Italian Almond Paste Cookies, also known as almond macaroons, are a soft, chewy, and highly addictive delight perfect for Christmas or Passover. Only four ingredients are required to make this flourless cookie recipe!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet, line with parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Use a hand mixer instead of stand mixer. Using a stand mixer makes the batter too runny.
In a medium bowl beat the egg whites until frothy and opague white.
Break up almond paste in smaller chunks and add to the beaten egg whites with sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined. Mix in the almond flour.
For best results, cover the dough and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or freeze for 30 minutes.
Use a small cookie scoop to portion out 1 inch balls, placing on prepared baking sheets about 1-2 inches apart. Dust balls with powdered sugar. If desired, gently press 2-3 almonds into the tops of the cookies.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until edges and bottoms start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes before transporting to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Important note about Almond paste
Almond paste can be purchased in the baking section of your grocery store. However, make sure you purchasing ALMOND PASTE and not almond filling, which is a different consistency and will not work in these cookies.For these cookies, I highly recommend using SOLO brand. Another popular brand, Odense will work, but the batter will be a little runny. To offset this, add an additional 1/4 cup almond flour, or until the dough becomes thick enough to scoop and hold shape.SOLO brand almond paste may also be purchased online through Amazon.
FREEZing / storing
Either freeze after baking and cooled, or portion out into balls and freeze before baking. If baking from frozen, a few minutes will have to be added to the baking time. Either baked or unbaked cookies may be frozen, well wrapped, up to three months. Once they have cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.If you need to store opened almond paste, wrap securely and store in the refrigerator up to three months or freeze up to six months.
Press sliced almonds in the tops and sprinkle with powdered sugar before baking
Drizzle melted chocolate over the tops and add sprinkles (Perfect for Christmas!)
Use your finger to form an indentation in the middle and add a halved maraschino cherry before baking
Dip half the cookie in melted chocolate for a "black and white"
After baking immediately make an indentation in the middle using a small spoon. Fill with Nutella or jam.
Note about original recipe:(12/21) I received a lot of reader comments about the batter being too runny. I discovered when using a stand mixer the dough becomes significantly thinner. I added the note about using a hand mixer instead, which helps the dough have a better consistency. A more significant change is the addition of almond flour. I also started to have problems with the batter consistency! I'm haven't found evidence that SOLO changed their almond paste formula, but something seems to have altered. Therefore, adding 1/2 cup almond flour brings the dough back to how it was when I originally posted the recipe, and yields great results. Without the almond flour, the cookies spread and become very thin and chewy. Also, originally the recipe made half the amount. Since the almond paste I recommend is now only sold in 8 ounce packages, I doubled the recipe to use the whole package.