1 7-ounce tube almond paste (See Note Below)
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 (2 oz.) cup pine nuts
1. Using your fingertips, crumble the almond paste into a medium bowl until it is as fine as you can get it (within reason). Add the egg whites. Using a handheld electric mixer at low speed, beat until the mixture is well combined. Add the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until smooth.
2. Using a rounded teaspoon for each, roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on a large nonstick cookie sheet (or line a regular cookie sheet with parchment paper). Press the pine nuts into each cookie to cover. Set aside, uncovered at room temperature for 4 hours.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300°F. Bake until the cookies are deep golden brown and the pine nuts are lightly toasted, about 40 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely (The cookies can be prepared up to 3 weeks ahead, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)
Note: Almond paste, made from ground almonds and sugar, is available at specialty food shops and many supermarkets. Do not confuse it with marzipan, which is prepared with ground almonds and syrup, and has a softer consistency and sweeter flavor.
Tip: Make Ahead: The cookies must stand at room temperature for 4 hours before baking. The cookies can be prepared up to 3 weeks ahead, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 2 dozen amaretti cookies.
Date: October 6, 2002