Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mamma!

Buon Compleanno, Mamma!

Oggi è il compleanno della mia mamma. Felicity ed io abbiamo deciso di fare i biscotti per lei. Abbiamo fatto i amaretti, i biscotti italiani di mandorla, e sono stati deliziosi! Ecco la ricetta che abbiamo usato.

Today is my Mamma's birthday. Felicity and I decided to make cookies for her. We made Amaretti, Italian almond cookies, and they were delicious! Here's the recipe that we used.

Italian Almond Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups blanched whole almonds (about 12 ounces), plus 15 for garnishing
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets, then line with parchment paper.

In food processor, combine 2 1/4 cups almonds and 1/3 cup sugar. Process until finely ground, scraping down sides once or twice. Set aside.

In electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at high speed until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Return speed to high and beat mixture until stiff, shiny peaks form. Gently fold in ground almond mixture and almond and vanilla extracts.

Roll mixture into 1-inch balls, place 2 inches apart on baking sheets, and flatten slightly. Top each with an almond. Bake until cookies are golden, switching positions of pans halfway through, about 25 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Cookies keep, wrapped, several days, or frozen, several weeks. Recrisp in warm oven.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

La ricetta viene con una leggenda, è molto interessante!
The recipe even comes with a legend, it's very interesting!


According to legend, in the early 1700s, a Milanese bishop made a surprise visit to the town of Saronno in Lombardy. A young couple paid tribute to the bishop by welcoming him with their unique homemade cookies, made from crushed apricot kernels and almonds, egg whites, and sugar. The bishop so loved the cookies that he blessed the couple, and the recipe became a local favorite.

Today, bakeries throughout the region, and in Italian communities around the world, carry amaretti di Saronno, but it's worth the (small) effort to make them yourself. The recipe is simple, and fresh from the oven, they have a crisp-yet-tender texture that's beyond compare.

Alla mia madre piacevano i biscotti molto, e lei ha detto che sono stati la sorpresa perfetto per il compleanno!

My Mamma really liked the cookies, and she said they were the perfect birthday surprise!



  1. Happy Birthday! :) I'm sure the cookies are good! :) Hey Livia, maybe you will become a baker when you grow up! :)

  2. Happy Birthday! You and Felicity are so pretty. Those cookies looked really good, yum! You did a great job on them. I'm not a very good cook :P


  3. Mmm, those cookies look very yummy! You and Felicity must be good cooks to make those from scratch. I think it'd be fun to try, except I don't think we have a food processor (unless that's like a blender?) and we don't have a mixer, or eggs or sugar or almonds or vanilla or...well, anything, I guess. Except the salt. :-( Happy birthday to your mamma!

  4. Those cookies look delicious! Tell your mom to have a nice birthday, from me :)


  5. Those sound and look delicious! Happy birthday to your mamma! Hope she enjoyed it. =)

  6. Yum! Your mum was lucky to get such a tasty birthday surprise.

  7. oh YUM! I wish I was eating it right now......Thanks for the recipe! I've never commented here and I think I should formally introduce myself. I'm Mara Emma BLume! I hope that we can be friends :)

  8. Livia! I couldn't find your blog for so long! My mom made those cookies for our family once...blech. I didn't like the taste, but I hope your mom did! I guess I don't like pecans!