ricciarelli — italian almond cookies

It started with a rumbly in the tumbly a few hours after a meal. I dismissed the discomfort. Told her to take a Tums. Talk to me in the morning.

That rumbly continued for days, always occurring after a meal. Since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bowls of oatmeal, pasta dinners, and cookie snacks were involved one way or another, I told her to cut out all wheat and oat products.

Wouldn't you know it, eliminating glutens seemed to do the trick. We officially have a Gluten-Free Girl in the house.

I am slightly sad. My Taste-Tester, Cheerleader and Fellow Cookie Lover now has severe limitations, but it has opened up a whole new world to me.  I have started eyeing, researching and buying gluten-free products.

I looked through my cookbooks and files to see what recipes I could make for The GFG. This cookie was given to me by my sister many years ago. I don't know where she got the recipe, but it sure is fabulous. If you love almond, if you love marzipan, if you amaretti, you'll love ricciarelli. Traditionally made at Christmas, the Tuscan/Sienese cookies are nutty, a little crispy and mostly chewy. The powdered sugar coating makes it a particularly festive holiday treat.

They are made from ground almonds, confectioner's sugar, and egg whites. This particular recipe also calls for 1 Tablespoon of flour. I put it in, as I didn't think it would bother The Daughter (she doesn't have celiac disease.) I'm sure it could be omitted without causing great change to the cookie. If you'd like a little citrus note, add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest.

GFG came home and joyfully gobbled down five of them.

Ricciarelli — Italian Almond Cookies

Printable recipe

makes 30 cookies

6 ounces ground almonds*
1 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest, optional

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Combine the ground almonds, confectioner's sugar, baking powder, flour and kosher salt. Set aside the dry ingredients.

Using a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Add the almond extract and mix thoroughly.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them to coat with confectioner's sugar. Place them on the prepared cookie sheets and flatten them slightly.

Bake for eight minutes or until slightly golden on the edges. Beware of over-baking, as they dry out easily. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for five minutes and the move them to a wire rack to cool completely. They are definitely best on the day they are baked.

*I used Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal, bought at a local supermarket. If you can't find almond flour, you can grind your almonds at home. Buy blanched almonds, toast them for 5 minutes in a 350º oven. Let them cool, then, using a food processor, pulse them several times with 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar until they are a medium fine grind. Avoid over-processing, as the nuts will release oils.

This post may be linked to the following sites:
Sundae Scoop, Sunday ShowcaseJust Something I Whipped Up, Sweet IndulgencesMelt in Your Mouth Monday, Homemade Mondays, c.r.a.f.t, Make Something Monday, Made from Scratch, Tasty TuesdayTempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Party, Tell Me Tuesday, Crazy Sweet TuesdaysTake A Look Tuesday, What's Cooking Wednesdays, oh how pinteresting!, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Something Swanky, Show Your Stuff
Chic and Crafty,


  1. So excited about this recipe. I have had to give up gluten, as I was just diagnosed with Celiac disease and am experimenting with gluten free baking!

    1. Glad you can use this recipe- hope you like it. Look for more gluten-free posts in the future!

  2. Oh my, these just look like they're heavenly! Thanks for posting this recipe!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  3. You had a note at the bottom of your recipe that you used almond meal...how much almond meal did you use?

    1. It would be the same amount- 6 ounces. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  4. I followed the recipe to a 'T' and it was a mess. After finishing the process (a tad similar to making French Macarons) I thought that something was amiss because the dough was much too runny to be rolled in confectioners sugar like you instructed. Did you leave something out of the ingredient list? Quantities incorrect? I am an experienced baker and found this recipe extremely disappointing- it makes nothing resembling your images but I should have know that just from reading your ingredient list. Waste of expensive almond meal.

    1. I am so sorry it didn't work out. I haven't made in two years, but I have never had a problem. I usually use large eggs, perhaps you used extra large or jumbo? I am so curious now and will try the recipe again and report back...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...