Ricciarelli are Tuscan almond cookies that give you the same crispy-chewy satisfaction of their French cousins, macarons, but with a lot less fuss and a lot more substance in every bite.
Texture-wise, ricciarelli cookies are softer and chewier than their Italian siblings, amaretti. Instead of ameretti’s trademark crispy crunch, ricciarelli have a light, fluffy character you won’t find in other cookies.
The origin of these unique little baked delights dates back over 800 years, when the Crusades led to a cultural exchange between the Middle East and Italy.
Thanks to the mix of cultural cuisines and ingredients, what we have in a ricciarelli almond cookie is essentially a meringue cookie made with ground almonds that bakes quickly firms up nicely and retains a height that allows it to keep slightly crackly on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
Ricciarelli are nutty, slightly sweet, flourless and gluten-free. Wonderful with a glass of wine in the afternoon or traditionally served at Christmas.
If you’re going to make some for your family table this festive season, make an extra batch for your own private cookie jar at the back of the cupboard. You deserve to have a few all to yourself as an after-dinner treat when nobody’s looking.
Ricciarelli Almond Cookies
- 150 g ground almonds
- 75 g light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 orange juiced
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- ¼ cup egg whites
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C
- Mix together the ground almonds, brown sugar, honey and half the orange zest
- Slowly add the lightly whisked egg whites and blend until a cookie dough forms
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and mould the dough into bite-sized balls
- Evenly space them on the baking tray
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week
- Combine the yoghurt, vanilla, orange juice and the rest of the zest and serve alongside the cookies
This stainless steel baking tray set has a shiny mirror finished surface to stop food from sticking. The baking sheet is completely smooth, without any rough spot, for quick and ease releasing of your freshly baked goods.
Rolled rims make it comfortable to hold and move from counter to oven and back again.