Every time I order espresso at a bar or restaurant I move over those cute little cookies it comes with to P. Biscotti di Amaretto or Amaretti are Italian cookies that are made with Amaretto and egg whites. The next time I order some espresso I am going to hand over those cookies to P. and replace them with my own. If you want to do the same, here is the recipe.
As I said, usually these contain eggwhites which make the cookies – that are very similar to macaroons in texture – light and crunchy. I think the best way to imitate this texture is to use a combination of starches like corn or tapioca starch, silken tofu and soy flour. When I started experimenting with these I left those ingredients out (using soy pudding instead of tofu) and the result was a light but too soft cookie which also didn’t have the cracked surface the original versions have.
My second batch already came out perfect, but I tried a third version. This time the cookies came out too soft again, so I stick with the second one. The first and the third version didn’t have soy flour in them, so this seems to be the most important ingredient (next to the silken tofu which adds the fluffiness).
When making this cookie it is important to make it small. This helps the crunchy texture a lot. I used a pastry bag and piped the batter onto a baking sheet and after experimenting a bit I think that they shouldn’t be bigger than two centimetres in diameter. (0.8 inch – If you go for one inch that will still be fine)
I made these without almonds, getting the flavour from the Amaretto and bitter almond extract. If you would like to have some ground almonds in them, feel free to replace some of the flour with it.
Biscotti di Amaretto (makes 90 – yes why, these are small!)
1/4 cup silken tofu
75 g (1/2 cup + 2 T) granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower seed oil)
80 g (1/2 cup + 2 T)whole wheat flour
25 g tapioca starch (3 T)
1 t baking powder
2 T Amaretto
3/4 of a small bottle (1/2 t) bitter almond flavouring essence*
1 T soy flour
*These flavouring essences are a common ingredient here in Germany, they are made from oil and flavourings or extracts. You could substitute pure almond extract, but I can’t tell you how much you would need as these pure extracts aren’t very common here in Germany. [So far I’ve only seen vanilla] But I think it would be in the range of 1/2 to 1 t
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a blender combine tofu, oil, sugar, and almond essence and blend until creamy.
In a bowl combine the dry ingredients, mix and add wet to dry. Mix until no lumps are left. (I usually use a hand-held mixer for this)
Fill a pastry bag (fitted with a decorating tip of your choice) with the batter and pipe small amounts onto the baking sheet. try to make them not larger than 2 cm. (0.8 inch. If you go for an inch that will be fine too) Bake for 7-9 minutes until golden brown and try to check them often as they might burn soon due to their size. Let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container. Their taste improves over the course of a day, so try to be patient before you have your espresso with some of your own, vegan Biscotti di Amaretto.