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This gluten-free amaretti recipe (from taste.com.au) looked almost too easy to be true – egg whites, almond meal, caster sugar and vanilla – simply stirred together, shaped and baked.  These aren’t the light, crisp amaretti that we used in Dorie’s Fifteen Minute Torte, but rather the chewy, marzipanny ones that you buy at Italian cafés. No mixer required, although you do need a strong wooden spoon – I managed to snap mine while stirring the mix together.

1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F (with fan).

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir the almond meal, sugar, egg whites and vanilla together – mix with a wooden spoon or a clean hand until the ingredients are well combined.  At first, the mixture will appear too dry, but keep mixing and you’ll end up with a moist dough.

3. Roll into 2.5cm/1″ balls (about 2 teaspoonfuls of mix), place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and flatten each ball slightly.  You should end up with about 70 cookies. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly browned (don’t overcook).  Cool briefly on trays and then transfer to a wire rack to allow to cool completely.

There’s something about marzipan that just so Christmassy – pack them in little cellophane bags or origami boxes for gifts, or simply keep a supply on hand for when friends drop around for coffee!

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