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For Bakes That Call For Amaretto, Almond Extract Also Works Wonders

Almond biscotti with amaretto shots
Almond biscotti with amaretto shots - Elena.Katkova/Shutterstock

Amaretto is as sumptuous as it sounds. The sweet liqueur, which gets its name from the Italian word for "bitter," owes its unique flavor to steeped almonds, apricot kernels, peach pits — which, oddly enough, taste like almonds — or a combination of the three. Its inclusion of caramelized sugar allows it to jazz up any sweet dish, lending it a place in after-dinner cocktails and desserts alike. As one Reddit user put it, "Amaretto tastes like Maraschino cherries, or, a bit like liquid marzipan. In a word, very almondy. Yet it's not too sweet or cloying."

But what happens when you can't find it at the store, or you don't feel like shelling out for a large bottle when you only plan to use it for baked goods? One option is to track down an airplane-sized shot at your local BevMo. Another is to sub in almond extract. When measured carefully, the latter works wonders in a pinch. If you don't already have it in your pantry, you'll find it in the baking aisle at your nearest grocery store.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Almond Extract: Less Pricey And Less Boozy

bottle of almond extract
bottle of almond extract - Vera Prokhorova/Shutterstock

You can certainly use almond extract as an amaretto replacement when it's your only option, but you might find that you actually prefer the former for everyday bakes. For starters, almond extract is less expensive than a bottle of amaretto. This perk is made even more economical by the potency of almond extract: You only need a tiny amount to achieve bold almond flavor. Some manufacturers recommend dividing the amount of amaretto in a recipe by four when substituting with almond extract. For example, if a recipe calls for two tablespoons of amaretto, sub in ¼ to ½ teaspoon of extract.

Another benefit of the swap pertains to those who don't like boozy-tasting desserts. While almond extract, like most extracts, uses alcohol as a solvent, it doesn't smell or taste like something you would want to sip from a glass. When used in baked goods, it leaves all traces of booziness behind. From traditional Italian cookies to brownies and pound cake, here are some amaretto desserts that will be just as tasty -- some maybe even tastier -- with almond extract.

Cookies, Cakes, And Beyond

amaretti cookies with powdered sugar
amaretti cookies with powdered sugar - Enadin/Shutterstock

As you might guess from its name, amaretti is a type of cookie that traditionally uses amaretto. Still, it works wonderfully with almond extract. In fact, some modern recipes for the soft, sugar-dusted Italian treat call for extract from the get-go. With its base of almond flour, sugar, and egg whites, the concentrated ingredient takes the cookie's fragrant, nutty flavor to the next level.

Other classic Italian desserts that can handle the swap include tiramisu, cannoli, and biscotti, but you don't necessarily have to stick to the Bel Paese. Try almond extract in your favorite basic brownie or cake recipe to add a depth of flavor that's a bit more interesting than vanilla. Finally, if you're in the habit of adding amaretto to your cream pie for a boozy twist but want to make a kid-friendly version of the dessert, sub in almond extract and save the amaretto as a tipple to serve the adults alongside their slices.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.