Martha Collison's Amaretti biscuits

There is a stall at Borough Market in London that sells legendary doughnuts, but I recently branched out and tried one of their perfectly dusted, aptly named ‘Amaretti di Southwark’. Sticky like marzipan and a far cry from artificial, crunchy impostors; I knew from the moment I tried these, walking along the southern bank of the River Thames, that they would be a firm favourite and that I had to come up with my own version. Be sure to coat the biscuits liberally in icing sugar so they crack properly in the oven. They make great gifts.


2 egg whites 150g caster sugar
175g ground almonds
1 tbsp amaretto liqueur (or a few drops of almond  extract)
Icing sugar, to dust


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3 and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.

2. Put the egg whites in a large, clean grease-free bowl and whisk with an electric hand-held whisk or manual balloon whisk until stiff peaks form. Be warned that whisking them by hand will take considerably more time and effort!

3. Gently fold the sugar, almonds and amaretto liqueur or almond extract into the mixture, until a thick paste forms.

4. Roll the mixture into small balls using your hands, then coat each ball liberally in icing sugar – you should make about 30 biscuits – and place them on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 15–20 minutes until golden brown and cracked on top. The biscuits will keep well, stored in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.


Bake miniature amaretti biscuits to use as decorations for cakes or cute snacks by rolling tiny balls of the mixture. Bake in the same way as above, reducing the cooking time to 10 minutes.

Recipe taken from Crave by Martha Collison, HarperCollins, 2017.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Makes: about 30 biscuits

4 stars

Average user rating Based on 21 ratings

This recipe was first published in Tue May 23 15:23:43 BST 2017.