Ricciarelli (ree-chuh-rell-ee) are Italian cookies that hail from the Tuscan city of Siena and date all the way back to the 14th century. The base of these cookies is made from ground almonds and egg whites (almond paste) and because they tend to crack after they’ve been baked, confectioner’s sugar is used to disguise the cracks. While these cookies have a tendency to spread out during baking and form various sizes and shapes, don’t let this dismay you. These cookies are prone to do this, but it doesn’t really matter because they taste amazing – they are light, spongy, and sweet. If you’re ever in Siena, I’d recommend going to Nannini – I was fortunate to taste a few of these ricciarelli after they had just come out of the oven and were still warm!
Also, congratulations to Barbara Palermo for winning Sweet Maria’s Italian Cookie Tray. Hope you enjoy this cookbook as much as I do!
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar and more for rolling dough in
- 3 drops almond extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for dipping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff.
- Meanwhile, mix almonds, flour, baking powder, and sugar.
- Fold egg whites into almond mix.
- Add extract and mix until a soft paste forms.
- In a small bowl, add enough powdered sugar to roll dough balls in.
- Take about 1 tbsp of dough, roll into a ball, and then roll into sugar.
- Place dough balls on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
- Flatten dough ball with palm of hand.
- Bake 10-12 minutes.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips.
- Dip cookies in chocolate and allow to cool on wax paper.