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Almonds, Romance & Gluten Free Amaretti

copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

What does Romance have in common with Almonds? In Ancient Rome, the tradition of giving almonds as favors to guests began. The almonds were coated with honey since sugar cane was not yet known at that time.

The traditional Italian amaretti  cookies are based mainly on almonds and are so delicious and  worth  not missing the taste experience, so I have created a recipe for those that have to eat gluten free. But they are so delicious anyone will love them. The traditioal amaretti cookie is made with lots of almonds which  provide loads of health benefits. Crush them and  they make  an excellent  topping for ice cream or mix with a little butter and use as a tasty, gluten free pie crust.

Soft Amaretti (Amaretti Morbidi)


(copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati;from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

1 lb of almonds peeled

2 cups sugar

3 egg whites

1 tablespoon potato starch

1 tsp almond flavoring

powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Finely chop almonds and mix with sugar and potato starch and vanilla. Beat egg whites and with a pinch of salt to firm peaks, add in almond mix and almond flavoring and mix. With small spoon form small balls of dough- the size of a walnut. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place amaretti on cookie sheet and let dry for 3 hours there. Then sprinkle with powdered sugar and place in oven preheated to 200 degrees for 30 minutes. 

 For more great recipes, get your copy of the Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Love in the Kitchen..

copyright 2010, art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc

by Maria Liberati

Eat like you Love with passion…make recipes that are easy but provide pleasure for cooking and eating… of my favorite and fuss free recipes is ‘chocolate salami’ -an uncomplicated but fun to make and eat dessert.

No it is not a meat dish… but it is a dessert and is meat free! And best of all quick and simple to prepare..but the secret is to use only the best ingredients..even in a simple dish like a chocolate salami.

chocolate salami 1

Take 3 ounces of bitter cocoa powder-use a good brand one that is at least 70% cocoa…place cocoa powder in a bowl and add in 2 whole eggs,4 tablespoons of sugar,1 ounce of unsalted butter-melted.Stir with a wooden spoon till well blended. As you are blending you will, be hypnotized by the fragrance of the cocoa and butter being melded together..mmm..enjoy the aroma and now crush an ounce of amaretti cookies and 2 ounces of biscotti into the chocolate mixture. Blend crushed cookies into the chocolate mixture with your hands…now place a little sample of yoru creation into your mouth, close yoru eyes and concentrate on the pure,intense taste..but what could be missing..some crushed nuts, perhaps a liqueur??brandy or a coffee liqueur?? Now add in and mix..

Place the mix onto a piece of parchment paper.Roll up into the shape of a salami. Massage it into form so that it forms a perfect compact salami shape.Cover with parchment paper, place in freezer for a few hours. Remove from freezer,remove parchment paper and slice..

All in all the chocolate salami should take no more than 30 minutes to make ..but will provide so  many hours of eating pleasure,..

Get more recipes in the award winning.. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions

Visit me at OpenSky

May 25th 11 AM-Re-release book signing at Book Expo America, Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC. First 100 visitors to the booth gets a free mini pre-release copy of the book.. Hope to see you there..

Quick Desserts with Amaretti

amaretti-farciti.pngThe Basic Art of Italian Cooking Kitchen has been busy working on many a recipe.  Although you may be tired of dessserts from the Holidays..if you have any leftover amaretti cookies here is a great way to turn them into a quick, elegant dessert or tea cookie…

Filled Amaretti Cookies

*24 soft amaretti cookies

*1/2 cup of  cold espresso coffee with 2 tsps of sugar added

*1 tblsp hazelnut liqueur

*1/4 cup of nutella

*1/4 cup of pinoli nuts

*1 tblsp of colored ‘jimmies’ or confetti

Place the liqueur in a soup dish, then add in the coffee. Immerge (for about 2 seconds) the amaretti cookies in teh liquid one by one, just enough to get them wet but not too wet. Place on a grate. Chop the pinoli nuts. Cut amaretti cookies in half and spread about 1 tsp of nutell on bottom half. Place on top half.

Take 2 small squares of parchment paper. Sprinkle one wiht chopped pinoli nuts. Sprinkle the other with colored ‘jimmies’. Roll 12 of the amaretti cookies in pinoli nuts and place in small mini cupcake cups. roll the other 12 amaretti in ‘colored jimmies’ and place in mini cupcake cups.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar.  Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

I will be travelling throughout Umbria Thursday through Monday for culinary programs and special events. Meeting with Borgo Fontanile in right outside of Orvieto  to make final plans for The Basic Art of Italian Cooking Boot Camp/ summer culinary program and tour in September. Borgo Fontanile has an organic farm right at the resort so it is always fun to be able to pick the organic ingredients right before we cook with them. This year we are planning to do the event right around grape harvest time so that all those that attend can be part of the wine making process as well.

I am also going to do an interview at  La Veranda right outside of the Medieval city of Todi..

So Stay tuned for some great recipes and videos upon my return….

For more great recipes get your copy of the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at

Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene,


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