Ricciarelli

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Ricciarelli are chewy Italian almond cookies that originated from Siena. They’re easy to make, gluten free and perfect for Christmas!

Italian Ricciarelli cookies on a plate

Ricciarelli are traditional almond cookies from Siena in Tuscany, Italy. They have a unique soft and chewy texture that is similar to amaretti cookies. They have a strong almond flavor with hints of citrus and are naturally gluten free thanks to the almond flour. They’re so easy to make and are perfect for Christmas!

Looking for more Italian recipes? Try my Small Batch Focaccia or Maritozzi!

Ingredient Breakdown

Almond flour – provides structure and flavor.

Confectioners’ sugar – provides texture and sweetness. Also used for rolling the cookies in to give them a cracked surface.

Lemon/orange zest – enhances flavor.

Baking powder – helps the cookies rise.

Salt – enhances flavor.

Lemon/orange juice – enhances flavor and helps stabilize meringue.

Egg whites – whipped into a meringue to give cookies structure and texture.

Almond and vanilla extracts – enhances flavor. Always use pure almond/vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

Italian Ricciarelli cookies

How To Make Ricciarelli

1. Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon/orange zest, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and lemon/orange juice on medium speed until they form stiff peaks.

3. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in 2-3 batches then fold in the almond and vanilla extracts.

4. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Generously cover the cookie dough in sugar then shape into an oval and place on a baking sheet.

Italian Ricciarelli cookie dough

5. Let shaped cookie dough dry out on the baking sheet for 1 hour then pre crack the cookies by squeezing the ends of the ovals until cracks form.

6. Bake cookies at 300°F for 20 minutes then cool on the baking sheet. Store Ricciarelli in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.

Italian Ricciarelli cookies on a baking sheet

Pro Tips For Ricciarelli

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Bake one tray at a time on the middle oven rack. This ensures that there is even heat circulation.
  • Don’t skip drying the shaped cookie dough/pre cracking them/coating them in confectioners’ sugar! These steps help to give the ricciarelli their cracked appearance while baking.

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My Favorite Cookie Tools

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

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5 from 2 votes

Ricciarelli

Ricciarelli are chewy Italian almond cookies that originated from Siena. They're easy to make, gluten free and perfect for Christmas!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Drying Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 32 cookies
Calories 60kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Baking sheets
  • Cookie scoop (I use a 1 tablespoon scoop)
  • Fine mesh sieve

Ingredients

  • 200 g (1 2/3 cups) almond flour
  • 200 g (1 2/3 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon/orange zest
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites (60g)
  • ½ tsp lemon/orange juice
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Sift the almond flour and confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon/orange zest, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and lemon/orange juice on medium speed until they form stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in 2-3 batches then fold in the almond and vanilla extracts.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Generously cover the cookie dough in sugar then shape into an oval and place on a baking sheet.
  • Let shaped cookie dough dry out on the baking sheet for 1 hour then pre crack the cookies by squeezing the ends of the ovals until cracks form.
  • Preheat oven to 300°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Bake cookies for 20 minutes then cool on the baking sheet.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Store Ricciarelli in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 0.3IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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