Please Pass the Recipe

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Paula’s Amaretti


My friend Paula has followed a gluten free diet for many years.

A fearlessly experimental cook, Paula is continually trying this and tweaking that to improve and refine what she prepares. She generously shares ideas, references, recipes, ingredients and her end products, so spending 3 quality months on the road with Paula gave me the opportunity to watch, listen and learn so I could expand my own gluten free repertoire, and improve my end results.

She baked scones, cakes and cookies, puddings and pasta dishes. Together one night we even used the camp oven to cook pizza. It was all gluten free, it was all delicious, and some was so good, it was comparable to food made with wheat.

Paula baked a batch of Amaretti in her caravan oven almost every week we were away, beating the egg whites by hand with a balloon whisk. They were delicious, much better than any commercial product I have ever tasted so I thought (with her permission) I would share her recipe here.

I prefer the flavour of almond meal made with unblanched almonds, so I process whole raw nuts to a fine meal in my reliable workhorse, an old Magimix processor.

Paula’s Amaretti
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup castor sugar
2 teaspoons of almond essence
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 cups of almond meal

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
Whisk the egg white to soft peaks. Gradually add the castor sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating into a stiff meringue.
Add the essences and incorporate thoroughly.
Using a metal spoon stir in the almond meal one cupful at a time.
Drop dessert spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined baking trays, allowing a little room to spread.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Allow to rest for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Makes approximately 60
Resist if you can!!





About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

14 comments on “Paula’s Amaretti

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  6. StefanGourmet
    October 20, 2013

    I make something similar but in a more ‘chewy’ style which is easier 🙂 I also include shredded coconut. Should try to make proper crispy amaretti too I suppose…


  7. Leah
    October 18, 2013

    yum! I do love amaretti and haven’t had them for years. Another one to add to the baking list 🙂 xxx


  8. ohlidia
    October 17, 2013

    Amaretti are one of my favourite cookies! Well, let’s say favourite Italian cookies because I just love cookies in general. These look perfect and crisp. I do have a weak spot for the soft chewy ones. Oh man, if I get a hold of a box of those, I will eat the entire box. No joke! So little ingredients… I’ve just got to try them! Thanks Sandra.


    • ladyredspecs
      October 18, 2013

      And thank you Lidia! They’re wonderful little treats and trust me when I say you’ll never want to eat a commercially produced amaretti after you’ve eaten these. Let me know how you liked the amaretti when you make them


  9. ChgoJohn
    October 17, 2013

    This is wonderful. We’ve all seen the explosion of GF items in our markets but, at the same time, there’s been a gigantic increase in the variety of recipes coming from the home. 10 years ago there was virtually nothing and look what’s happening today. GF amaretti? Bring ’em on!


    • ladyredspecs
      October 17, 2013

      Thanks John! I am in the process of preparing a post to appear in a couple of weeks about sweet treats that have been made in Aussie homes that ARE and have always been gluten free, before anyone demanded gluten free. I’m sure there are just as many traditional Italian recipes, like Amaretti that fall into this category. It’s commercial manufacturing that has messed with tried and true formulas to turn out products that are cheap to make, robust to package and forever fresh.


  10. My French Heaven
    October 17, 2013

    These look incredible!!


    • ladyredspecs
      October 17, 2013

      Thanks Stephane. They taste delicious too. Sweet bombs of toasty almond crispness!


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