If you find almonds irresistible, try some amaretti cookies. Chewy with a slightly crisp crust, these Italian almond macaroons make a perfect accompaniment to espresso drinks or a scoop of gelato. Since the amaretti cookies are made without flour or butter, they make an ideal treat for those with wheat or dairy allergies.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the almonds, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup of the sugar in the food processor and pulse until almonds are very finely chopped.
Beat the egg whites and the salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar into the egg white mixture and beat until the egg white peaks have become stiff.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the ground almond mixture along with the almond and vanilla extracts.
Lightly grease a baking tray or line the tray with parchment paper. Using your hands, roll the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon, leaving approximately 2 inches of space between the cookies.
Place the cookies in the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are golden around the edges (approximately 25 minutes). Rotate the positions of the cookie trays in the oven half way through the baking time.
Remove the cookie trays from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the trays. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely before enjoying.
Keep leftover cookies wrapped or stored in sealed containers. For the best texture and flavor, consume the cookies in under a week.
The leftover cookies can also be kept for several weeks in the freezer.
Use crumbled amaretti cookies as a topping for ice cream, chocolate mousse or panna cotta.