Low-carb amaretti biscuits

Low-carb almond biscuits - amarettiAmaretto biscuit is the laid-back, unpretentious Italian cousin of the French macaron. Both are made with ground almonds and egg whites, but amaretto’s texture is infinitely easier to achieve – especially when baking without sugar, which is of course what we will be doing.
Ground almonds (also called almond flour) are a staple of low-carb baking, so this recipe is an obvious one to adapt. Amaretti should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They make a very satisfying low-carb dessert.
Almond flour on its own doesn’t actually taste of almond – I think this is one of the reasons why it is so popular. However, this recipe specifically calls for almond flavour, so we will need to add that in using almond extract, flavouring or liqueur.

Origins of amaretti

You have probably heard of Amaretto Disaronno liqueur (which is traditionally also used for in this biscuits recipe). Both the drink and the biscuits come from Saronno town in Lombardy, Italy.
The legend goes that the recipe was invented by a young couple in Saronno, who wanted to give a gift to a visiting cardinal, but were too poor to buy anything. So they came up with this biscuits recipe which used simple local ingredients. Apparently the cardinal loved the biscuits so the recipe became famous as a result.

So will we be using Amaretto liqueur today?

Amaretto Disaronno is a wonderful dessert drink, but unfortunately, it does include some added burnt sugar. It is possible to use almond extract instead, which is what I recommend if you are on a strict low-carb diet.
However, only 1 tbsp of the liqueur would be required, so if you do happen to have a bottle of Amaretto in the house, do use that and add 2g of carbs to the overall net carbs count provided below. The extra carbs amount per 1 biscuit would be negligible.

Beating the eggs to firm peaks

If you are an experienced baker, this will be very easy. If you are a baking beginner and haven’t tried this technique before, it is worth spending five minutes to do some research and find out how to do it properly. There are plenty of articles and videos on YouTube which explain the process. It is actually easy – but only when you know how.
My top tips are to use eggs at room temperature and to ensure that the bowl and the whisk are completely clean and free of oil. You can also try adding a tiny pinch of salt or cream of tartar.

Low-carb amaretti biscuits

Low-carb amaretti biscuits
Low-carb version of classic Italian biscuits, made with ground almonds and egg whites

Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min
Yield: 20 small biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups (150g / 5oz) of ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp  Truvia or similar granulated sweetener
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp almond extract (or 1 tbsp Amaretto Disaronno liqueur)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3
  • Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks
  • Mix almond flour and Truvia together
  • Add almond flour / Truvia mix into the eggs (I do it using a tablespoon, one by one)
  • Add almond extract and mix well
  • Line a baking tray with greased baking paper
  • Spoon out the mixture onto the tray and shape small round biscuits
  • Alternatively, you can roll little balls with your hands, flatten them and place on the baking tray
  • Leave a bit of space between the biscuits, as they will expand slightly
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden
  • Ideally, cool completely before eating, as the texture gets more authentic (crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside)

Nutritional information

Serving size: 1 biscuit (assuming 20 small biscuits are made from the amounts listed above)
Per biscuit: 51 calories, 0.5g net carbs, 4g fat, 2g protein

Recipe by , published on

 

Cookbooks for low-carb baking and desserts

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Low-carb amaretti biscuits, sugar-free, gluten-free
 

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19 comments on “Low-carb amaretti biscuits

  1. I just made theses. Pretty good! My only question is how do you get 20 cookies out of this recipe? I was barely able to make 20 cookies and they were bite size!

    1. Hi, I am glad they turned out well 🙂 Regarding the size – indeed, amaretti are traditionally quite small – to be eaten in 1-2 bites. Much smaller than our standard cookies in the USA or UK. If you like them bigger, then no problem, you can use the same quantities for bigger cookies, just increase the baking time a little. They might turn out a bit softer in the middle – which might be quite nice.

  2. I have made these twice and will be making them again momentarily. I follow the recipe exactly and they taste oh so yummy dipped into my hot cup of coffee! They remind me of the animal crackers my mom used to make when we were young. Small, crunchy and a hint of sweetness. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. If I were to not use the sweetener and almond extract, added a little more almond flour and a sprinkle of salt to each round, would they be more like a cracker flavor/texture? I am really missing a crunchy cracker type item for a snack.

  4. I made these today but skipped the truvia and added a couple of spoons of amaretto. Not sure if my oven was too low because the biscuits stayed flat and just gold around the edges. I have a fan oven and used 150. They needed to be sweeter so I melted some dark chocolate to sprinkle on top.
    Any ideas as to why they didn’t expand?

    1. Hi Kerry,
      One important point to note when making substitutions in baking is the balance between dry and wet ingredients. Truvia is a dry ingredient, adding bulk to the texture as well as sweetness. Using amaretto instead is not equivalent – it is a wet ingredient, so the texture would be affected. Maybe try adding more almond flour to compensate?
      The sweetness component in Amaretto is not the same as in Truvia – there is more actual sugar (=carbs), but less of sweet taste.
      Have you used tablespoons or teaspoons? If using tablespoons, you would definitely need to watch out for carbs – Amaretto does contains real sugar. If you add several tablespoons, it begins to add up.
      So I would definitely recommend using Truvia, or a similar zero-calorie granulated sweetener.
      Hope this helps. Good luck!

    1. Hi, I haven’t tried it but I am sure that would be fine. They might come out more moist. Also, calories and carb counts would be higher – you would have to recalculate the provided nutritional info.

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