Amaretti di Saronno are wonderful little amaretti cookies.There are many different brands of amaretti cookies, but these are the best. They are made by the Lazzaroni family and the original recipe from 1718 is still used today. They are so simply made from sugar, egg whites and apricot kernels.The Lazzaroni packaging makes them extra special. In small quantities, they come in a lovely red box and inside, 2 tiny round cookies are placed end to end and wrapped in paper.
When you unwrap this paper, it feels like you are unwrapping a little gift. And you are. Each cookie is small, slightly dome shaped, light brown in color and has small sugar crystals garnishing the top. They are hard and crunchy with a nutty, slightly apricot flavor and just a hint of spice. Larger quantities are available in a collectible, reusable tin that bears the same decoration as the small box. There are many ways to enjoy these cookies. Italians typically eat these with fine wine, especially a dessert wine, like a Vin Santo or with caf√© and cappuccino. They also make a great topping for gelato or ice cream, when crushed. An alternative, albeit modern way to use them is to crush and sprinkle them over the top of pasta, to add another depth of flavor and crunch. Look for these cookies in your local Italian market, gourmet food store or on line. I have also seen them at the food sections of my local TJ Maxx, Home Goodsand Marshalls. They make excellent gifts, especially around the holidays… or as an alternative to wine as a hostess gift when invited to dinner with friends. How do you use them?