Amaretti make me go back in time when I was a kid and my grandma from Sardegna will bake this cookies. I can still picture her in the kitchen and my grandfather busy in a smaller room next to the kitchen, that will open to the garden, cracking almonds for amaretti. Grandma will collect the almonds, dry them in the oven for few minutes and then ground them.
By the time the almonds were ready she will great lemon zest and beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Then the magic will begin, she will combine sugar, almonds and lemon zest and then she will start slowly adding the egg whites.
At that point my grandfather will have sliced in half other almonds to put on top of the amaretti before baking.
My grandma will say that the mixture should be a thick paste but still sticky and if by any chance you will be able to find real bitter almond than you will be able to make the perfect Amaretti.
Baking was done at medium high temperature to give the time to the amaretti to expand and crack a bit on top…I still remember the aroma of almonds lingering in the house. The end result was just amazingly good. As you see Amaretti is a work of magic and love.