Ricciarelli: Chewy Italian Almond Cookies

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

It’s about time I shared a recipe with you that was inspired from our trip to Italy last fall!

We had so much good food while we were there that I wish I could relive or recreate: Bistecca alla Fiorentina, or Florentine steak. Tiramisu. Homemade cavatelli pasta with arrabiata sauce from our cooking class in Rome. Allllllll those interesting flavors of gelato. Of course, pizza. More than anything, I wish I could import the amazing cured meats we had or have just one more sandwich from Lo SchiacciaVino.

While we were in Florence, we had the rare treat of meeting up with my European blogger friend Emily of Inside the Rustic Kitchen (an amazing go-to recipe blog for all things Italian!).

Caroline and Emily in Florence, Italy

We both happened to bring each other identical gifts – cookies local to the cities we lived in. I brought her benne wafers (small, crunchy sesame cookies) from Charleston, and she brought me a box of ricciarelli – chewy almond cookies native to Siena, Italy.

I had never had them before but my husband and I were in love with them from the first bite! It was really difficult trying to save any of the cookies for more than a couple days!

What are ricciarelli?

Ricciarelli are cookies from Siena, Italy, that have a kick-you-in-the-face almond flavor, a lovely dense chewiness, and a beautiful cracked surface. One of these cookies is just perfect alongside a hot cup of Earl Grey or, if you want to live in true Italian style, a cappuccino.

Think of ricciarelli cookies as a cousin to macarons. Technically, I believe, it is actually a type of macaroon – with two o’s – but they made me think of macarons – with one o – as I was making them.

The recipes and techniques of ricciarelli and macarons are actually very similar: In both types of cookie, you fold almond flour and sugar into whipped egg whites, and you leave the shaped cookies on the baking sheet for a while to dry out before baking in order to form a little crust on the outside.

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

But — and this is good news — ricciarelli dough is much less fussy to make than macaron batter. 

In ricciarelli, the ratio of almond flour to egg whites is much higher than in macarons, so you get a dense, chewy almond cookie rather than a light, airy one. Because there’s so much almond flour to fold in, it’s impossible to keep much of that fluffy meringue texture. Instead of lava-like macaron batter, you end up with a sticky dough you can roll into balls with your hands.

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

However, that hint of a crispy meringue-like exterior is still there before you hit the chewy inside. Letting the cookies rest long enough on the counter before baking is key to getting this texture!

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

Getting perfectly crackled ricciarelli cookies

That dried-out shell on the cookie dough is also vital to getting the beautifully craggy, crackled effect on the outside as well. With ricciarelli, you roll each ball of dough in powdered sugar before baking. When it cooks, the dough on the inside expands and breaks through the dried exterior, allowing golden cracks to show through the white outside. 

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

However, sometimes the cookies need a little help in getting the crackled effect. The first time I made these, the dough was practically drying out by the time I got them on the cookie sheet and cracked very easily on their own. The second time I made them, even though I left them on the counter for two hours instead of one, the cookies needed some assistance to get the cracked texture.

You can see the difference here – the cookies on the right didn’t have any help, while the ones on the left were pre-cracked before baking.

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

I lightly squeezed each cookie from opposite corners until I was satisfied with the cracks I could see forming in the tops of the unbaked cookies. Then, instead of relying on the expanding dough to create the cracks, they just have to enhance the ones you already made.

I’ve demonstrated below on the baked cookies how I squeezed the unbaked dough balls to crackle the shells. Feel free to lightly press down on the tops or whatever you need to do to get those cracks started!

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

It’s basically like when you slice the top of your bread dough before baking. If you don’t, the dough will still expand and crack, but it might not be where you want it to. (In the case of the cookies, I found without pre-cracking the dough, it will mostly crack on the bottoms of the cookies rather than the tops, which isn’t nearly as pretty)

Getting the ideal flavor and texture

I did several rounds of recipe testing to get these just right for you! The first batch was delicious but tasted too much of orange and was too sweet. (The orangey flavor was lovely, just not as close to the original super-almondy ones we had.)

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

The second batch was much closer to the original cookies we had, but lost that hint of a meringue-like shell. Granted, I don’t remember that being present in the original cookies we had in Italy, but was a really nice attribute of the first batch of cookies I made!

I wasn’t sure why less sugar and orange zest would affect the texture, but I theorized that it was related to the humidity on the day I made the second batch. 

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

What else could I do but test the same recipe with a third batch? This time I had our new dehumidifier on. Voila! Nice slightly crispy thin meringue-like shell, with the dense, moist, chewy interior. Perfecto!

Granted, they were still AMAZING in the second batch – just know that the humidity of your climate may affect the exact texture of your cookies. You can always leave them out longer before baking to help them out if you are in an especially humid environment!

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

Anyway, the best thing you can do to make sure these cookies come out well is to TRY THEM. They’re very easy to make — and even with subtle variations on exactly how the surface or flavor of each batch turned out, the consensus for each and every cookie was that they were awesome.

Hands down: holy amazingness. These have become one of my favorite cookies now!

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee! Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!
Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!

Ricciarelli: Chewy Italian Almond Cookies

Ricciarelli are dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena. They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron — perfect with tea or coffee!
5 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Drying time: 1 hour
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Caroline Lindsey

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest about half a large orange
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar for coating cookies

Instructions

  • Whip egg whites and lemon juice together with a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Using a fine mesh sieve, sift in almond flour, 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, salt, and baking powder and fold into egg whites. I don't do it all at once but maybe in 2-3 batches. Try to keep some air in the egg whites, but at this point it will form a pretty sticky dough rather than a fluffy meringue.
  • Add orange zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract and fold in until combined.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using clean hands, roll dough into balls about 1" in diameter, then roll in powdered sugar until well coated. Shape into an oval, then arrange on baking sheet with some space between them for spreading, and flatten slightly.
  • Leave at room temperature for about an hour or until the tops have dried out and formed almost a little shell. (This may take longer in humid areas.) Pre-crack the shell by squeezing the cookies slightly from opposite corners. (Not doing this won't affect the taste, but pre-cracking them makes them much prettier if you want that beautiful white-gold contrast!)
  • While cookies are drying, preheat oven to 300 degrees. When the cookies are ready, bake for about 20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container. These are even better the next day and are great with coffee or tea!

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87 Comments

  • Reply
    Sudhakar
    July 15, 2018 at 9:20 am


    Wow, gorgeous.

  • Reply
    Kelly Anthony
    July 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm


    Oh my goodness! The interior of those cookies looks TO DIE FOR! Yum!

  • Reply
    Mimi
    July 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I don’t bake cookies, but I wanted to see your post because I’ve never heard of these cookies! They really look beautiful, and tasty.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 15, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks, Mimi! If you were to ever bake cookies, these are definitely worth it! Even if you’re not a fan of more common types like chocolate chip, these are unique!

  • Reply
    Renee
    July 15, 2018 at 7:13 pm


    These cookies are gorgeous!! I may have to spend my afternoon making cookies!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      You won’t regret it!! The only problem is they don’t make more in a batch!

  • Reply
    David
    July 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

    These are one of my favorite Italian treats! We bought dozens and dozens of them the week we stayed in Siena. Can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    September 20, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Just made a double batch for a Siena trip reunion. Thank you for the recipe! It is time-consuming, but the reward worth the effort. We first
    tasted these amazing cookies in July during a trip to Siena with the Mountain Voices. Can’t wait to see how mine measure up!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 22, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      How exciting! I just made these again last week too. I hope they’re as good as you remember them from Siena!

  • Reply
    Susan
    December 8, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I want to make these for my Christmas cookies swap. Can I make them in advance and freeze or keep in the refrigerator a few days?

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      December 13, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Susan, I’m afraid I haven’t tried keeping them in the fridge or freezer but they seem to do okay in an airtight container at room temp for a few days! I’m sure the fridge would be fine too.

    • Reply
      Jan
      December 13, 2018 at 10:59 pm


      I made these for a cookie exchange and froze them about a week in advance. They thawed out perfectly and were the hit of the cookie exchange. Amazing recipe and a welcome change from most Christmas cookies.

      • Reply
        Caroline Lindsey
        December 22, 2018 at 3:09 pm

        Thanks for the tip on freezing! I’m so glad you liked the recipe!

  • Reply
    Anna M Mancini
    December 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm


    Dear Caroline:
    I was born and raised in Southern Italy, but am very familiar with ricciarelli, which are sold all over Italy! I never had the recipe until I saw yours, and your ‘tricks’ to make them crack the right way were precious. I made a batch, and they came out perfect the first time! To give them more of an almond punch, I also added a couple of drops of bitter almond oil…they were as good as I remembered them from Siena! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, one to cherish!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      December 22, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      I’m so glad these came out well for you and were just like you remembered! It’s nice to have a recipe that takes you back to a cherished place!

  • Reply
    Susan Lasch
    December 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Hoping this recipe comes close to duplicating the cookies I had in Sicily! Thought I’d pass along one hot tip: Try using Fiori Di Sicilia,
    a vanilla & citrus liquid available on line from King Arthur.

    (I’m not affiliated with the company!)

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      December 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Susan, hope these cookies were what you were looking for! Thanks for the tip, would you suggest using the Fiori Di Sicilia in lieu of vanilla extract and orange zest?

  • Reply
    Liz
    December 19, 2018 at 8:09 pm


    I just made these for an office holiday party and they were a big hit, and that’s against a pretty high standard because I bake a lot of fancy treats for my coworkers. I have been looking for a recipe hack for the almondine cookies at Pistacia Vera for a long time (I used to get their cookies shipped all the way from Ohio to New York City, but they tragically no longer ship out of state). And these are almost a perfect match! Fantastic recipe!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      December 22, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      Yay!! I’m so glad you found a match for your beloved cookies! These are some of my favorites too.

  • Reply
    Michael
    December 22, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Question, what is ‘powdered sugar for coating cookies’? I rolled mine in icing sugar and it just got asorbed. I also mist have had mine too moist as they spread into one giant cookie! oops. Still tasted amazing tho.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      December 22, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      It’s just additional powdered sugar, beyond what you mix into the dough (not a special kind of powdered sugar just for coating cookies). I’m not sure why the icing sugar got absorbed – I find that the first little bit absorbs and then the rest stays nice and white. Are you in a very humid environment? It’s frequently pretty humid here in Charleston and then I have to let them sit for extra time before baking so they dry out enough to crackle. Did you whip the egg whites into stiff peaks before folding in the other ingredients? I’m trying to think of why your dough might have been extra runny, since mine didn’t spread that much!

      • Reply
        tom fitzsimmons
        January 25, 2019 at 11:16 pm

        if you mistake baking powder for baking soda they spread. they look like hell and are chewier but still delicious

        • Reply
          Caroline Lindsey
          February 16, 2019 at 2:58 pm

          Yikes! I’m glad they were still good – one time I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder in a cornbread recipe and it was so awful I couldn’t eat it! Looked beautiful though, hah!

  • Reply
    Emily
    December 29, 2018 at 12:31 pm


    Thank you!!! This recipe was AMAZING! We made a batch to share but had to remake them because we ate them all.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      February 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      I know the feeling!!! Always worth saving a batch for yourself!

  • Reply
    tom fitzsimmons
    January 25, 2019 at 11:18 pm


    I was in siena in September and found this cookie. I used your great recipe to recreate them here. thanks so much.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      February 16, 2019 at 2:57 pm

      It’s nice to be able to have a little tasty bite to remind me of my 2017 trip to Italy as well! I’m so glad you fondly remember your time in Siena with these cookies too!

  • Reply
    Dani Neville
    January 31, 2019 at 8:27 pm


    These are awesome. They are like little almondy marshmallows. I didn’t have any almond extract so I just used a little extra vanilla. Also didn’t have any oranges but did use an extra dash of lemon juice. They turned out really good.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      February 16, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      They’re some of my favorites! If you like almond you should definitely try them again with the almond extract – they are so good with that strong punch of almond!

  • Reply
    Patty Barnhardt
    February 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    How much is a dash of lemon juice? Seems like that could really vary.
    Thanks.
    Patty

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      March 7, 2019 at 6:59 pm

      Somewhere in the ballpark of a half teaspoon to a teaspoon is probably fine, it won’t make that much of a difference in flavor or consistency for this recipe! A little more or less than the above is fine too!

  • Reply
    JG
    March 2, 2019 at 12:51 am


    Made these today on a whim with my mom, and they turned out excellent! thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Andrea Houston
    March 3, 2019 at 8:42 pm


    Made these today with ground pecans instead of almonds and orange peel off my own oranges, Turned out fantastic. Drying time is crucial. Great recipe.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      March 7, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      That sounds like an excellent variation on these cookies! I agree, drying time really gives it the appropriate texture!

  • Reply
    Sylvia Lu
    March 31, 2019 at 5:51 am

    Hi Caroline. Those cracks really look beautiful, remind me of my fave chocolate crinkle cookies. Should I roll in the powdered sugar before I let them sit on the counter, or the other way around? I live in a very humid country. I can even get 80 – 90++% humidity during certain season and we don’t have demuhidifier here. Do you have any other suggestion what to do to make them dry? Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 27, 2019 at 10:46 am

      Hi Sylvia, I roll in powdered sugar before they dry – it needs that gooey dough texture for the powdered sugar to stick to it. We are also extremely humid here – I’d say either just waiting longer for them to dry out, or possibly putting them in the oven at a very low temp with the door cracked open for a little while until they are a little harder to the touch. Then crack them, raise the oven temp, and bake as normal. Ovens vent out steam so they’re good at drying things out. Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Ilva
    April 4, 2019 at 6:54 am

    300 degrees is F or C?

  • Reply
    Rebecca Thayer
    April 16, 2019 at 9:56 pm


    I just got back from Siena and wanted to make these cookies for myself. they turned out really good. I was just curious why your cookies (and the ones in Siena) are golden yellowy inside and mine are very much tan…. My almond flour is tan, do you guys use a special kind of almond flour that isn’t? I really wanted mine to LOOK like Sienese ones and unfortunately the look is off. Taste is spot on and I appreciate your recipe!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 27, 2019 at 10:38 am

      My almond flour is tan too! The only thing I can think of is maybe the orange zest gives it a bit more of a golden hue? Did you use orange zest? Or, maybe it’s just the contrast is low between the inside and outside colors if the powdered sugar soaked into the dough too much. That’s all I can think of! But I’m glad they gave you that true Siena taste you were looking for!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    April 18, 2019 at 3:54 pm


    I don’t often comment on recipes, but these are amazing! Made a batch because I had a couple of egg whites to use up, and my youngest son said they were his favorite cookies ever. Made some tiny tweaks just to accommodate for what we had on hand (and the fact that we love lemon) but the recipe is perfect as written.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 27, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Thanks so much for leaving a review! I may agree with your son, these are definitely some of my favorites!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    April 26, 2019 at 3:35 pm


    These came out great. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Baking is not my strength, but still they came out great. Even in humid Texas, the cookies came out just like the picture. Even my husband, who does not like almond very much, enjoyed the cookies. Can’t wait to make them again. They are a great addition to my cookie/dessert list.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 27, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Thanks so much for commenting, Jennifer! I’m so glad you loved them! It definitely takes a little longer to dry out the dough in a humid environment but they are sooo worth the wait!

  • Reply
    Emily
    April 27, 2019 at 2:13 pm


    Please be warned! If you are making these cookies to bring somewhere don’t make them until the day you need them. If you attempt to make them the day before they will all be eaten and you’ll have to make them again. They are that good.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 27, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      Haha, I would have to agree with this statement! It’s really hard to part with them to share with others because I want to eat them all!

  • Reply
    Catherina
    May 16, 2019 at 6:17 am

    They look amazing! But when I tried to bake them they were too dry, which might be because I think I used to wrong almond flour. Is it really almond flour or grounded almonds? It is super difficult to find almond flour in Germany so I thought maybe it‘s a different thing.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 13, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Catherina, almond flour is the same thing as finely ground almonds. I’m not sure why yours would end up dry!

  • Reply
    Fatima
    June 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I have a question, instead of using almond flour could I use all purpose flour?? I have all the ingredients except for almond flour and wanted to know how much would it affect if I used all purpose flour.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm

      Hi Fatima, the almond flour is essential to this recipe since it’s a type of macaroon rather than a “regular” cookie! It would be like subbing flour for coconut in a coconut macaroon. I have no idea how it would turn out with all purpose flour but it would be a completely different cookie for sure! I do hope you give this recipe a shot when you have the chance to get some almond flour! You could probably substitute another nut-based flour like coconut flour but not all-purpose, since it is another finely-ground nut.

  • Reply
    Packy
    June 21, 2019 at 4:59 pm


    Love this recipe. These cookies have a taste and texture that make the amateur baker seem like a gourmet pastry chef. Love everything about these cookies! My gluten free friends finally get a cookie that makes them feel included. Ricciarelli are DIVINE!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      August 29, 2019 at 10:04 am

      Being naturally gluten free is definitely a perk of these cookies! It’s nice to have a cookie they can eat without modifications and substitutions. So glad you and your friends loved these!

  • Reply
    JR
    July 1, 2019 at 3:15 pm


    I made them and I tend to be inpatient but everything turned out as picture. At first, after the dry time, when I pushed down I was only getting minor cracking. But, the cracks become even more pronounced during baking. Mine didn’t appear to fully cook near the bottom, as there was a dense wet layer, so next time I’ll maybe add a coupe of minutes.

    Great recipe for an elevated cookie experience. Elevated in ingredients, but not level of skill required. :).

    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these! As for the wet layer at the bottom, I’d say you may either have needed to let the dough dry out longer or perhaps you’re in a very humid area, or your oven temp may be off a bit. I know my oven is reliably 25 degrees cooler than what I set it to! Thanks so much for commenting and I hope you enjoy these again in the future!

  • Reply
    Ruth
    July 3, 2019 at 7:13 am


    Hi there, I am just wondering if I can make them a week in advance? Cheers

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 14, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      I just made these again a week ago and the texture declines over that amount of time. Not the perfect chewy texture with just a bit of crispness on the edge anymore, but a bit more crumbly. Not bad but they definitely are better fresher.

      You may have some luck freezing them for a week and thawing (rather than just leaving them in a sealed container at room temp like I did). I think some people who made this recipe did that for a Christmas cookie exchange!

  • Reply
    Aine
    July 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm


    I had this treat in an Italian bakery recently and the first thing i did when i got home was find a recipe for it. I’ve just baked them, exactly as per your recipe and my goodness are they good. Like, i am going to have to freeze this because otherwise i am going to sit down and eat the lot. A-maze-zing.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 25, 2019 at 9:45 pm

      Yay!! I’m so glad they turned out like you wanted! <3 thanks for your lovely comment!

  • Reply
    Maggie
    July 25, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    I followed your instructions exactly, and they turned out beautifully. Tasty too!
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 25, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks for your kind comment, and I’m so glad you like them!

  • Reply
    Sue
    July 25, 2019 at 12:35 pm


    These cookies are amazing!! Every time I make them I get soooooo many compliments!! It’s great for my gluten-free and dairy free friends. Thanks for the recipe♡

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 25, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      It’s so nice to have a go-to cookie that’s naturally dairy- and gluten-free! I’m so happy you and your friends love these!

  • Reply
    Ingrid Sosa
    July 25, 2019 at 6:24 pm


    I’ve made these twice this past week – that’ll tell you how good they are! I followed the recipe exactly, but for whatever reason, the first time they came out way flatter. No matter, we ate them all! Today, they look just like your picture and the taste is a little more subtle, but divine. Chewy center, sweet almond taste with a little hint of orange – yum! My daughter has celiac disease, so I love how this is GF and the whole family can enjoy it. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you so much for sharing it. 🙂

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      July 25, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      Haha, I’ve actually made these twice this month too! It’s so nice to have a naturally gluten-free cookie recipe for the whole family, isn’t it? So glad you and your family like the recipe!

  • Reply
    Mathew
    July 28, 2019 at 6:07 pm


    I’ve made these twice now and very delicious!

    First time I made them a little too small, but second time I weighed out each cookie to 26 grams and got the 20 cookies all nicely proportioned.

    The texture and taste is perfect, but mine are spreading a little compared to your pics. I’m wondering when you roll into ball how much pressure you apply. I’m using a very light touch and wondering if I might need to press a little harder. Will have to experiment on my next batch!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 20, 2019 at 10:36 am

      When you roll the cookies it’s like you’re making meatballs – it should be a pretty solid ball of dough so it doesn’t fall apart! Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Jan
    August 26, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Do you have a recipe for chocolate ricciarelli?

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      August 29, 2019 at 9:57 am

      I don’t currently, but that sounds like it would be amazing! Maybe I’ll add it to my list!

  • Reply
    Tina Begley
    August 28, 2019 at 11:17 pm


    I just baked these for the first time and loved them. I almond flavor is spot on and the slight crispiness on the outside is great. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      August 29, 2019 at 9:30 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these as much as I do! Thanks for your comment!

  • Reply
    Arthur
    September 2, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Can I pipe the mixture with a piping bag? Thank you

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 13, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      The dough is pretty thick for using a piping bag, plus you are supposed to roll each cookie into a ball and then in powdered sugar. I wouldn’t use a piping bag for these.

  • Reply
    Peggy Feng
    September 6, 2019 at 6:53 pm


    Fantastic recipe. Inspired after I had some at a local bakery. Didn’t have oranges so used lemon zest. I loved it, my picky husband who is less a fan of lemons, less so. Ah well, more for me. Any chance you’ve had any luck making this without any zest? I imagine it would be similar just less bright/citrusy tasting?

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 13, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      You could make it without zest if you’d like. Maybe try it with orange zest next time and see how your husband likes it!

  • Reply
    KATHLEEN E BURGE
    September 13, 2019 at 9:39 pm


    Caroline, I was given the name of this wonderful cookie by the little bakery shop in Sienna, searched the name and found your excellent recipe. It was easy and pretty much tasted the same. Your pictures look more like the ones I remember. Would you tell me exactly what is meant by mixing in small batches? And keeping air in the meringue? Mine also didn’t crackle to the beautiful finish as yours did. I want to get them perfect. Thank you. Kathleen, Anderson, SC

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 20, 2019 at 10:32 am

      When you fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, you add the dry ingredients a little at a time (2-3 batches) instead of all at once. It will help keep the dough airy that way. Did you let the cookies dry out adequately before baking? And did you pre-crack the surface? That will give you the crackle you’re looking for. I have lots of photos and instructions throughout the post to help you get that perfect crackle! It may take longer to dry out before baking if you’re in a humid environment like SC!

      • Reply
        KATHLEEN E BURGE
        September 21, 2019 at 8:13 am


        Thanks, I’ll study your photos.

  • Reply
    Rayya Ghul
    September 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm


    Absolutely brilliant recipe – mine turned out perfectly. Had some leftover egg white and googled what to do with them. Got this recipe and feel very pleased!!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 19, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      It’s really a great way to use those extra egg whites! Glad you liked it!

      • Reply
        KATHLEEN E BURGE
        September 19, 2019 at 6:22 pm

        Caroline, the recipe states to mix the egg whites in small batches. Exactly what does that mean? Kathleen

        • Reply
          Caroline Lindsey
          September 20, 2019 at 10:26 am

          Once the egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks (in one batch, in step 1), you fold in the other ingredients (almond flour, powdered sugar, salt, and baking powder) a little at a time, in 2-3 batches. Hope this helps!

          • KATHLEEN E BURGE
            September 21, 2019 at 8:11 am


            Thanks very much. They were wonderful the first time but I will fold in a little at a time my next try.

  • Reply
    Ash
    October 14, 2019 at 9:50 am


    Well, mine aren’t nearly as pretty as pictured (sadly, the dough was quite sticky to roll into balls. I probably used too little almond flour). They taste amazing though! So I’ll just count that as a success 😉

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      October 18, 2019 at 9:24 am

      The dough will be pretty sticky but if you feel it needs a little additional almond flour feel free to add it until it’s a bit more workable! Should still come out fine. If it is super sticky, you may need to let the dough rest for a little extra time in order to form that dry surface that allows it to crack. Glad you enjoyed these! They’re some of my favorites!

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