Vegan amaretti with pistachios

Vegan amaretti with pistachios

vegan amaretti pistachios

So have you already started on Xmas cookies? I have, although, due to this blog I start thinking about upcoming festivities a bit earlier than an average person, I guess. I was hoping to fly to see my mum for Xmas as I have not visited for two years but I’ve chickened out due to the new Omicron strain. We are all double vaccinated but still, mingling with lots of people at such a close proximity on the way there fills me with dread and I could not forgive myself if I made my mum sick.

So I am staying put and baking cookies like crazy. First up, Italian inspired amaretti with a twist. They are based on my previous recipe for classic almond amaretti but I’ve used ground pistachios to make these. They are moist and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, deliciously nutty and I won’t lie – quite addictive. I could not get hold of any pistachio flour near me and I left it a little late to buy it online so I ground up whole pistachios in a coffee grinder and sifted them, returning whatever was left on the sieve to the grinder for another pass. It works well, but I am pretty sure you’ll be fine using a food processor too, your cookies will be a little coarser, that’s all.

I tried making these with both whipped and liquid aquafaba and both methods are pretty delicious, although with slightly different results. The whipped version produces taller, rounder cookies with a soft moist interior, which are more akin to the authentic Italian amaretti. The lazy version, which is far less involved produces flatter and therefore crispier cookies but I don’t think you would say no to either version 😉 .

vegan amaretti pistachios ground

vegan amaretti pistachios method

vegan amaretti pistachios dough

vegan amaretti pistachios rolling

vegan amaretti pistachios tray

vegan amaretti pistachios close up

20 min
15 min
20 min
15 min
  • 200 g / 7 oz finely ground pistachios* / pistachio meal
  • 125 g / ½ cup + 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp matcha powder* (optional)
  • 30-45 ml / 2-3 tbsp aquafaba* / chickpea brine
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp orange blossom water (optional)
  • ½ tsp lemon or lime juice (if whipping aquafaba)
  • icing sugar, to coat (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 175° C / 350° F and line a large baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground pistachios, sugar, baking powder and matcha powder (if using).
  3. EASIER METHOD: If using aquafaba as a liquid, simply add it to the dry ingredients as is. Start with 30 ml / 2 tbsp. Next add in salt, vanilla extract and orange blossom water. Get everything well incorporated until you get thick playdough like dough (add a touch more aquafaba if necessary to achieve that consistency).
  4. MORE INVOLVED METHOD: If whipping aquafaba, place 45 ml / 3 tbsp of aquafaba, a pinch of salt and lemon / lime juice in a spotlessly clean glass or metal bowl (even the tiniest grease residue will inhibit the aquafaba from reaching stiff peaks). Whip the aquafaba with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form – you need to be able to invert the bowl over your head and the mixture should not move at all. Gently fold in a portion of whipped aquafaba into the dry mixture and then fold in more (you may not need all of it so) in together with vanilla extract and orange blossom water. You should end up with thick, playdough like dough.
  5. Form the mixture into balls (I made fifteen 25 g / ¾ oz balls) and roll them in the icing sugar.
  6. Place the cookie balls on the prepared baking tray, making sure you leave enough space between them.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops are cracked in places. Allow them to cool completely before removing from the tray – they will crisp up as they cool.
  8. Store them in an airtight jar for up to 5 days.

*PISTACHIOS – I ground 200 g / 7 oz pistachios in a coffee grinder into fine powder and sifted them prior to measuring (spooned and levelled off with a knife) – it resulted in 2 and 2/3 cups.

*MATCHA – I used matcha powder for colour, you can totally skip it.

*AQUAFABA – The amount you need depends on how coarse your pistachios are. Start off with less and add more if necessary.

*METHOD – For this recipe, you can either whip your aquafaba until it reaches stiff peaks or use it in its liquid form. The former results in taller, more authentic looking amaretti cookies, the former results in flatter, crispier cookies – they are both delicious.

10 g
6 g
1 g
3 g
13 g
*per cookie
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3 reviews, 15 comments
I whipped the aquafaba until it was really thick and creamy, didn't seem to be getting any thicker, but it definitely would have slid out of the bowl & on my head if I'd turned it upside down! But clearly I was too impatient and the amaretti came out like flat chewy cookies. They do taste nice but look a bit rough. Could you say how long it can take to get the aquafaba thick enough?
    Oh no, I am so sorry to hear that Kate, that's frustrating. For this amount of aquafaba it doesnt take long at all, 5 minutes tops (more like 2-3). I wonder whether you maybe had a tiny residue of grease on some of your utensils, it stops aquafaba from whipping stiff. x Ania
Soooo tasty!
I've made versions with only almonds as well.
My (non vegan) friends and co-workers loved them. One of my colleagues declared them 'the best baked goods we've had in the office to date'. :D
    Aw, thanks so much Carine! I am so happy to hear that these went down so well with your and your coworkers! And I really appreciate you taking the time to review, thanks so much! x Ania
I made the fast and easy version of these and they are now my new favorite cookie. SO GOOD.
    Thanks Sinead, that's great to hear and thanks so much for taking the time to review. x Ania
I just tried these (whipped aquafaba method), and they completely collapsed in the oven into a flat mess. Any idea where we went wrong? They taste good though. The only difference from the recipe is that the pistachios were nubbly and not entirely finely ground - we only had whole ones and don't have a coffee grinder so just bashed them up as much as we could. Don't know if that would have made them collapse, or if we maybe over-mixed the dough after putting in the aquafaba? Thanks!
    Hi Holly,
    I'm not sure, it's hard to say. It could be a number of things, but my immediate guess is that as your pistachios were lumpy there was not enough 'finely ground material' to provide structure to the cookies. Hope this helps! x Ania
      Same thing happened to me :( I used a food processor to grind the pistachios instead of a coffee grinder, maybe that's why?
      Anyway, it tastes amazing, I hope it works out next time! I'll try with a coffee grinder.
        Hi Veronika,
        I am not sure, was the dough quite dense like playdough? Perhaps there wasn't enough finely ground nuts to provide structure? Hope it'll enjoy them better next time. If you want an easier recipe, try these ones - they don't require any grinding. x Ania
Hey! Can i replace aquafaba with another egg replacer?
    If it behaves like an egg white, possibly (I'm think flax egg should work for the easier method), but I have not tested anything else. Hope this helps! Ania
They are amazing! I made them yesterday to tast today with my sister and her family everyone loved them. They are super easy to make and so tasty 10/10!
    I'm so happy to hear that, Sarah/Lou :) Thank you! And thanks for taking the time to review - I really appreciate it! x Ania
I've just made those and they are delicious! Will definitely be making more soon!
    Yay! I'm so happy to hear that, Marta and thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review - I really appreciate it! x Ania
Is it okay if your pistachios are salted?
    Hi Michelle,
    If you don't mind salty flavour coming through then sure! Also, check if they are just salted or salted and roasted as that may affect the result a little too (I used untoasted pistachios). x Ania
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