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overhead shot of ricciarelli almond biscuits on a cooling rack to show the crackled top

Ricciarelli (Italian almond biscuits)

These soft chewy Italian Almond cookies made with almond meal and orange zest are a delicious gluten free Christmas biscuit
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
resting time 3 hrs
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 20 biscuits
Calories 94 kcal


  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 200 g almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 180 g icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • ½ orange, zest
  • ½ tsp almond extract


  • Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Whisk the egg whites with pinch salt until stiff peaks.
  • Stir in the almond meal, icing sugar, orange zest, and almond extract.
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons of icing sugar onto a plate.
  • Take a teaspoon of mixture, roll into balls, roll into icing sugar and place on tray.
  • Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  • Leave at room temperature for 1-3 hours, depending on humidity – see note below.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 ˚C / 320˚F
  • Gently pinch opposite ends on the Ricciarella to form an oval shape and flatten slightly, so they are 1cm / .39 inches thick.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are very very light golden.
  • They will be soft, but will harden up as they cool.
  • Leave to cool on tray for 5 minutes then cool completely on wire rack.
  • Store in an airtight container.


Whipping Egg Whites to Stiff Peaks: You have reached stiff peaks when the egg whites are glossy and when you lift the whisk up, it leaves a peak that stands straight up and doesn't flop over at all.
Humidity: If it’s a hot and humid day it can take a few hours for the outer layer of the cookie to dry out slightly. Whereas on a cooler, drier day it can take as little as an hour. 
Uses for egg yolks: make custard, as a glaze for pastry, aioli, or add to an omelette.


Calories: 94kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 5mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chewy almond cookies, gluten free cookies, Italian biscuits, Italian cookies


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