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Pistachio Amaretti

Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes 32 cookies

These cookies are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and a subtle shade of green all over. Pistachios are grown in Sicily, so it’s traditional for Sicilians to make amaretti with them instead of almonds. If you can’t find skinned pistachios, removing the peels is a bit of a chore, but worth it to get pure pistachio taste. These cookies are not as crisp as store-bought, but baking them longer will make them crisper.


  • 7-1/2 oz. shelled unsalted pistachios, preferably skinned (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per cookie
  • Calories (kcal) : 70
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 25
  • Fat (g): 3
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 0
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 2


  • Place the pistachios and sugar in a food processor. Process until the nuts are very finely ground but not pasty, 30 to 60 seconds.
  • With the motor running, pour in the egg whites and almond extract. Process until the mixture balls up around the blade and then relaxes into a thick, sticky paste, about 30 seconds. It should be thick enough to scoop with a spoon.
  • Line two large baking sheets with parchment, and coat the parchment with cooking spray.
  • Using 2 teaspoons, drop heaping spoonfuls of the paste in mounds onto the baking sheets (about 2 teaspoons per mound), leaving 2 inches of space between (about 16 per baking sheet). Smooth and round out the tops with lightly moistened fingers, but don’t press down or flatten the mounds. Let sit, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F.
  • Bake the amaretti, one sheet at a time, until they are just set on top and beginning to color, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let cool completely.
  • Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar. The amaretti will keep for 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature.


If the pistachios have skins on them, place them in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for 4 minutes, then drain. Wrap the nuts in a clean kitchen towel and roll them back and forth to loosen the skins, then finish skinning them by hand.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • david344 | 09/13/2019

    pistachio very tasty

  • MVares | 03/31/2018

    These cookies are heavenly. So simple (made in the food processor with one bowl so just one bowl to clean !) yet so delicious. Each time I’ve made and shared them, people ask for the recipe. I’ve made them several times and skip the pistachio peeling. I also don’t wait for an hour before placing them in the oven and they still turn out beautifully. Beginning to end, including baking it takes about 30 mins.

  • Drew4412 | 12/07/2016

    I made these for Xmas presents last year and am doing again this year. They are delicious. I had no problem with the recipe working as published. My only caveat is a repeat of the recipe's warning that removing the pistachio peels is a royal pain. Do it a day or so ahead so you've recovered when it's time to bake.

  • Justjim1 | 12/13/2015

    Lovely idea, but I wonder if the recipe was tested? Something was definitely missing. Followed exactly but did not turn out, didn't spread like photo but there's nothing in the recipe to let it spread. I should have studio a tried and true America's Test Kitchen recipe. So disappointed.

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