from one generation to the next
There is a funny story attached to this recipe. Having friends around is always an excuse to bake, to spread not only the love, but the calories. And so it was that a plate of these delicious almond macaroons stuffed with expensive amarena cherries were sitting on the coffee table when friends arrived for coffee last week. As is his habit our dog Monty barked loudly at the sound of the door bell. He greeted our friends then raced off to find his toy. We stood chatting in the entrance for a minute or two and when we finally sat down there was an empty macaroon plate on the table and one little white dog looking very pleased with himself! Fortunately half the batch was safely stored in an airtight container. Yes, Monty is special, but did I want to share these sweet morsels with him? No!!
Almost 12 months ago I bookmarked a recipe posted by Stefan Gourmet Blog for Amarena cherry stuffed almond cookies. I even bought the cherries to make to recipe, but I scoffed the lot, straight from the jar, they were seriously delicious.
Making simple coconut macaroons with my grand daughters during the summer holidays reminded of this recipe, so before another jar of Amarena cherries disappeared I launched into action.
Stefan is a very precise cook, but years of experience have taught me that compromises and shortcuts work in some instances, so I threw these wondrous morsels together omitting many of his steps. I tweaked the finishing off process though to add pizzaz to the look.
I hope you enjoy these as much as Monty and I did.
Amarena cherry stuffed amaretti
1X230g jar Fabbri amarena cherries, thoroughly drained, syrup reserved*
250 whole raw almonds
200g castor sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon amarena cherry syrup
2 egg whites
125g slivered almonds
In the jug of a food processor put the almonds, cornflour and sugar. Process until very fine, then with the motor running add the almond extract and amarena syrup.
Slowly add the egg white adding only enough to bring the mixture together.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl then chill the mixture for 1 hour.
Pre heat the oven to 170C fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with silicone paper.
Spread the slivered almonds on a plate.
Roll scant dessertspoons full of almond paste into balls.
Poke a hole in each ball with your little finger, insert a whole cherry then smooth the macaroon mixture over the cherry to totally enclose it.
Reroll the macaroon.
Pat the top surface into the slivered almonds then place naked side down on the oven tray.
Continue until all the mixture is used.
Bake until lightly golden, 10-12minutes.
Cool on a cake wire then store in an airtight container.
Makes about 30 bite sized macaroons
*There will be a few cherries leftover. Return them to the syrup for later use, if you can resist!
*The syrup, once redundant is delicious served over vanilla ice cream and fresh berries, or turned into a delicious long drink with icy soda water.