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a blue plate of lemon almond cookies, with fresh lemons just visible in the background.

Sicilian paste di mandorla

Paste di Mandorla are delicious Italian lemon almond biscuits made from ground almonds. With crispy edges and soft and chewy centres, they are very moreish!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course baking, biscuits, cookies
Cuisine Italian, Sicilian
Servings 26 biscuits
Calories 88 kcal


  • 250g (2½c) almond meal (almond flour, ground almonds)
  • 190g (½c+⅓c) white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ lemon zested
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar confectioners sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan / 180˚C / 320˚F convection / 356˚F.
  • Line 2 trays with baking paper.
  • Sieve the icing sugar on to a plate.
  • Whisk the egg whites with a fork until fluffy. It doesn't need to be stiff peaks like making meringue (see image 1 in 'how to make Italian almond cookies' above for reference).
  • Add the almond meal, sugar, almond extract and lemon zest and mix to combine.
  • It will seem dry at first but keep working with a spoon or your hands.
  • Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls in your hands then roll in icing sugar.
  • Place onto the baking tins, leaving a little room in between.
  • Using a finger, flatten slightly
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Cool on tin.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or cool completely and then freeze for up to 4 weeks.


Almond flour - also known as ground almonds or almond meal.
Lemon zest - use fresh lemons.
White sugar - granulated sugar.
Icing sugar - also known as confectioners sugar. This gives the cookies a lovely snowy outer layer.
Almond extract - adds extra almond flavour and makes the cookies a little chewier.
Egg whites - use the leftover yolks to make duchess potatoes, custard, hollandaise sauce, or brush over pastry to give it a shiny golden finish.
When mixing the dough, the mixture will seem very dry at first - keep on stirring with a spoon or get your hands in the bowl, and the dough will come together.
Don't overcook the cookies - these almond lemon cookies taste best when light golden brown as the centres are soft and chewy. If you overcook them they will become dry and crisp all the way through.


Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chewy almond cookies, Italian cookies, lemon almond cookies


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