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Joyous amaretti

Amaretti are a classic Italian cookie that I absolutely love, but unfortunately they are full of white sugar.  Of course my version contains no white sugar whatsoever! Plus they are paleo and vegan. As much as I like to practise mindfulness when eating, it’s hard not to eat several of these cookies in one sitting!

I first made these cookies totally by accident. I didn’t have all the ingredients to make another cookie recipe, but while rummaging through my fridge I discovered I had some almond extract, which really enhances the almond flavour, and flaxseeds to boost the fibre. To my surprise, I was thrilled by the first one I tasted, because they reminded me so much of amaretti but were a healthy joyous version. Now, I don’t want to mess with your Nonna’s recipe, but I encourage you to make these for her and then let me know what she says!



  • 1-1/2 cups (375 milliliters) almond flour (almond meal)
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) ground flaxseed (flax meal)
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) natural almond butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) pure almond extract
  • 24 whole raw almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, flaxseed, coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup and almond extract. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Using about one heaping tablespoon (18 milliliters) of the mixture at a time, roll between your hands into 2.5 centimeter balls. Place them about 2.5 centimeters apart on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the dough balls with your hand so that they are about one centimeter thick and place an almond on top of each cookie.
  4. Bake for eight to ten minutes, until the cookies are golden brown on the outside and soft in the centre. Do not overcook—you want them soft and chewy on the inside.
  5. Let cool on the baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool for at least ten minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or in a resealable plastic freezer bag in the freezer for up to three months.

Excerpted  from 'The Joyous Cookbook' by  Joy  McCarthy.  Copyright  ©  2019  by  Joy  McCarthy. Published by Penguin an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved. 

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