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Dec 4, 2006 07:40 PM

Could you substitute amaretto for almond extract in most baking?

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?

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  1. 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

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

      1. re: HaagenDazs

        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. 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

          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

            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

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

            1. re: sugarbuzz

              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: sugarbuzz

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

          3. 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. 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

                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.