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Amaretti Almond Cookies

Anna Maria VolpiThis recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Anna Maria Volpi who has published her own book entitled The Timeless Art of Italian Cuisine. You can find out more about the book and how to order a copy from her web site <click here>

Anna Maria Volpi began her culinary education in her native Italy. While still a youngster, she learned how to prepare the traditional Roman dishes by her father, and Sicilian cuisine from her mother.

These early experiences inspired in her a deep love of Italian cooking. In a time when eating and cooking habits seem to change frequently, Anna Maria has dedicated herself to the rediscovery and preservation of authentic regional cooking through the study of its history and traditions, and by sharing her knowledge and skills with others.

She has taught traditional Italian home cooking in Los Angeles for more than ten years through group lessons, private classes, and special events. She is also an acclaimed guest instructor for the Williams-Sonoma chain of gourmet food and cooking stores, including their popular site in Beverly Hills, California.

After you try some of Anna Maria’s recipes, you will understand why her friends and family in Italy nicknamed her dolce forno (sweet oven) for her incomparable baking abilities.

To read more and obtain more recipes visit Anna’s web site <click here>


18 oz (500 gr) whole almonds, blanched
11 oz (300 gr) sugar
rind of 1 lemon, grated
3 egg whites
3-4 drops bitter almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Place the almonds in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Run the blade until the almonds are ground.
  • Add the sugar and continue to run the blade until the mixture is reduced to a very fine paste. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Beat the egg whites until forming peaks. Add the egg whites to the almond paste, mixing thoroughly with a spatula.
  • Combine the grated lemon rind and the bitter almond extract.
  • Line a cookie sheet or flat oven pan with parchment paper.
  • Form small balls the size of a walnut, place them on the pan approximately 2” (5 cm) apart.
  • Wet a kitchen towel, and pat lightly the top of the cookies, to make them smooth.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until light golden color.

Anna Maria Volpi

© Anna Maria Volpi