Amaretto Rice Pudding with Toasted Almonds

Creamy, dreamy Amaretto Rice Pudding with Toasted Almonds.  The simplest comfort dessert raised to new heights of pleasure with Amaretto and vanilla infused Arborio rice and a crunchy topping of slivered toasted almonds.  I love this rice pudding for its intensity of aroma and flavor.  From beginning to end, this dessert is a labor of love.  Gently stirring the rice and adding more milk as it thickens and softens.  The vanilla bean immediately fills my kitchen with a calming aroma.

I find this to be a classy rice pudding and definitely perfect for a dinner party or a romantic party of two.   It reminds me of a favorite cocktail, Toasted Almond, with Amaretto, coffee liquor and light cream.  It can be made the day before and served chilled or room temperature.

Amaretto Rice Pudding with Toasted Almonds

Adapted from Giada De Larentis, Lemon and Almond Rice Pudding

3 cups almond milk (split)

1/2 cup Arborio rice or medium grain brown rice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)

2 tablespoons amaretto liquor

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Bring the rice, 2 cups of almond milk, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, vanilla bean seeds and (optional) dried cranberries to a boil.  Stir well, reduce heat to simmer and cover pan to simmer 20 minutes.  Gently warm the remaining 1 cup of almond milk and stir into the rice mixture. Keeping the saucepan now uncovered, bring back to a simmer and stir often for another 20 minutes.  When the rice is creamy, stir in the amaretto until absorbed.  Mixture may still be runny but will thicken as it cools.  Spoon the rice pudding into bowls.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Sprinkle the chilled pudding with sliced almonds and serve.  If choosing to serve for breakfast, omit the amaretto liquor 🙂

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