ricciarelli (sienese almond cookies)
Recipe type: dessert
  • 3 cups (300g) almond flour (also called almond meal)*
  • 1⅓ cups (280g) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups (150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • grated zest of 1 small orange (I used a small orange, but could have used more)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • pinch salt
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.**
  2. Mix the almonds with the sugar, scant 1 cup of the powdered sugar, the baking powder and the orange zest in a bowl. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then stir them into the almond mixture. Using a large spoon, mash the mixture to a wet, sticky mass. Stir in the almond extract.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop (size #60), scoop dough into balls and form into oval shapes. Roll in the remaining powdered sugar, and flatten slightly. Put them onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, allowing room to spread slightly, and sift the remaining powdered sugar over the tops. Leave the cookies at room temperature for about 1 hour to dry a little before baking. (With my #60 scoop, I made 43½ cookies exactly.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F (140 degrees C). Bake the cookies for about 30 minutes (or less!), or until they are lightly golden and a little firm on the outside (the insides should still be soft). Cool completely and store in an airtight container. They keep for just over a week if you don't constantly find another excuse to go to the kitchen and, say, wipe down the counters or check that the milk didn't escape from the fridge, then sigh and pop open the cookie jar again to nibble.
* I bought my almond flour ready-made from Bob's Red Mill. You can make your own from blanched almonds by grinding 1 tablespoon flour per 1 cup of almonds together in a food processor. The flour prevents the formation of almond butter. However, it also makes it a non-celiac friendly recipe. ** Tip from my testing: You don't need the parchment, but it's much better. Cooking directly on the baking sheet will cause the bottoms of the cookies to cook and brown more quickly and you'll lose the wonderful chew and softness. I would invest in parchment or try to bake on a silicon mat and let me know how that works.
Recipe by story of a kitchen at https://www.storyofakitchen.com/dessert-recipes/ricciarelli/