One of the things that speak Christmas to me is Amaretto Bread. Auntie Boogie used to make it in mini-loaves and give them out to friends and family around Christmas every year. When I moved out on my own and finally had a place with an oven, she gave me the recipe for her Amaretto Bread. I then became the Amaretto Bread maker amongst my circle of friends and family, and later on, in Chaz’s circle.
I refrained from making it 2 years ago when I radically changed my diet. Then, after going gluten-free I really didn’t have a clue about how to bake gluten-free other than following a recipe. I’m more adept at converting main and side dishes to gluten-free, than I am at converting baked goods. This year, I’m more clued in. After following so many other recipes, I feel more comfortable with gluten-free baking. I mean, I finally made apple pie for Thanksgiving. That was huge! At least in my little world. So, Shirley posted her recipe on Facebook for Perfect Pound Cake. I instantly thought of Amaretto Bread since I had been thinking about it recently. The wheels really started turning and I printed off the recipe and placed it next to Auntie Carol’s recipe for Amaretto Bread. My intention was to use Shirley’s recipe as inspiration and a jumping off point to make Amaretto Bread. The more I looked at the 2, the more I asked myself, why complicate it with making an entirely new recipe? Her recipe did serve as inspiration, but I did not use it at all in converting my recipe. I simply took the original recipe for Amaretto Bread, made a couple of substitutions to make it gluten-free and dairy-free, and also added some xanthan gum.
While I am not part of the Home for the Holidays series that Shirley started in late November, she did say I could use the little picture for this post since it is a holiday treat and other bloggers are doing the same who could not take part. If you haven’t seen my links for the posts on Facebook or Twitter, go to the link I provided and check them out. Everyone has shared spectacular recipes. Did I mention the giveaways? There are giveaways galore going on so make sure you enter for the ones that are active.
On to the recipe. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but the gluten-free, dairy-free Amaretto Bread tastes just like the gluten-full, butter-full version. It has the same texture, too. The only thing different is the coloring is darker since I used palm sugar to make it refined sugar-free, too. This will definitely reappear next year and help make me sane during retail madness. Just goes to show that converting doesn’t have to be complicated.
8 eggs, separated
3 cups palm sugar
2 cups soy-free Earth Balance butter
3 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 cup Amaretto
4 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract (I prefer almond)
1 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pans. Beat eggs whites until soft peaks form. Add 1 cup palm sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. If stiff peaks don’t form, don’t worry, just beat until they are thick and brown. It should look the same as if they were to form stiff peaks. Set aside. Cream butter with remaining sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add xanthan gum. Add flour in thirds, alternating with Amaretto. Mix well. Stir in extract and nuts. Fold in egg whites gently. Pour batter into pans and bake. About 1 hour for regular sized loaves, 35 to 45 minutes for mini-loaves. Toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaves will come out clean when done.