Friday, January 11, 2013
Tea and Amaretti Biscuits
Somewhere between an Italian macaroon and a small cookie you will find this modest, albeit versatile little gluten free biscuit, intoxicated with amaretto and proud of it.
Amaretti Biscuits (Gluten Free)
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp gluten free cornflour
2 tsp amaretto
2 drops of almond essence (optional)
1 (large) egg white
flaked almonds to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Option time! If you would prefer to use a food processor, you can substitute 3/4 cup of blanched almonds, rather than using the almond meal. However, I used a KitchenAid with a wire whisk to blend the ingredients.
Sift the icing sugar and cornstarch into your mixing bowl, add the almond meal and stir.
Pour in the amaretto, almond essence and egg white, then mix until blended into a thick paste, this should only take about 30 seconds in either a food processor or your KitchenAid.
Pipe or use two teaspoons to transfer small, round blobs of the almond meal paste to a baking tray lined with greaseproof baking paper, then gently lower a tiny almond flake into the centre of each amaretti.
This recipe should make between 20 to 30 small biscuits, depending on the amaretti size you prefer.
Bake for ten to fifteen minutes. Set your oven timer and be prepared to wait around your kitchen for the amaretti to bake. It's easy to be tempted to hang out the washing, check your Facebook or watch some TV but I assure you that ten to fifteen minutes isn't all that long. Remove the biscuits from the oven once the edges begin to turn golden and allow to cool slightly before serving.
I love the smell of amaretti as they bake. The almond liqueur scent permeated my kitchen in a familiar way, sending me hurtling backwards to when I was a young girl watching Aunty Imelda serve crunchy Italians biscuits, dusted in icing sugar to my mother during one of our many visits to her Italian kitchen. Her biscuits were a cross between angel wings and crescent biscuits, differing slightly to amaretti but still very, very delicious. I remember she used to have a crazy maltese terrier named Duke, who used to chase his tail on the slate tiles until he crashed into our legs or the nearby furniture, whilst Aunty Imelda would shout in her thick Italian accent, 'Nooo! Nooo! Nooo! Dukey! Dukey! Dukey!'.
Captivated as I was with Dukey, once those biscuits arrived I would almost choke on the icing sugar as I drew in sharp, expectant breaths in anticipation of the almond flavoured treat.
A nice touch is to brew your favourite tea to serve with the amaretti. I enjoyed milky Earl Grey (milk in Earl Grey tea is not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it!) and sat outside with one of my favourite recipe studded books about a young lady blogger who grew up with food as a major influence in her life. Reminds me of ... Well... Me... Ha ha!
I must admit, I love almond ANYTHING. Amaretti biscuits don't last too long in our neck of the woods, they never have.