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Could you substitute amaretto for almond extract in most baking?

Katie Nell Dec 4, 2006 07:40 PM

My mom and I had a mini baking extravaganza this weekend and we were making these Chocolate Toffee Brownie Bites from The Good Cookie (awesome recipe by the way!) and it called for a 1/4 t. almond extract. We didn't have almond extract nor did we want to buy a whole bottle for a 1/4 t., but we did have amaretto and substituted that instead. The resulting brownie bites tasted just like they had a tad of almond in them, so it worked perfectly! My thinking is that amaretto will last longer and in the long run, would probably be cheaper. So, do you think that you could substitute amaretto in most things and be successful?

  1. HaagenDazs Dec 4, 2006 07:46 PM

    Amaretto is obviously an almond flavored liquor, but the flavor itself is most certainly not as strong as pure almond extract. There is also a much higher alcohol percentage in almond extract probably 40% (call it 80 proof) while amaretto is in the neighborhood of 20% (40 proof). Amaretto isn't going to go bad unless it sits for 25 or 30 years, I still think the higher proof will last longer. Shame on you if you have amaretto sitting in your cabinet for 25 years though! ;-) Amaretto has lots of sugar in it to. "Liquid candy!" says Fez, from "That 70's Show". My point is exchange them if you like, but the extract will give you much more flavor.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs
      MMRuth Dec 4, 2006 07:58 PM

      That would be my sense as well - that the extract has a stonger flavor.

      1. re: HaagenDazs
        JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Dec 4, 2006 09:24 PM

        A bit of trivia for you... while amaretto is reminiscent of almonds, it actually isn't almond flavored. Amaretto gets its flavor from apricot pits.

      2. Katie Nell Dec 4, 2006 08:08 PM

        Boo! Not the answers I was hoping for! ;-) Oh well, it was a good thought at least and I'm sure it would work for some things! Guess I'll just have to stick to amaretto in my hot chocolate!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Katie Nell
          MMRuth Dec 4, 2006 08:14 PM

          Doesn't mean it won't work ... just that in some instances you might not have as much almond flavor as called for.

          1. re: MMRuth
            Robert Lauriston Dec 4, 2006 08:21 PM

            A typical recipe calls for a teaspoon of almond extract. I don't think that amount of amaretto would result in a noticeable almond flavor. Recipes that use it typically call for 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

          2. re: Katie Nell
            sugarbuzz Dec 4, 2006 08:24 PM

            There is an amaretto paste that can be used instead of almond extract. I'm not sure who carries it though.

            1. re: sugarbuzz
              Robert Lauriston Dec 4, 2006 08:40 PM

              Are you thinking of almond paste? It's not a substitute for almond extract, you need to use a few ounces to get much flavor.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                sugarbuzz Dec 4, 2006 09:43 PM

                no it's amaretto paste


                1. re: sugarbuzz
                  Robert Lauriston Dec 5, 2006 01:12 AM

                  Wow, they've got some esoteric stuff. Thanks for that.

          3. Candy Dec 4, 2006 09:21 PM

            I would not worry about buying almond extract. It will keep a long time if you store it tightly capped. A couple of years is not out of the question

            1. f
              Fleur Dec 5, 2006 12:25 AM

              If you use Amaratto, or any other liqueur, adjust for liquid measurements. Extract is 1/2-1 tsp.

              Pure Almond Extract is a good investment. Tightly closed, it keeps for a very long time.

              As the OP mentioned, Amaratto, and Amaretti, the cookies, are made from Apricot kernels, not from Almonds.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Fleur
                Robert Lauriston Dec 5, 2006 01:16 AM

                Amaretti are traditionally made from almond paste. The distinctive flavor comes from using half sweet almonds and half bitter almonds in the paste. Apricot or peach kernels have pretty much the same flavor as bitter almonds.

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