---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
  
       Title: Amaretti Cookies # 2
  Categories: Cookies
       Yield: 42 servings
  
     1/2 lb Canned almond paste
       1 c  Sugar
       2 lg Egg whites
            Granulated sugar
            For dusting
  
     PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 375F. Break the almond paste into small pieces and
   combine it with the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low
   speed until very fine. Add egg whites in 4 additions, mixing about 1 minute
   between each. Beat the paste until very smooth, about 2-to-3 minutes.
     Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tube with the mixture.
   Line 2 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper. Pipe the
   mixture on the paper in 1-to-1 1/2-inch mounds, about 1-inch apart. Fold a
   clean kitchen towel into a long strip and moisten the towel with water.
   Squeeze lightly to eliminate excess water, leaving the towel more than
   damp. Slap the surface of the Amaretti gently with the towel to moisten
   them and make the surface smooth. Sprinkle the Amaretti with granulated
   sugar. Bake about 15-to-20 minutes, until they are well risen, a deep
   golden color, and their surface is covered with tiny cracks. Remove from
   the oven and place the pans on racks to cool. To remove the Amaretti from
   the papers, turn the papers over with the Amaretti still adhering to them
   and wet the papers with hot water, using a brush. Leave a few minutes, then
   pull on the papers to release the Amaretti.
     HERE ARE 2 VARIATIONS OF AMARETTI: Amaretti di Pinoli: After moistening
   the piped Amaretti, strew them with pine nuts, sprinkling them on heavily,
   then pressing lightly with the fingertips so that the pine nuts adhere. Do
   not dust with sugar. Bake as for the Amaretti. Fior di Mandorla: This
   variation of Amaretti is popular in Southern Italy and Sicily, where the
   mixture is sometimes colored green or pink during the mixing. Their rough,
   craggy appearance is a nice contrast to the smoothness of the standard
   Amaretti.
     Prepare the Amaretti, up to, and including, moistening them with the
   towel. Dust heavily with confectioners' sugar and allow the piped mixture
   to dry at room temperature, uncovered, at least 12 hours, or overnight.
   After they have dried, indent each of the piped mounds with the thumb,
   first and middle fingers of one hand, positioning them equidistant around
   the circumference, and pinching gently inward, about half way into the
   center. Bake the Fior di Mandorla at 375F, about 15-to-20 minutes. Cool and
   loosen the Fior di Mandorla as for the Amaretti.
     NICK MALGIERI - PRODIGY GUEST CHEFS COOKBOOK
  
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