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.
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.
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 Recipe - Almond Macaroons
- 2.3 lb. almond paste
- 7 egg whites
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I have been baking these for several years but have used my cuisenart to mix. I just bought a kitchen aide mixer, is this what you use? Which blade?
I almost always use the paddle except for whipping cream or such and then I use the beater/whip. The cookie paddle will work great for this recipe.
I’m making these for my Polish-Italian boyfriend and can’t wait to see the results this Christmas! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 merry merry
How fun – Merry Christmas Danese!
Just found out my great great grandparents were from the Netherlands so I’m making these in honor of my new found heritage.
That’s so fun Denise – enjoy!
Curious what brand of almond paste you use?Being of Danish heritage Almond Macaroons we’re always something that we’re part of Christmas in our household as well. Would love to try and make them this year.
Hi Ingrid – we usually buy the almond paste at Gygi, a local restaurant supply store, but it’s also available on Amazon https://amzn.to/35AXzf2 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. Enjoy!
Angelique Van Keulen
Mmm just curious how a bitterkoekjes recipe does not contain any bitteralmond essence
Hi Angelique – it will depend on the brand of almond paste you use, but generally almond paste includes almond extract which is made with bitter almond oil. https://nielsenmassey.com/products/pure-almond-extract/
Didn’t work for me. Very watery and followed the directions to a tee
Hi Sandra – sorry you had trouble. What brand of almond paste did you use? Did you use extra large eggs perhaps?
I used Solo and large eggs
Sounds like your ratio to eggs and almond paste was off. How did you measure your almond paste?
That may have been the problem. I used one box which is 8 oz. How many should I have used?
That was definitely the problem. 8 ounces is half a pound and the recipe calls for 2.3 lbs or 36 ounces.
Well I had put my watery mix in the refrigerator and today I added 2 boxes of almond paste. And it was a miracle, they came out delicious. I got about 60 cookies. Next time I will read better, I just assumed that it would be one box. Learned my lesson, never assume.
I’m so glad you saved it and enjoyed the cookies!
the almond paste we get is “marzipan substitute” and it already very sweet – I was wondering if I could leave out the sugar all together
Hi Belinda – you could try it with marzipan and gradually add the egg whites so you get a consistency that works for the cookies.