Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes
Makes: 28 to 30 cookies
Passover is a holiday celebrated by people of the Jewish faith. It celebrates the great exodus of the freed Jews from Egypt in the late 13th century BC. Passover deals with the last of 10 plagues that God sent over Egypt. He sent the plagues to soften the heart of the pharaoh to free the Jews. But Ramesses II was not to be softened. So the plague with the hardest blow came at the end – on a certain night God was to strike the first-born male child in every Egyptian home.
Moses was ordered by God to instruct the Jewish people to kill an unblemished lamb and to cover the post and lintel of the doorway with the lamb’s blood. “… the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you and the plague shall not be on you ….” Exodus 12:13.
Ramesses II’s first born died. This is when pharaoh finally decided to let Moses’ people go.
The Jewish people left in haste and this means there was no time to let bread rise. The tradition holds that no flour should enter the preparation of Passover foods.
These delicious, gluten-free (flourless) Italian Amaretti fit in with the Passover holiday. Make these and watch them melt in your mouth, just like candies.
Happy Passover and peace to all!
1 pound almond paste
3 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon rosewater (optional)
Slivered, roasted almonds, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In order to break it up, place small pieces of the almond paste in a food processor and “pulse-blend” until it breaks down; set aside.
3. In a 1-quart mixing bowl, beat 3 large egg whites until stiff. Gently fold in the sugar, little by little. Set the egg white-sugar mixture aside.
4. Transfer the broken-down almond paste to a 2 or 3-quart mixing bowl.
5. Gently fold in the egg white-sugar mixture until combined.
6. Placing a small bowl of cold water alongside the mixing bowl, slightly wet your hands (this will prevent the almond dough from sticking to your fingers) and pick up a small piece of almond dough.
7. Roll 1-inch almond dough balls, wetting your hands slightly in between rolls.
8. Place the almond balls on parchment-lined baking sheet, with 2-inch spaces between each one. Set 2 slivered almonds atop each almond roll.
9. Position the baking sheet with raw Amaretti on a rack centered in oven.
10. Bake Amaretti for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove baking sheet and set on a counter. Let the Amaretti cool for 10 minutes.
11. After 10 minutes, using a spatula, carefully remove the Amaretti from parchment paper and set them on a serving platter. Alternatively, place Amaretti in double freezer plastic bags and freeze up to 2 weeks.
To thaw: set Amaretti on serving platter and thaw about 30 minutes prior to serving.
Text & Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real