Bitterkoekjes – Almond Macaroons

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Bitterkoekjes are almond macaroons with a crisp exterior and a soft center. This macaroons recipe is made with almond paste and without coconut. A Dutch treat that my husband’s family devours on Christmas Day. 

Bitterkoekjes – Almond Macaroons on a plate

My father-in-law is the youngest of seven children. His family immigrated from Holland to the United States before the last three children were born. My husband grew up loving Dutch treats from a local bakery, especially the Bitterkoekjes, an almond macaroon cookie. 

When the bakery went out of business a few years ago, my husband decided he would make the Bitterkoekjes for the family Christmas gathering. He started with a basic almond macaroon recipe on the almond paste package and tweaked it until it tasted like the Bitterkoekjes he remembered.

platter of Dutch Bitterkoekjes cookies

Today I am posting my husband’s recipe for bitterkoekjes. He uses almond paste we buy at Gygi, a local restaurant supply store, but it’s also available on Amazon. It’s a huge can, but it keeps well in the refrigerator or you can divide the paste into sections and freeze the almond paste. ,

You can use an Almond Paste recipe and make the almond paste at home. (We have not tried this cookie recipe with the homemade almond paste.)

My husband is the only one in his family to make the cookie recipe because they can be a bit temperamental and others in his family have not been successful in making them.  Different brands of almond paste have different amounts of sugar and the amount of sugar makes a big difference.

I recommend you can bake a couple of cookies to test the consistency. If they go flat the batter may have too much sugar and you can add more almond paste. If they stay too puffy you can add more sugar and that will help them flatten.

They usually stick to the parchment paper. The original recipe suggests wetting the paper on the bottom, but my husband prefers to let them cool on the tray and then put the tray in the freezer for a few minutes, and then they’re much easier to remove from the paper.

If you love almond desserts, you need to give this almond macaroon recipe a try.

If you prefer coconut macaroons, try my Joyful Almond Coconut Macaroon recipe.

Bitterkoekjes – Almond Macaroons on a plate
Yield: about 5 dozen cookies

Bitterkoekjes Recipe - Almond Macaroons

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes

Bitterkoekjes are Almond Macaroons with a crisp exterior and a soft center. This macaroons recipe is made with almond paste and without coconut.


  • 2.3 lb. almond paste
  • 7 egg whites
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar


  1. Combined room temperature almond paste with egg whites in mixing bowl until mixed well. Add granulated sugar, mix well. Slowly add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  2. Drop the macaroons on to parchment paper using a #40 ice cream scoop and slightly flatten the tops of the cookies with a damp finger.
  3. Bake at 340º for 11 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom and the tops have set and stopped bubbling. Cool on baking tray for five minutes. Slide parchment off of tray on to cooling rack, and then put cookies on the cooling rack in the freezer for five minutes before removing the cookies from the parchment.

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Bitterkoekjes (Almond Macaroons) photo collage
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