Ricciarelli – Tuscan almond cookies

This ricciarelli recipe is just what you need in your armoury for the festive season. Whip up a batch for family and friends to snack on, or wrap in a nice box and give as a tasty edible gift.

First published in 2017

Ricciarelli are soft almond cookies. They are typical of Siena, where they are usually enjoyed during the Christmas season.

They are covered with icing sugar, with a soft heart that melts in your mouth, fresh and moist, with a distinctive aroma of bitter almonds.






The night before you want to bake the ricciarelli, whip the egg whites with a drop of lemon juice until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold in the icing sugar and ground almond flour; then add the bitter almond extract, orange zest and vanilla seeds
Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight, or for at least for 4 hours
On the day of baking, place the extra icing sugar on a wooden board and roll the dough into a long sausage shape
Cut the dough into small balls. Using your hands, shape then into ovals, then gently flatten them a little
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Dust liberally with extra icing sugar and arrange them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Space them out well as they tend to expand during baking
Bake in the oven for approximately 18 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, they will seem very soft – after cooling and setting they will firm up, so don't panic. Once cool, dust with a little extra icing sugar and serve. They can be kept in an airtight container if not serving immediately

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Giulia is a Tuscan food blogger who has turned her passion into a job and is now a freelance food writer, developing recipes for magazines and food companies.

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