Bread Ahead's Amaretti Biscuits

A gorgeous recipe for amaretti biscuits from acclaimed London bakery, Bread Ahead. These classic Italian biscuits make a lovely edible gift for Christmas.

From the book

Baking School: The Bread Ahead Cookbook by , &
Baking School: The Bread Ahead Cookbook
A masterclass in baking from Bread Ahead
Inspiring recipes for sweet and savoury bakes
Bread-making made simple

Introduction

I (Matt) was first introduced to these little delights when I worked with Phil Howard at the Square restaurant. They are so simple to make at home and yet so delicious.

They are like a soft, cakey biscuit with a whisper of a crunch on the outside and a real lick-o’-lip factor. We always bake more than we need for orders, because all the bakers like to eat one warm from the oven with their coffee in the morning, after the night shift.

Makes 18

Ingredients

2 (70g) egg whites
188g caster sugar
300g ground almonds
1 ½ tsp honey
1 tsp almond extract (please don't use one that's been sitting at the back of the cupboard for the last 10 years)
100g icing sugar, for dusting

Essential kit

You will need: an electric whisk.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4, and line a couple of 45cm x 38cm baking trays with baking paper.

Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until frothy, then add the sugar and whisk until soft peaks are formed. This will take a good few minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the icing sugar, and mix with a spatula until incorporated.

Cut the dough into 18 pieces, each weighing about 30g, then roll them into balls.

Spread the icing sugar in a tray. Put the balls of dough into the tray, roll them around, then leave them to sit for 10 minutes, to absorb some of the icing sugar. Now carpet-bomb the balls with icing sugar, really packing it on.

Carefully place the sugared amaretti on the prepared baking trays, leaving a little space between them because they will puff out a bit.

Bake for 16 minutes, until golden brown, then take them out and leave them to cool a little. Perfect with an espresso.

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