Baking with almond flour: Lebovitz’s amaretti

Crisp, Italian almond meringues, or amaretti, are simple to bake and delightful to eat.  Many recipes require grinding toasted almonds and sugar together in a food processor to make toasted almond flour; I simply toasted pre-ground almond flour for a few minutes as a shortcut.  These feathery treats contain no fat other than the oil contained in almond flour, so  they’re light on the tongue and cholesterol levels.  I found the recipe in David Lebovitz’s latest cookbook Ready for Dessert (p 215, also check out his entertaining blog on food & life in Paris).  His recipe calls for 1 teaspoon all purpose flour in addition to the almonds, sugar, egg whites, and almond extract:  I forgot to add the flour, and the cookies still turned out just fine.

Crumbled amaretti stirred into softened chocolate ice cream would be divine, and Lebovitz uses amaretti crumbs for tart crusts and crumble toppings.  As with most meringues, the amaretti soften quickly in high humidity.  Since it just started to rain, I’ll have to eat a few more while they’re still crisp.

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