Amaretti cookies are the pride of Saronno, a city just north of Milan in Lombardy, and these mini chocolate-coated amaretti from Punto Rosso are Giada’s absolute favorites. It was love at first taste when she tried them at the factory in Italy, and when she found out they were only available to buy in person, she insisted on bringing them exclusively to Giadzy. Dipped in a rich dark chocolate coating and mini-sized for snacking, these delectable cookies come in an adorable 1930s-style tin.
As the story goes, amaretti were first baked in Saronno during the Middle Ages by a poor young couple who wanted to honor the visiting cardinal of Milano. They had very little in the cupboard, and came up with a simple combination of sugar, egg whites, and almond-scented apricot kernels to create these sweet morsels. Today, amaretti are topped with sparkling pearl sugar and wrapped in pairs in colorful tissue paper twists. True to the original recipe, these little cookies are chewy, light, and crisp—and naturally gluten-free!
The Lazzaroni family collaborated with master pastry maker Mauro Morandin to create Punto Rosso, an artisan line of iconic sweets. The Lazzaronis have been producing amaretti using traditional recipes since 1719, first as a small local baker, and then becoming the first company in Italy to produce cookies for commercial sale in 1888. Lazzaroni are custodians to the amaretti archive, which is kept in the cloisters of a 14th-century church in Saronno. The archive includes cookie tins dating back hundreds of years, all hand-decorated with glamorous Italian scenes, alluring women, wistful landscapes, dreamy Christmas vignettes, and more.