Italian Amaretti Cookie’s

The original Italian Amaretti cookie calls for bitter almonds, which are unlawful for sale here in the United States. They have a bitter taste and are absolutely fine for digesting “when cooked”, but are known to be lethal and poisonous when uncooked. (so, beware if you smell a strong almond flavoring in your cup of tea 🙂 )
The bitter almond, though, is what is used when making almond extracts and other almond flavored liqueurs. That is why you will see many recipes for these delectable cookies floating around the Internet, which call for almond extract or flavorings instead of ground bitter almonds, or the apricot kernel which I use here. I personally love the taste of the underlying bitter flavor you get with bitter almonds. Without it the amaretti cookie tastes just like a sweet almond cookie, nothing really to write home about. Here I decided to use the next best thing, apricot kernels. (click on the link for a resource)

I was first introduced to apricot kernels six years ago when we had an illness in the family and it was prescribed to eat at least 10 apricot kernels a day to heal the infection. I did my research.. it was quite amazing! There are actual clinics abroad and in Mexico that uses the healing properties in the apricot seeds to cure various cancers. The vitamin is B17, which is not easily found except in certain fruit seeds, like the apricot kernel. It wasn’t easy to extract this kernel, you first have to take the apricot pit, and then crack that open and get the kernel, which is nestled inside. We did notice a quick healing, but in all I’m sure it was attributed to a total clean out and an intense organic lifestyle.. plus the apricot kernels. 🙂

This cookie is SO good.. the slight chewy texture along with the ground almonds and an “oh so slight’ bitter flavor makes this a perfect cookie choice!

Hope you enjoy!
Makes 20 cookies
1 3/4 cups blanched almonds
3 tablespoons bitter apricot kernels
1 cup superfine sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons egg whites (mix with a fork till frothy)
Turbinado Sugar for sprinkling on top
Grind the almonds, 2 Tablespoons super fine sugar and apricot kernels to a fine texture in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Mix the ground nuts and the remaining superfine sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add 3 tablespoons egg whites and mix until the dough is soft enough to be piped from a pastry bag but stiff enough to hold its shape.
Mix in the last tablespoon egg white, a bit at a time, if needed.
Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip.
Pipe 2 1/2-inch-wide rounds 1 1/2 inches apart  parchment-lined baking sheets and tap baking sheet on counter to flatten a bit.
Sprinkle a bit of turbinado sugar over the tops and let stand at room temperature 1 to 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 300°.
Bake until very light tan, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool on racks.
Store in airtight containers.