These clementine amaretti biscuits are traditionally very crunchy on the outside and chewy and a bit marzipany in the middle. They are really easy to make and are gluten and dairy free. They are perfect at Christmas for your guests or as gifts in little bags tied with a ribbon. I serve them with coffee at the end of a meal instead of making a dessert, or after dessert.
2 cups ground almonds
2 egg whites
1 cup of golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
1 teaspoon of orange extract (I got mine in Sainsbury’s)
1 pinch of salt
the zest of three to four clementines or the zest from an orange
a teaspoon of orange food colouring (I used Dr Oetka from Sainsbury’s)
a small bowl of icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c/350f and prepare a largish baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. In a large bowl, mix the caster sugar, salt and almonds till thoroughly mixed together.
In another big bowl bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then stir in the almond extract, clementine or orange zest, food colouring and the vanilla extract.
Tip the dry ingredients into the whisked egg white mixture and mix with a wooden spoon till you start to get a dough. Tip it out onto a board and knead a tiny bit till it firms up. Take roughly a tablespoon of the dough and roll it into a ball between your palms, then gently roll it in the icing sugar till coated all over then place on the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the mixture leaving a little gap between them on the tray for expansion during baking. My lovely friend Valentina who owns her own little hotel in Sicily called Cielo di Taormina in Taormina told me she bakes my recipe with a slice of candied fruit on top as is the tradition in Italy.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them, the longer you bake them the crunchier they get, place on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.