These Italian 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. I love adore pistachios and I serve them with coffee at the end of a meal instead of making a dessert, or after dessert. They are dense and rich and you only need a couple. Perfect at Christmas and you can give them as gifts in little bags tied with a ribbon.
1 cups ground almonds
1 cup of ground pistachios (I grind them in my food processor until they are a fine powder)
2 egg whites
1 cup of golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
1 pinch of salt
optional, a dash of green food colouring (I use Squires Kitchen in mint green)
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, pistachios 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, green food colouring and the vanilla extract.
Tip the dry ingredients into the whisked egg whites 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.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, oven temperatures vary, and depending on how crunchy you like them, the longer you bake them the crunchier they get, place on a cooling rack. Best eaten the same day or store in an airtight container.