Chocolate amaretti cookies

It is well-documented that I love almond paste and making cookies with it.  It is just a quick way to chewy-cookie heaven, with a pungent dose of aromatic almond flavor thrown into the bargain.
I was watching Giada De Laurentiis make chocolate amaretti cookies on her show the other day and turns out, it's the almond paste (or "macaroon") cookies I make all the time, with a dose of cocoa thrown in.  Sounds great!  Of course, I need to make a chocolate version of my favorite chewy almond cookies so I got right into the kitchen to do just that.
Giada uses a food processor but I made these cookies in the stand mixer like I usually do because the mixer is sitting right on my kitchen counter whereas the heavy food processor is wedged into a corner of the pantry downstairs.  

It works out just fine whichever equipment you use.  It's just a matter of breaking down the almond paste with some sugar and dark cocoa in this case.  Egg whites bind the whole thing together, without the need for any flour in these recipes.  You could add some orange zest if you like but I kept it as is.  I had a vague concern that the cocoa might mask the almond flavor too much so I tossed in a few drops of almond extract; turns out, that wasn't really necessary but a little extra almond insurance doesn't hurt as long as you don't go overboard.  
I topped the cookies with a sprinkle of coarsely chopped sliced almonds for a little bit of crunch without using more sugar.  These cookies are naturally sweet but they do beg for a little decoration on top.  And I can tell you these chocolate amaretti cookies were delicious, being the familiar almond paste cookies I know and love.  You've got a ton of sticky chewiness in every bite.  The edges are just a little crisp giving way to a very chewy center.  The cocoa or chocolate flavor is actually not very strong.  I think it nicely tempers some of the sweetness of the almond paste and gives you a hint of cocoa but while they look dark and chocolaty, the almond flavor and chewy texture remain the star of the show.  I'm very good with that.

When I make almond paste cookies like these, I just try to be patient and let the mixer break up the almond paste as much as possible (Giada's way of using the food processor definitely makes sense if you prefer that route).  Once the almond paste, sugar, and cocoa mixture gets crumbly, you can gradually add the egg whites and mix until it comes together in a very sticky paste.
I like to use a small ice cream scoop that's just a bit over 1 tablespoon in measure. That way, you should get 2 dozen of these cookies following the recipe (for a quick nibble, I often divide the recipe in half for an even dozen to munch on with my family).  
You want to bake these until they just puff up, feel set, start to crack on the surface but are still soft in the center.  Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet over a wire rack before removing the cookies.  If you try to remove them too soon, the bottoms will stick.
These types of almond paste cookies are some of my favorite things.  I love to grab a few as a treat in the evenings.  If you like chewy cookies and almonds, these are so wonderful.

Recipe

Chocolate Amaretti Cookies
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

- Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies - 

7 ounces almond paste (I prefer the canned variety)
1 scant cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch-processed)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Rounded 1/4 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped for topping

Place oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper.

Break almond paste into small pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer (alternatively, you can use a food processor).  Add sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Beat on medium-speed until mixture is crumbly - this could take 2-3 minutes.  Gradually add the egg whites, vanilla, and almond extract if using, beating until a smooth and sticky dough comes together.  

Use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure to drop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, setting cookies about 2 inches apart.  Top cookies with a sprinkle of the chopped sliced almonds, pressing down lightly.

Bake cookies for about 12-14 minutes, or until puffed and just beginning to crack on the surface but still soft in the center.  Remove and place baking sheets onto wire racks.  Let cookies cool completely before removing from the baking sheets (otherwise, the bottoms will stick).  

Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.







36 comments:

  1. Lucky me having all the ingredients for these wonderful cookies! Chocolate and almonds are super together in baked goods. This recipe sound quite easy and quick and the result is marvelous, Monica.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally...I love chocolate and almonds (most nuts) together! These are so easy to make and guaranteed to be good if you like a chewy cookie.

      Delete
  2. Those look awesome! I love almond treats, these chocolate cookies sound like a great use of the flavor :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The almond paste is just a great shortcut - great flavor and you get such a moist and chewy texture.

      Delete
  3. I could definitely use a few of these cookies right now! They look so delicious and chewy cookies are always the key to my heart! The chocolate and almond combination sound just perfect and I love the simple but pretty almond slices on top! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was just something about that dark cocoa giving these an edge. I love grabbing my almond paste and making these cookies - quick and always satisfying. Now, I'll be tossing in cocoa every so often.

      Delete
  4. Wow! These are gorgeous! My favourite cookies and then you added chocolate to them. Need I say more?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to know you like these too. Love these simple almond paste cookies so much! The cocoa makes a big visual impact, not a huge taste impact but it does add a little something that makes them captivating somehow...

      Delete
  5. "Stores up to 3 days" who needs three days! You knew this would speak to me and I guess you made these just for me! Do you need my address? Seriously - they sound wonderful and I have to try the cocoa almond paste combo - yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true...I have to pace myself not to wipe them out in a few bites. I do think of you when I think almond paste/almond desserts, Tricia! You are a woman after my own heart. :)
      And come now...given that you are a way better baker than I am, I feel no need to send you some. You would do a far better job yourself in the kitchen and don't deny it! : ) xo

      Delete
  6. I've made amaretti cookies before but never thought of making a chocolate version! This looks sooooo delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here...I make these all the time and usually just switch up the toppings - almonds, pine nuts, candied cherries...The cocoa powder is a great addition.

      Delete
  7. What gorgeous little treats. I love almonds in anything :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here...glad you like them. : )

      Delete
  8. Simply damn delicious, i think i can finish the whole batch myself, lol
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could chow down a lot, too...but had to learn restraint in the last handful of years. ; )

      Delete
  9. Chocolate? Almonds? Cookies? And chewy? Yes please! That is a match made in heaven. I just made green tea ones the other day and so totally addictive, must make a chocolate version now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Green tea ones!! That's another I haven't made. Love that! My sister would especially enjoy it.

      Delete
  10. Someone once told me that marzipan paste was the secret to tasty baked goods! I can see how good these would be Monica :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally can believe that, Lorraine! I've been craving some cinnamon buns with almond paste again, and I have to make some soon. I just love pastries with it.

      Delete
  11. Chocolate and almonds are such a good combination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you. I almost bought a chocolate bar with almonds this morning...until I realized I already eat a ton of chocolate and almonds (together and separate) but it never gets old for me. : )

      Delete
  12. I love the aroma (and the flavour) of almonds too. These cookies sound amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the aroma from almond paste or almond extract - it's intoxicating! haha

      Delete
  13. I know it's not the point, but I want to say, you have such lovely dishes and linens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I wish that was true! Honestly, I have my usual handful of "props", which are just dishes I use at home because I realized early on in blogging that for me, it's not worth trying to invest in a bunch of dishes and things. That said, I often see a plate here or there and use the blog as an excuse to get it! My husband will see something and actually tell me to get it, I can use it for the blog. : )

      Delete
  14. Chewy cookies are the absolute best! And I love this chocolate version of amaretti cookies! You know how much I love anything almond ... I feel like I would blow through these super fast!! :) We finally got cable back a few months ago after getting rid of it for a long time ... and I still have yet to see a Giada episode ... and now I really want to haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to control myself around treats like these. It's not easy... : )
      I remember when we lost power a couple of years ago and we lost phone/cable for about 2 weeks and I almost went nuts! I had to watch Nigella Lawson episodes on my phone after a while to get my 'fix'. I watch Giada out of habit. She's great in general but I wish she'd switch up her show...it's been the same for a lot of years now...

      Delete
  15. I too love almond paste...and love the idea of chocolate and almond paste...and chewy...looks delicious Monica...
    Thanks for sharing the recipe...have a great week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almond paste is like a short cut or secret ingredient to so much dessert/pastry goodness, Juliana! : ) Hope you're having a good week!

      Delete
  16. Chocolate and amaretti in the same cookie, oh my it is going to be difficult to have self control around these delicious bites. Love the addition of nuts on top and they are so pretty. Pinning and sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It's a good little nibble to make once in a while. I always keep almond paste on hand in case the craving hits. : )

      Delete
  17. Yummm, how perfect! A chocolate version of delicious amaretti cookies (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They taste practically like the plain kind but something about that color makes me feel it's better. haha

      Delete
  18. These look so delicious, Monica! I'm a huge fan of almond anything too, so I can just imagine how wonderful these are. So lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cynthia. Almond flavored treats are very easy to like, aren't they! : )

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...