16 August 2011

Itty Bitty Almond Amaretto Cookies

Yesterday was Ferragosto here in Italy and if you aren't familiar with that particular holiday, just let me tell you, it is a " the end is nigh" kind of summer holiday that Italians celebrate in some form or fashion without fail. Most picnic or go to the seaside, get together with friends and bar-b-que, or head for the mountains only to find yourself stuck in the traffic with everyone else heading off to do something for this day. Some of our guests had that experience as they trundled off to the higher mountains to walk high up with the wildflowers and others gave up and pulled off to visit with us as they couldn't bear the tedium of being stuck in the traffic. Fortunately I hade some hazelnut cake left over from the night before to offer with coffee, but I worried that if we had many more visitors dropping in due to the holiday, I just might find myself with out something tasty to offer. Horrors of horrors. Just not comfortable for me as a baker, not to have a little something baked up to tempt and delight or just take the edge off around the edges of one's ferragosto holiday traffic jam. so what to make in a short amount of time? Why, itty bitty almond cookies that fit on an espresso cup's saucer, of course. This is such a simple recipe that you will be wondering why you haven't run across it before and what other combinations might work well. I must admit that my hazelnut and hazelnut liquor combo is my favorite, as I am a fool for hazelnuts, but the almond ones are a close second. I had something like these served to me one day on the side of my Cafe Macchiato served up in the cosy coffee nook in Volare, my favorite bookstore in Pinerolo. I immediately went home and started working on reproducing that treat and have been making variations ever since. Give it a go, as I think you'll find it's a fast and tasty treat along side any cup of coffee or tea and stays perfectly fresh for quite a while. I dare say they probably won't last long enough for you to find out exactly how long before they go stale.
Anyway, try this out, stash the cooled cookies in a tin for when you need a little pick me up to go with your afternoon "cup of pick me up". You'll be glad you did.

Itty Bitty Almond Amaretto Cookies 
Yields about 80 mini cookies
115g (1/2c) butter, room temp
100g (½ c) sugar, raw cane is my preferred sugar
1 egg
2 T amaretto 
140g (1c) all purpose flour
100g (1c) almond, lightly toasted and chopped into small pieces
Toast your almonds in the oven on a sheet pan until lightly toasted or in a heavy cast iron type pan shaking occasionally until they are evenly toasted.
Chop into pieces when cooled down
Place your butter in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together with the sugar until smooth and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix till smooth and then the amaretto and mix thoroughly.
Mix in your flour and then almonds making sure all is incorporated.
Drop the mixture by using two teaspoons.
I did rows of 5 across and 6 down or about 30 cookies per sheet tray.
Bake at 180*C/ 325*F for about 8 minutes or till lightly brown. 
Cool thoroughly before storing in an airtight container.


AdriBarr said...

What a terrific post. And I have to try the cookies. I just love those teeny tiny little bites. Except I always wind up eating twenty! They look like something I'd really enjoy. And the tin you have is a jewel. Congrats.

Bella Baita Marla said...

Thanks Adri, I just love the itty bittyness of them, but I'm like you and have to stop from devouring them. I had a guest once that pretty much polished off the whole tin at one sitting. I was astonished.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

We love Amaretto Cookies . I think I might have to try and make some :-) I also have to stop myself!!

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