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Gluten-Free Treats: Soft Amaretti Biscuits

January 5, 2011

Happy New Year from Food Dorks!

We were lucky to receive a few gluten-free treats for Christmas including soft Amaretti Virginia biscuits in a beautiful spaghetti tin. Amaretti are Italian almond biscuits with a soft and chewy texture. They are sometimes flavoured with apricot kernels and honey. The biscuits are individually wrapped in colourful wax paper so they look like giant sweets. Amaretti are a new discovery for me and I was very surprised that there are gluten-free biscuits out there that I don’t know about!

I had spent a lot of pre-Christmas weeks daydreaming about Italian Christmas treats (especially panettone) but knowing that I wouldn’t be able to share any with the family since most are made with wheat flour. I had completely overlooked the fact that amaretti are safe for coeliacs.

I found them to have a subtle aniseed aftertaste but thought they were quite nice on their own. I’ve heard that Italians like to dip them in red wine or have them with espresso. Over the new year I heard Genarro Contaldo talking about crunching amaretti biscuits over chocolate desserts and thought that sounded like a great idea. I also remembered one of Nigella’s old trifle recipes included crumbled amaretti and thought I must be on to something so suggested to English Boy that he should crumble a little amaretti over his Worthingshaw’s vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. The result was absolutely delicious (although I’m sure it wouldn’t exactly be approved by an Italian). We’ll be stocking the cupboard with amaretti from now on. If you don’t like your biscuits to be too sweet I recommend amaretti for a gluten-free treat.

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