After a feast of rich foods for Christmas it is time for something a little lighter, I am sure. To that end I decided to make some amaretti biscuits, which I have done before, but this time I wanted to flavour them with lemon.
Amaretti are a delicious biscuit, nice and chewy and simply made with sugar, ground almonds and egg whites. The addition of some lemon flavour gives these a different, but equally delicious, flavour. Although I used some limoncello in mine, as i had a bottle opened, lemon juice will work just as well. It might impart slightly more flavour too, but a lot of the flavour also comes from the inclusion of lemon zest. I used the zest from too good sized lemons, but the amount can be varied according to taste, and to the size of the lemons. More zest means more lemon flavour and will not affect the texture of the biscuits.
Mine turned out very well indeed, they were rolled in a both caster and icing sugar to create a slightly crunchy exterior and the icing sugar looked great as the biscuits cracked during baking. They certainly tasted very good indeed. This is a delightful, and light, treat for after all the Christmas celebration food.
- 300g(3 cups) ground almonds
- 225g(1 cup + 2 tbsp) caster or granulated sugar
- 3 medium egg whites(large in USA)
- 22 1/2 ml(1 1/2 tbsp) limoncello or lemon juice
- Zest from 2 to 3 lemons, finely grated
- 50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 65g(1/2 cup) icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/325 F
- Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk to fairly firm peaks(but not too stiff), adding a little sugar to aid the stiffening.
- Add the limoncello/lemon juice and whisk to combine.
- Add the lemon zest to the almonds and stir with a fork to mix in.
- Add the remainder of the 225g of sugar into the egg whites.
- Add the ground almonds to the egg whites too.
- Gently fold those dry ingredients into the egg whites until you have a thick paste.
- Take heaped spoons full, about 27g in weight and form into 24 balls.
- Roll each ball in caster sugar and then in icing sugar and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between each to allow for a little flattening and spreading.
- Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, then carefully check the underside of one biscuit to see if it has started to turn a more golden colour.
- Remove from the oven and leave on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.