy with all kinds of classes at the various schools I’m attached to, and personal engagements in addition to attending school to learn more about chocolate (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it). I’m the only guy in my class but I must say the people I create chocolate confections with, including the Pastry Chef – Sally, are very professional. It’s nice when you can learn not only from your professors, but also pick up tips from those in the industry. It makes learning that much more interesting.

This is a great recipe. So easy, you’ll wonder why you don’t always keep a batch on hand.  Now if you can’t eat nuts – almonds specifically, you will want to forgo making these.  Otherwise this will be your next go to cookie (I hope your list is growing like mine :)). Reminds me a bit of making a macaron but without the fussiness of the process. It’s piped onto a tray but then these are supposed to be a rustic cookie so spoonful’s of the batter would work as well. Whatever method you chose, just make these.

Critical to the authentic taste of the amaretti is almond emulsion. You have to look for this and pick up a small bottle. I sometimes find it in the household sections of Winners or Marshalls or other stores that carry gourmet ingredients. So look for it. Yes, you can use almond extract, but note the word “extract”, not imitation (please never imitation anything). The emulsion adds a bitter almond taste that makes this a grown up cookie. The chewy texture of the finished product makes this a grown up cookie – well really, any cookie is a grown up cookie in my books. I will admit, I don’t eat a lot of sweets or cookies (I’m more a savoury, as opposed to un-savoury kind of guy), but I did eat three of these while plating and photographing the platter – oh the things I have to do for this blog! So try these incredibly delicious grown up cookies. As always – enjoy!

300g Icing Sugar
300g Ground Almonds
25g Cocoa Powder
20g Cornstarch
135g Egg Whites
3g Salt
5g Almond Emulsion or Almond Extract and Vanilla Essence combined

Preheat oven to 325, line a baking a large baking tray with parchment paper
Sift the icing sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch together
Add ground almonds and salt to this mixture
Stir in egg whites – this makes a thick batter, mix well
At this stage, either scoop this into a piping bag or use a teaspoon and scoop onto a baking tray
If using a piping bag, pipe toonie size shapes using a #5 tip, flatten out any points (or not) – this is supposed to be a rustic cookie so we’re not looking for pretty, just amazing tasting cookies
Bake for 7 – 9 minutes – the cookie should, with just a little play, lift off the baking sheet – when it’s ready
No more than 10 minutes please – this isn’t biscotti!
Pair up the cookies so you have even sized cookies
Turn one cookie over, leaving in the pair configuration
Pipe some chocolate into the middle and top the cookie – just a drop of chocolate or you will end up with a chunk when you bite into this doughy cookie – from a Pastry Chef’s perspective, texturally it’s not a great mouth feel, from just eating a cookie perspective, it’s awesome!
Drizzle with chocolate or not (picture below, I drizzled with melted chocolate in a piping bag)

almond33 almond1