The church biscuit: 31. Amaretti dipped with white chocolate and raspberry sprinkles

Amaretti dipped in white chocolate with raspberry sprinkles

Amaretti dipped in white chocolate with raspberry sprinkles

For Mothering Sunday I wanted something that was special and looked pretty. The English tradition of Mothering Sunday has ancient roots but reached its most important expression the C19th at a time when many country girls left their village homes to take up jobs in service in nearby cities or in London. The church became concerned at long working days, lack of time off and a weakening of family ties, and campaigned for one day’s holiday a year for domestic staff so that they could return to their maternal homes. It was traditional for girls to bake a Simnel cake as a gift their mothers and they would often gather a bunch of wild flowers as they passed along country lanes . Simnel cakes are often decorated with little marzipan balls, which is why I decided to add marzipan balls (admittedly invisibly) to my amaretti.

(Mother’s Day is an American tradition, established at the beginning of the C20th by Anna Jarvis after the death of the mother she loved and whose memory she wished to commemorate. It is celebrated on  the second Sunday in May, while Mothering Sunday is fixed on the fourth Sunday in Lent.)


180 g ground almonds

120 g golden caster sugar

2 teasp chopped mixed peel

60 g marzipan rolled into tiny balls (the size of pearls in a not too ostentatious pearl necklace)

2 egg whites from large eggs

1 teasp of warmed honey

icing sugar to roll the sticky paste in

100 g white chocolate

Freeze dried raspberry sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/ 150 degrees C for a fan oven/325 degrees F/gas mark 3

Line 2-3 baking trays with baking parchment.

Put the ground almonds, caster sugar and chopped mixed peel in a bowl and mix together. Add the marzipan pearls.

In another bowl whisk up the egg whites and the honey until soft peaks form. Now fold this mixture into the dry ingredients in the other bowl until a paste forms. Gather this into a ball.

Pinch off walnut sized pieces of the paste, roll into a ball and drop this in a bowl of sifted icing sugar. Put ball on baking sheet, flattening slightly in the middle.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning the trays around half way through to cook evenly.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 

When fully cool, melt 100g white chocolate over a bain marie and half dip each biscuit into the chocolate. Place back on the wire rack and before the chocolate sets, scatter with raspberry sprinkles.

Makes about 24 amaretti. (I made one and a half times the amount which resulted in just over 40 biscuits.)


This recipe is basically the same as that for the Amaretti with Sour Cherries (blog: 19.02.14) based on Ottolenghi’s recipe.

To be frank, the raspberry sprinkles looked pretty but were not especially tasty. The marzipan pearls were a bit of an experiment and not really necessary given the amount of ground almonds used in the first place – I  couldn’t  distinguish the taste of the marzipan itself. The white chocolate was a good addition. The biscuits were excellent.

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  1. Posted March 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness Mary, these look so beautiful and celebratory! Please post the recipe soon!

  2. susan hall
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    those look very tasty… and very moreish ! yum

    • Mary Addison
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      They are indeed very moreish, which is why it’s so good to bake them to share with other people.

  3. Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Mary thank you for posting the recipe for these really pretty biscuits. I think your ‘invisible’ marzipan balls in the biscuits illustrates perfectly the satisfaction of framing baking within a meaningful narrative that makes it so much more than a collection of ingredients.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      That’s kind of you to say. I’m not sure adding the marzipan wasn’t just a bad case of overgilding the lily – which trait I should keep in more check.
      Sorry to read of your ill health and having to give up your cake orders. I hope you recover soon and can return to full health. Well done to your mum for stepping in and keeping the house and family going.

      • Mary Addison
        Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Dixie, I agree, I think just a little bit of something sweet can be very welcome before people set off back home and it is also an easy way of getting people to be included when new people come to services.In your case, it sounds like a more major snack than the odd biscuit or two is needed!

      • Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Mary; feeling better every day and feeling energies returning.

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