Italian cherry almond Amaretti cookies are the quintessential Italian cherry cookies recipe.
Cherry Amaretti cookies are crinkly on the outside, with a crunchy exterior, that yields to the bite with a chewy interior that is loaded with bountiful tidbits of cherries and a well-balanced almond flavor, while the exterior dusted exterior champions the flavors with its ideal duo of combined sugars.
Italian Cherry Amaretti cookies are chewy cherry almond cookies that are perfect for every holiday, party, and occasion you host and offer a remarkable, nutty taste and fragrant smell.
Why You’ll Love These Bakery Style Italian Cherry Amaretti Cookies Recipe
- Easy to find ingredients
- Easy to follow the recipe
- Light and airy cookies
- Chewy centers
- Crisp exterior
- Bold almond flavor
- Great for gifting as they are stackable
- Perfect cookies for birthdays, graduations, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and all other holidays or just because
- Even better when enjoyed with a cappuccino.
Equipment Needed To Make Italian Cherry Almond Cookies
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If you are wondering what all you need in order to make these delectable cookies, I am about to share that!
- Large Mixing Bowl + Hand Mixer or
- Stand Mixer
- cookie scoop (optional)
- Cookie Trays
- Parchment Paper or Silicone Mats
- Cooling Rack
- Coffee Mill (optional)
- Small Bowl
- Food Processor
And this is the one main reason that I use silicone paper when I am making the amaretti cookies with cherry more often than parchment paper: when you are pressing cookies to indent or flatten with a glass, the mat won’t rise up and not release (unlike parchment paper that is light and moves when you set a cookie on it).
Of course, unlike parchment paper that you can toss out, silicone mats will need to be washed but they are priceless for not lifting.
Plus, I will add this little sidenote about silicone baking mats: there is NO need to spend on the brand name, when there is plenty of ‘off-brand’ that do as well and sometimes IMO better than the brand itself.
Ingredients For Your Italian Cherry Almond Amaretti Cookies
Again, the beauty of this recipe is built around the simple ingredients, nothing funky here!
Rather, everyday items you can find on the retailer’s shelves without traipsing all over town!
- Amaretto Liqueur
- cream of tartar
- baking powder and baking soda
- Almond flour
- almond slivers
- red cherries
- granulated sugar
- powdered sugar
You’ll find that my recipe for cherry almond amaretti provides a delicate balance of both nuttiness and sweetness.
Now let’s keep rolling and I am sharing how you will create these amazing crisp and chewy cookies, that almost are macaron-like, but better!
How To Make Italian Cherry Almond Amaretti
Step 1 Before You Begin Making Cherry Almond Italian Cookies is Really Important
You will start by milling the sugar that you will dip the rolled amaretti cookies with cherry into.
After you will be preparing a bowl of confectioner’s sugar as well and set that aside.
Step 2 in preparing to make the Amaretti cookies with cherry recipe is to work with the cherries
Place the cherries into the food processor and pulse to create bits of cherries rather than large chunks.
Step 3 of is to place all the dry ingredients into 1 mixing bowl and set it aside.
Step 4 is all about the egg whites and cream of tartar, and this is the most important part of the recipe IMO.
You’ll mix the egg whites until they are stiff, yet you don’t want to overmix them so keep an eye on what you are doing!
Step 5 is set to begin once you have the egg whites beaten stiff, and you’ll then mix the other ingredients in by hand.
Step 6 For Finishing the Batter For the Italian Cherry Cookies is All By Hand
Fold in the fold in the almonds and the cherries and distribute evenly without over-mixing at which point you should create a mound.
Step 7: It’s time to scoop and form the Cherry Almond Cookies
Using a cooking scoop, you will form a ball and then pop it into the palm of your hands and roll it a bit tighter into a ball
Step 8: Dunk those Italian Cherry Almond Cookies into the sugars to coat!
Take each ball and roll quickly and lightly through sugar mixtures.
First into the very light milled sugar, then into the powdered sugar.
Place each ball onto the tray, spacing about 1″ apart and lightly pressing the ball into a slightly pressed cookie.
Step 9, you will be placing prepared cherry almond Italian cookies onto the trays and then into the oven to bake.
Place the tray on the bottom rack, and allow it to bake without OPENING the oven to prevent temperature loss.
Bake for 20-24 minutes, the tops will crack further and may appear moist, but the bottoms will be just very lightly brown, take them out.
Allow these amaretti to SIT On the silicone matted baking tray for at least 5 minutes to let them set up.
*OPTIONAL: For those that prefer an all-crunchy cookie, let them bake 5 minutes past this timing.
Are you looking for a great sesame cookie? Try my Biscotti Regina
Swoon-Worthy Italian Cherry Almond Amaretti
I am quite sure that you’ll swoon over these Italian Cherry Almond Amaretti.
Their delicate appearance definitely might fool you into thinking that they need to be handled with care.
However, the exterior of these Italian Cherry Almond Amaretti is definitely deceiving.
Now a quick look at the bottom of the cookie so you are sure you did not over or underbake the crisp and chewy holiday cookies that actually can be made any time of the year.
Now here’s a glance at the top of the cherry amaretti so you see the perfect crinkles!
Italian Cherry Almond Amaretti Tips
I do suggest a few items, so I’ll share what I always have on hand when I make my cookies, really any cookie recipe.
You don’t have to have them, but each sure does make a difference in cleanup and prep or vice versa!
Eggs & Issues (tips to solve this)
First and foremost large eggs are best for this recipe.
If you need to sub in a different size use this egg substitution chart.
Next and most importantly, either let your eggs come to room temperature on the counter for about 1/2 hour or, run your tap water, making it very warm (about 100°F).
Then put that water in a small bowl and allow the eggs to stand in that for 10 minutes.
In other words, you do not want to work with cold egg whites.
Last and most importantly and after making these cookies so many times I can recite the recipe by heart, do not leave out the Amaretto Liqueur.
Almond flavored Italian Cookies + a few more thoughts
Don’t use maraschino cherries for this recipe it changes the dough.
Instead, use the candied cherries as suggested.
Do not mix where I state FOLD or you will also create a dough flop (been there, done that).
Don’t skip the sugaring bowl before baking or your cookies won’t look like these!
Allow the almond-flavored Italian cookies to cool before transferring them to a cooling rack (about 10 minutes).
If you try to eat one of these crips and chewy cookies at the 10-minute time point, do consider the cherry bits might be extra hot yet and you might scald your tongue, LOL (I might have done this a few times!)
Recipe for Italian Cherry Almond Amaretti
- 6 Large Egg Whites (room temperature)
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar,
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 C + 1/4 C Finely Ground Sugar, mill it (transitioning granulated to powder-like) (set 1/4 c aside)
- 4 teaspoons Almond Extract
- 4 Tablespoons of Amaretto Liqueur
- 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 6 cups + 1 Tablespoon of Almond Flour, not almond meal
- 1/2 C unsalted dry toasted almond slivers
- 2 oz Red Cherries, holiday fruit Pennant brand is what I use ground
- Topping Before Baking Ingredients
- 1/4 c of milled granulated sugar
- 1/4 c of Powdered Sugar
- 2 smaller shallow bowls for rolling in
- Mill your sugar (3 C + 1/4 C Finely Ground Sugar) in either a food processor or coffee mill to get that finely ground sugar
- Set aside, 1/4 C of sugar of the milled sugar for coating cookies before baking
- Now fill one bowl with the confectioner's sugar and then set it aside for coating cookies as well.
- In a food processor, chop/grind the cherries and set them aside.
- Preheat oven to 325° F
- Prepare baking trays with silicone baking mats.
- In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda, set aside.
- Large Mixing Bowl or Stand Mixer
- Combine egg whites* and cream of tarta
- Mix to stiff, without over-mixing.
- Once egg whites are stiff it's time to add in the other ingredients by hand.
- Fold in: sugar, salt, almond extract, Amaretto, and then the flour mixture.
- Using a rubber scraper initially to incorporate all ingredients.
- Next, fold in the almonds and the cherries and distribute evenly without over-mixing.
- Then create a mound.
- Using a teaspoon, create a scoop and place it in your hand, rolling to a 1" ball. (or use a cookie scoop)
- Take each ball and roll quickly and lightly through sugar mixtures.
- First into the very light milled sugar, then into the powdered sugar.
- Place each ball onto the tray, spacing about 1" apart and lightly pressing the ball into a slightly pressed cookie.
- Just lightly press on each, enough that the cookie will crack while baking.
- Place the tray on the bottom rack, and allow it to bake without OPENING the oven to prevent temperature loss.
- Bake for 20-24 minutes, the tops will crack further and may appear moist, but the bottoms will be just very lightly brown, take them out.
- Allow these amaretti to SIT On the silicone matted baking tray for at least 5 minutes to let them set up.
- *OPTIONAL: For those that prefer an all-crunchy cookie, let them bake 5 minutes past this timing.
- Next transfer cookies to the cooling tray for at least 15 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
- I doubt they will last that long.
*See blog post for egg tip
The batter for the cookies
You must whip the egg whites for about 7 minutes to get them to a peak.
Stiff, but not over-whipped is key to this recipe.
Yes, I did use alcohol, you do not have to use it in your recipe.
Sugar And Process for Italian Amaretti Cookies
Even as a pro-baker, I don't keep a powdery-like granulated sugar in my home.
Creating a powder-like sugar that I use for quick coating (the cookies I make) is important.
I make it on demand always for recipes and honestly, this is ONE you must try it on.
But I also use this sugar to make the cookie.
The result of this milled sugar is a lighter cookie.
Why? The milled longer sugar is powdery (not CONFECTIONER'S Powder) and that results in it dissolving more quickly.
Because there are just a few recipes that really need this (at least the ones I bake) and I can make my own and I do always.
Just toss the sugar amount you need into a coffee mill (that does not have any leftover taste or is reserved just for baking).
Alternatively, a food processor can do this.
You are taking the sugar from more granular to a more powder-like consistency and it's fast and easy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 11gSugar: 11g