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!
4.8 from 125 votes

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!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Drying time:1 hr
Total Time:50 mins


  • 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


  • 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!
Tried this recipe?Mention @pinchmeimeating or tag #pinchmeimeating on Instagram!


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 128kcal
Author: Caroline Lindsey

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        1. Hi Denise, I wouldn’t substitute regular flour for almond flour in this recipe. Think of these like coconut macaroons, except instead of coconut they’re almond. If you changed that to all-purpose flour it would change the flavor and character of the cookie, and I don’t even know how the baking instructions might change.

      1. 5 stars
        I make these all the time with lemon zest. I wrap and chill the dough first, then roll into a log and cut into cookies, form each into an oval and roll in powdered sugar. Next time, I’ll try letting them air dry a bit before putting in the oven. mine have always gotten the cracks when they expand. Either way, these cookies always receive rave reviews!

      1. Unfortunately dry measurements by volume (in cups) are less precise than by weight (grams) so there’s always the possibility of using too little or too much when you’re measuring in cups. The dough will be pretty sticky even when done correctly (it pretty much coats my hands by the time I’m done with it), but if you need to add a little extra almond flour to make the dough workable that’s fine too!

        1. Thanks for the reply. Yes I used the weights. Was amazing the different in qtys. They turned out amazing may just need to tweak the flour a little as you suggested

        2. Hi Caroline,
          Can u give us the recipe in weight or post a link? I’d hate to have these be less than they could be by measuring In cups. Thanks! Looking forward to making these

          1. This has been a frequent request on this recipe and I plan to do some additional testing very soon to make sure the metric measurements I include are accurate! I’ll keep you posted on when weight measurements are added. Thank you so much!

      2. 5 stars
        Love these cookies.. I used half amount sugar and they turned great.. not sure how they are supposed to taste like, but mine was to die for .. thank you

  1. 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.

      1. Hi Caroline,
        Hope it’s not too late to ask you a question about the recipe but I really want to try these this weekend and iI’m wondering if you could tell me the weight of the dry ingredients as by using cup measures is very relative… any possibility of sharing that?

        Thank you so much for your time and this wonderful recipe you put together.


        1. This has been a frequent request on this recipe and I plan to do some additional testing very soon to make sure the metric measurements I include are accurate! I’ll keep you posted on when weight measurements are added. Thank you so much!

  2. 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!

      1. Jodi, this recipe really requires almond flour, which is finely ground almonds. Substituting all-purpose flour for the almond flour in these cookies would be like substituting all-purpose flour for the coconut in coconut macaroons: it probably wouldn’t work and it would completely change the type of cookie!

  3. 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!

      1. I just made a batch of these cookies, and holy smoke, they have the same taste and texture as the ones we bought in Italy! Thank you so much for this recipe…it’s just not Christmas without these cookies. 😊

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. I love the crispy and chewy texture but I cant seem to get the middle fully cooked and I’m not sure why. I have even tried cooking them longer and they just become harder as it cools. Any idea why the middle remains looking uncooked?

        1. The middles will be soft especially when they come out of the oven, and will stay chewy when they cool. A lot of times cookies look half-cooked immediately after taking out of the oven when they’re actually done! If they look fully done when they come out of the oven they will likely be too dry and hard like you described once they cool. Have you tried just cooking them for the 20 minutes and letting them cool? It’s also possible your oven is off – mine takes much longer to preheat than it thinks and is consistently 25 degrees cooler than the setting, so I always go by this $6 oven thermometer (affiliate link) https://amzn.to/35HnUa4. Those crispy meringue cookies cook at a low temp for a long time so I imagine your oven may also run cool. Hope this helps!

    2. 5 stars
      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.

        1. Is it possible to substitute another nut flour or sunflower flour? We’re gluten free and my partner can’t eat almonds but other nuts are ok.

          1. You could probably substitute coconut or another nut flour but that almond extract is really a big part of the flavor of this recipe! Is there another nut extract you could use instead, or maybe orange extract?

          1. That sounds delicious, and like something I need to test! Please let me know if you tried this and how they came out! What kind of jam did you want to add? I bet it would be good with raspberry jam, like a Linzer cookie (traditionally almond + raspberry).

    3. 5 stars
      I’m Brazilian and I was delighted when I saw a person here who makes these cookies. I loved your recipe and I’m going to test it. is the oven temperature you mention in ºF?

  5. 5 stars
    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!

  6. 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!)

    1. I ordered this extract and used it in place of the orange zest. It was wonderful! Very aromatic. Thank you for sharing this suggestion!

  7. 5 stars
    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!

    1. These look beautiful and sound so delicious I can’t wait to try them.
      I’m not good at guessing or eyeballing amounts, what amount would a dash of lemon juice be?
      Sorry for the question, I’m an amateur baker that loves to bake.

  8. 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.

    1. 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!

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

        1. 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!

          1. 5 stars
            I made these a few days ago and they came out perfect!! Thank you for such a great recipe. My question is if I wanted to make a pistachio version of these would I replace all the almond flour for pistachios or do half and half??
            Thank you

          2. I think you could do either for the flour! I’d be tempted to do half-and-half since almond flour is more readily available and pistachios tend to be even pricier than almonds! The bulk of the flavor of the cookie comes from the extract, though, so I’d definitely swap the almond extract for pistachio extract. (affiliate link) I haven’t used pistachio extract before so I’m not sure how the potency compares. Please let me know how they turn out, it sounds like a delicious variation!

        2. 5 stars
          I’ve made this recipe a couple time now and love it! Most recently, I actually forgot baking soda but I just cooked them a little longer and they STILL turned out great. Also, I add a pinch of cardamom. I think it’s a great addition to the orange flavor.

    1. This has been a frequent request on this recipe and I plan to do some additional testing very soon to make sure the metric measurements I include are accurate! I’ll keep you posted on when weight measurements are added. Thank you so much!

  9. 5 stars
    I was in siena in September and found this cookie. I used your great recipe to recreate them here. thanks so much.

      1. Hi Ariana,
        Using all-purpose flour instead of almond flour for these cookies would change the entire recipe and I can’t even guarantee they would come out. Think of them like coconut macaroons, except instead of coconut you’re using almond. So substituting all-purpose flour for the coconut in coconut macaroons may produce an edible cookie but they wouldn’t be coconut macaroons anymore! Hope this helps!

  10. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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!

  11. 5 stars
    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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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!

  13. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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!

  14. 5 stars
    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.

  15. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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!

  16. 5 stars
    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.

      1. Just made these yesterday. They came out perfect and insanely divine! I am an almond fiend and this tamed the beast! Thank you so much for sharing!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

  19. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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!

  20. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

  21. 5 stars
    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.

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

  23. 5 stars
    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♡

  24. 5 stars
    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. 🙂

    1. 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!

  25. 5 stars
    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!

  26. 5 stars
    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.

  27. 5 stars
    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?

      1. 5 stars
        Absolutely delicious!!
        I followed the recipe exactly and these are probably the best I’ve ever had! They came out perfect! I almost feel like they even taste like a pinoli cookie that I remember growing up in Brooklyn minus the pinolis. This will definitely become part of my cookie recipe collection. Thank you for sharing!

  28. 5 stars
    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

    1. 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!

  29. 5 stars
    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!!

        1. 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!

          1. 5 stars
            Thanks very much. They were wonderful the first time but I will fold in a little at a time my next try.

  30. 5 stars
    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 😉

    1. 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!

  31. best cookies i have ever made and i have tried them all . I have made 3 batches so far and my family loved them . over a 30 year span of trying to make almond cookies just like home these have exceeded my expectations bravo girl and keep those recipes coming 10+

  32. Hi, could you please tell me what kind of almond flour do you use? At the grocery they have fine, extra fine, coarse, bleached, unbleached…I don’t want to make any mistake! Thanks

    1. Hi Silvia! Your grocery seems to have a lot more options than mine for almond flour, but given those choices I’d probably go with either fine or extra fine, unbleached. Since we do sift the almond flour you wouldn’t want course, and the unbleached will probably help give it that nice golden color when you bake it!

  33. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I did study abroad for a semester and lived in Siena, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t find these cookies anywhere to buy after coming back to the US. Then I found your recipe, and I am delighted that I can replicate these little gems that are even better than those from Nannini in Siena. They are the perfect cookie, and I made them for a work event too and they were a huge hit! One question though, what type of sieve/sifter did you actually use? I didn’t have one so I had to buy one, and I couldn’t really get the almond flour to pass through it very well so I gave up and just added it into the mixture without it. Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad you liked these cookies! The sieve I used is something along these lines (affiliate link) https://amzn.to/2qZ1ly9 but I think I just got mine at the Dollar Tree. I would probably say sifting the almond flour isn’t quite as important for these cookies as it is for, say, macarons, but I’d still give it your best shot.

  34. best almond cookies i have ever had and have been baking for 40 years and have tried most of them. Costco has almond flour in a 1.36kg bad and is great for this recipe . thanks again my family loves them

  35. Hi,

    Update since I first made these – I’ve now made them three times and they are such a hit! My coworkers love them, my family loves them, and everyone wants the recipe! I agree with Doris above, best almond cookie and for me it’s my new favorite cookie overall!
    Question, I wanted to make these for Christmas for a friend that has Celiac, it seems like these would be Gluten Free? Since there isn’t any flour in them?

    1. I have had people say they’ve made them for their gluten-free friends and family but I’d check your other ingredients like powdered sugar to make sure there isn’t some gluten hiding somewhere else! Maybe send her an ingredient list and see if there are any ingredients to watch out for – some ingredients have hidden gluten depending on the brand like chicken broth or I think white vinegar but she would know better than I would if there are any to look out for!

  36. I am so excited I found this recipe. I remember my Sicilian grandmother making these at Christmas but she didn’t use citrus. Hers were a bit darker brown and had a spice note. Do you have any suggestions for what she may have included….cinnamon?, brown sugar. I really want to use your base to replicate her flavor. All suggestions most appreciated! Merry Christmas.

    1. Wow, that sounds delicious! Unfortunately I have only had the ones from Siena so I’m not sure what the Sicilian variation might be. I asked my coworker who has Sicilian heritage and she suggested it might have been cinnamon, nutmeg, or anise, which all make regular appearances in Sicilian cookies. Hope this helps!

  37. I just want to thank you so much for sharing this recipe! When I got married in 2017, a group of my friends bought a bunch of cookies from New England bakeries for a cookie table, and this cookie was easily the best. It took me this long to figure out what the cookie was and find a recipe! I just made them for my work’s cookie exchange, and they were a huge hit!

  38. Hi Caroline, Thanks for the lovely recipe. You explain things well imho. Please don’t be horrified, but I’ve just made your ricciarelli without sugar, using sifted stevia….and they’ve worked! No doubt you would find the taste a bit wrong, but the trade-off is worth it in our case. We lived in Florence for two years some forty years ago, and the shops were not above offering imports from neighboring Siena. We didn’t have many ricciarelli, and the memory of what we did have has long faded, but the other day when I saw a beautiful package of ricciarelli in Carluccio’s shop, I remembered–ahah! — and was inspired…. Looking at the ingredients on the package, I wondered if they might not be home-make-able… Your recipe won the lottery, thank goodness. (It was actually your writing.) The ricciarelli have cracked on top, as you said they would. . And I have just eaten one….. oh, yes! They are al dente on the outside and chewy inside. Flavor is great. Dreamy! You’ve made a huge difference in tonight’s supper, in the holiday season and in life I expect! Wow! Thank you again, Caroline. With every best wish from one effusive Ruth Whetsel

    1. Ruth, your comment gave me teary eyes! It absolutely made my week. Thank you so much for taking the time for coming back and leaving such a lovely comment on the post. It really motivates me to create more recipes like this that bring back wonderful memories for you and others!

  39. I won a cookie bakeoff this past weekend with this recipe (14 other contenders!)! I think the really potent almond flavor helped me stand out against the typical holiday shortbread, sugar, ginger and chocolate flavors. They came out exactly as pictured and were quite easy. A few notes– I couldnt’ get any of the almond flour to sift through my sieve, so I gave up on that; no issues with results. Also It was really hard to tell when they were done, since they don’t brown or even puff up much. My only clue was to periodically pick a random one and look at its bottom, until they got to be a bit golden. Even then I thought they might be a little underdone, but by cooling, they firmed up a little and were really a perfect consistency. Grazie mille!

    1. Most cookies will look too soft or a little underdone right when they come out of the oven, but will be perfect when they cool – if they look completely done when you take them out of the oven they will probably end up too dry! If you had to cook them much longer than the 20 minutes for them to finish cooking you might consider investing in an oven thermometer to double check your oven temp! I only use mine since my oven takes way longer to preheat than it thinks and is consistently 25 degrees cooler than the setting. They’re only about $6 so totally worth the investment! (affiliate link) https://amzn.to/35HnUa4 Congrats on winning the cookie bakeoff!!

  40. Outrageously delicious!! Not sure what a dash of lemon juice was, but found a “dash” measuring spoon amongst my baking utensils and used two dashes because one seemed too little. The drying processed worked pretty good, only had to help a few to show the cracks (guess NJ in winter doesn’t emit too much humidity). The orange zest added a distinct flavor, which separates the taste from Pignoli cookies. Everyone loved them so much they will now be a staple when I bake Italian cookies for holidays and special events. Thank you for such a delicious recipe.

      1. Just made these and they are amazing! I ground whole almonds as fine as I could but even with the slightly coarser texture they are wonderful. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      These are divine! I was looking for an almond cookie to celebrate the feast of St. Francis when I stumbled on this recipe. I used aquafaba in place of the egg whites and they turned out so pretty, elegant and delicious, even with 3 little helpers! Because they are Siennese, I will have to make them for the feast of St. Catherine of Sienna. Thank for sharing this well written, easy to follow recipe!

      1. How much aquafaba did you use? I absolutely love these cookies but unfortunately have to avoid eggs now. I made a different recipe with aquafaba but I miss these. Would love to know how you did it. Thanks.

  41. Made these last night and they’re delicious. I doubled the batch without any problems that I could tell. The dough was a medium tan color. The almond meal was Bob’s Red Mill and the packet specifies that the almonds are ground with skin on. I might try blanched almond meal next time, out of curiosity, though the cookies are fine. As I dribbled the vanilla extract into the dough it occurred to me that white vanilla crystals might be worth trying (though white vanilla doesn’t taste quite as nice).

    If I had spaced the cookies a little tighter, I could have gotten the double recipe onto one large sheet. Rain was on the way, so I warmed the oven while shaping the cookies and put the sheets in the turned-off oven to dry out. Some time later, I pinched a cookie and felt a pop, so I pulled them all out and cracked them. They didn’t fully shatter, just got a few cracks, so next time I will be more observant how the test cookie cracks.

    I took out a handful to save for a gluten-free friend and expect my siblings etc. to love the rest of the batch on Christmas. Thank you for the easy, low-fat, DELICIOUS recipe, Caroline!

  42. We adore these cookies!
    My husband is a diabetic and I love Italian almond cookies so working with almond flour needed to happen. BOOM!
    Making some to share with MIL who is also diabetic for Christmas.
    Thanks for this brilliant recipe!

  43. So delicious! I love the strong almond flavor and the macaron-like chewiness. And I also love that your recipe for these is gluten free. Great for my New year’s Eve.

  44. Ricciarelli (and amaretti morbidi) are my favorite, and I was excited to try making them myself! I’m not a proficient baker, but your recipe yielded the most PERFECT and authentic cookies. The meringue shell, perfectly cracked, is to die for, and the chewy marzipan-like center is sure to send you straight to heaven – I will be making them weekly (following your recipe) for the rest of my life!!!

  45. I made these cookies for Christmas twice, because we ate them all the first time lol. I’m on keto and instead of regular icing sugar I used swerve this time, but I need to know the nutritional value of them in order to plot them into my carb counter. Do you know their nutritional info? Thanks.

  46. These are perfect for anyone who is gluten free. They turned out amazing and I will be making them over and over again. Who doesn’t love almond and orange together and a chewy cookie? Thank you for thIs keeper recipe.

  47. I am an avid baker and these are, hands down, the best and easiest cookie that any beginner could even make. I might add that your instructions are succinct and very descriptive so it’s pretty hard to mess up. Thank you! I just made three batches of these and sent them to my friends who are stuck at home like the rest of us. Stay safe and healthy!

  48. I’ve made these 4 times in the last 2 months because they disappear as soon as they’re out of the oven!!! I made two batches and broke it up into 4 different colors for Easter and shaped them like little eggs and they turned out SO cute on top of always being SO delicious. Almond flour is expensive but totally worth it for this recipe – thank you so much for posting my new favorite cookie recipe!

  49. These are what I’ve been searching for after eating a similar cookie in Puglia. I’m so thrilled to have found this recipe. Perfect texture, and oh so tasty!

  50. These were amazing! I didn’t have an orange or vanilla extract but they were still delicious! Thank you for the recipe 😊

  51. Hi! I have left a 5 star review BUT, unlike all of the other reviewers, I had an awful result. I used Powdered Swerve and the sweetness was overwhelming. And, I rolled the balls in the Powdered Swerve before baking. The cookies were left out for 4 hours. They never developed a shell and cracked. And, the Powdered Swerve on the exterior of the ovals disappeared while baking because of the oil in the almond flour. Please help me! I think that the cookies are BEAUTIFUL and I had fun making them! But I really blew it!!!

    1. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with sugar substitutes and how they would affect this recipe! My guess is the use of the Swerve rather than powdered sugar had something to do with the sweetness and the shell not developing. Sometimes my powdered sugar disappears on the exterior too and I have to roll it a second time to get the nice white coating but other than that, I’d probably attribute the issues to the sugar substitute.

  52. I did it today 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽… I enjoyed so much the process until the finished stage, it was easy.

  53. Thanks for the recipe. We loved the taste but found it a bit too sweet so next time I’ll reduce the sugar, just personal preference really. I used ground almonds instead of almond flour as I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that for sale in the shops here. I presume the grains with the flour must be finer, but it seemed to work just as well. Loved the chewy soft texture in the middle with the crunch of the shell!

    1. Almond flour is just finely ground almonds – if you can get it through a fine mesh sieve it’s probably about the same consistency. I think it could definitely work with a bit less sugar too! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  54. This recipe is off…… you need more liquid….. 2 eggs whites whipped into firm peaks is not enough moisture to make any kind of batter.

    1. You should end up with a very sticky dough, not a batter. They are sort of a cousin to macarons but you won’t end up with a pipeable batter like you do with macarons! Please see the photos for the consistency you should be looking for.

    2. There is nothing wrong with the recipe unless your eggs are extra small. I was afraid the first time making them when i saw all the sugar and flour vs the egg whites but it is perfect.

  55. I’ve made these a few times and they’re always a hit! Thank you for sharing the recipe and your adventure!

  56. Made these today..with 70% of suggested icing sugar….they are AMAZING. (Still very very sweet though!:))
    Thank you for saving my cravings for almond.
    One more almond dessert with egg white after egg white almond tea….x

  57. I am staying with my Dad during this COVID-19 pandemic and have tried many new recipes, including several cookie/dessert recipes. This one was like hitting the lottery! So delicious! I live in Tennessee and it is quite humid here already but the cookies cracked after about 1 hour 15 minutes. I think I need to invest in that oven thermometer as they came out a little underdone in the middle. But both my Dad and I thoroughly enjoyed them! A complicated recipe made simple with your writing/directions. Thank you so much for bringing a little sunshine into our lives during this time!
    PS – I tried to leave a recipe rating but it didn’t work!

    1. I’m so glad you liked this recipe and that the directions helped! Hope y’all are doing well with the pandemic, sounds like you’re having lots of fun trying new recipes!

  58. This is a fantastic recipe. Very easy. You don’t actually have to be that delicate with it at all, and that includes creating the balls and rolling them in the icing sugar. My family absolutely love these. I omitted almond essence and the orange zest because we are in lockdown and did not to have either ingredient.

      1. Hello
        Great recipe ! Perfect texture! I dis not have almond extract, i added more vanilla extract, but i feel it is lacking something , i mean a more distinctive flavor; Would orange blossom water do the trick? I am
        Not finding almond extract near my home.

        1. The almond extract is really what gives these cookies their distinctive and characteristic flavor! Are you in the U.S.? Almond extract is pretty common and found near the vanilla extract in the grocery store or at Target. If you can’t find it in person you can order it online! (affiliate link)

  59. These cookies are amazing! My husband and I bought them in Florence, Italy. We were in love!Thank you for sharing this recipe, we can relive our vacation. They were a hit at our last party! Our last batch was a tad over baked as my husband set the oven for convection bake. They were still chewy in the center, but a little darker on the outside. Thanks again!

  60. I am so excited to try these. I am keto so I bake a lot with almond flour already and LOVE almond flavored cookies. Do you think a sugar replacement like monk fruit would be one for one?

    These are absolutely amazing! I had these homemade before (courtesy of living with an Italian immigrant grandma for 4 years) but never made them myself. I’m so glad I found your recipe, thank you for sharing it and for all the hard work you put into it. I feel like I’ll be making these every Sunday instead of macarons.

  62. 5 stars
    Are you allowed to recommend a particular brand of almond flour? The cookies on my last try were not as good as the first ones. I cannot remember the brand. Thanks

  63. 5 stars
    Props. Quality recipe, the cookies have an interior like marzipan. I needed to bake 40 mins. Excellent thanks for taking the time to share this.

    1. I’m Brazilian and I was delighted when I saw a person here who makes these cookies. I loved your recipe and I’m going to test it.

  64. 5 stars
    i never comment on recipes but i just had to for these amazing cookies! i’ve made them twice now and they are a hit with everyone. so easy to make and so delicious! thank you

  65. 5 stars
    I really loved these, however, when i was rolling the cookies the mixture was very sticky and would not roll into balls very easily until i had powdered sugar on my hands. What did i do wrong? They still tasted good when they came out.

    1. I usually end up with very sticky hands covered in dough and powdered sugar after rolling these! However, if it’s too sticky to handle, you can add a little extra almond flour and that should help!

  66. 5 stars
    Our new favorite cookie. My husband grew up near Lyon France and the taste and texture of this cookie reminds him of his favorite almond gallette he would request for his birthday each year. He is grateful for the reminder.
    Thank you !

  67. 5 stars
    These turned out so good!!!
    I was wondering if there is a recipe version by weight? I saw it mentioned in the comments but can’t seem to find it. I always have trouble measuring Almond flour by volume because it packs down so easily 🙂

    1. This has been a frequent request on this recipe and I plan to do some additional testing very soon to make sure the metric measurements I include are accurate! I’ll keep you posted on when weight measurements are added. Thank you so much!

  68. 5 stars
    I have to say, when I started making these cookies, I got a bit worried. Folding the almond flour into the egg whites and it says to try and keep the lightness of the egg whites, I thought that is not what mine looks like! I carried on! The result was fabulous! These cookies are just to die for!!! One of my new favorite cookies!!

  69. 5 stars
    Dear Caroline,

    Just made these and had a bit of a quandary – I opened the oven halfway through to turn the tray for more even baking and the cookies looked just fine. Unfortunately though by the end they had all collapsed. They were really difficult to get off the sheet as well, and I had to re-shape them into truffles to salvage the whole thing. Was it definitely the oven opening mishap, since these are meringue based? But they had already been cooked for 10 minutes when I did what I did and they looked nicely shaped.

    They still taste great though, wonderful recipe. Just need your help before I attempt my next batch.

    All the best,


    1. I’d love to see a photo if you have one. They’re not super airy to begin with so I’m not sure what they’d look like collapsed. I don’t think opening the oven should affect them!

  70. 5 stars
    Fantastic. I had some for the first time in Italy and these tasted exactly the same. And they were EASY! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  71. Hi Caroline,
    Hope it’s not too late to ask you a question about the recipe but I really want to try these this weekend and iI’m wondering if you could tell me the weight of the dry ingredients as by using cup measures is very relative… any possibility of sharing that?

    Thank you so much for your time and this wonderful recipe you put together.


    1. Hi Belen, So sorry for the late response! I wrote this recipe for primarily US readers, who frequently don’t own a kitchen scale! But weighted measurements have been a frequently-requested addition to this recipe so I have some more testing coming up, after which I’ll update the recipe to include them as well. In the meantime, I’d just use the cup measurements and if you find the dough is too sticky to roll into balls, just add a bit more almond flour until it’s workable. It should still be pretty sticky though! I’ll keep you posted on updates!

  72. 5 stars
    Nice crisp outer with soft chewy inside. Like a denser meringue. But so light and delicious.

    Used medium eggs and baked at 150°C

    Almond flour I used ground almonds (UK)

  73. Very excited to try this recipe! I’m wondering if the dough can be made a night in advance and kept in the fridge?

  74. 5 stars
    I made these today. I have to tell you I was skeptical as i have tried to reproduce Ricciarelli from multiple recipes without success. I will say these are great. These come the closest to the texture and taste of the Ricciarelli i remember my grandmother used to get direct from Siena Italy. They are great. This was the first time i created egg white peaks. I am a good cook, but when it comes to baking I have not mastered that (except for Almond and Anise Biscotti). I have saved and printed off the recipe as well as passed it off the my cousin.. I used a silicone mat. I dont recommend that as it doesn’t brown the bottom of the cookies enough. Again these were/are great

  75. I just made these and though these came out delicious they did not crack on top. The dough was very very sticky and impossible to shape into balls by hand. I had to scoop with a spoon into the powdered sugar. A big question I had in making them–the directions say to sieve the flour and sugar into the egg whites. Do you measure BEFORE you put through the sieve or after? I measured first and then put it through the sieve. Perhaps I didn’t have enough flour/sugar and that is why the dough was over-sticky. Any suggestions?

    1. I measure before I sift the flour and sugar. However, I have occasionally in the past had to add a little more almond flour to make the dough workable if it’s too sticky! It is still pretty sticky and I do usually end up with a thin coating of dough on the palms of my hands as I’m rolling the cookies but you should still be able to roll it into balls. I plan to update this recipe with weighted measurements as well so I hope you try this recipe again in the future! I’d definitely add only additional almond flour, not additional sugar, to get the dough to a consistency you can work with.

  76. 5 stars
    I was looking for an almond cookie recipe and I came across your website. I’m so glad I tried them- these are amazing! My only regret is that we didn’t double the recipe when we made them! Thank you

  77. 3 stars
    Also had an issue with the dough not forming balls. Saw in the comment section that weighing it by grams might fix the issue rather than by weight. I am wondering if measuring by weight is better for this recipe why its not actually included in the recipe. I understand this is a delicate cookie, but I think I will skip this one.

    1. Hi Gillian! If the dough is too sticky to work with you can add a bit of extra almond flour until you can roll it into balls. It will still be very sticky (I find I have a thin layer of dough coating the palms of my hands by the time I’m done rolling the balls) but should be workable. I wrote this in cups for my primary audience in the U.S. since I know most people here, especially casual bakers or home cooks, don’t own a kitchen scale, but I plan to add weighted measurements to the recipe in the future. I hope you will try this recipe again when I update with weights!

  78. 5 stars
    i followed your recipe and loved it! this is now my favorite cookie. i am making these again tomorrow to bring to some neighbors for the holidays, and the only thing im doing differently is adding a little more orange zest to get more of that awesome citrus taste. thank you for your hard work!

    1. Thanks so much for commenting! These are great with a little extra zest (I had it that way and it was great! But less zest was closer to the original cookie I had) Hope your neighbors enjoy the cookies too!

  79. 5 stars
    5 star rating…these cookies are totally delicious! We’ve been to Italy and these cookies will help us reminisce of those magical memories! Thank YOU for sharing.

  80. 5 stars
    Can I substitute SOME all purpose flour for the almond flour? I was thrilled to find an originally gluten-free recipe for our grandson at Christmas. The cost of the flour/or almonds is really expensive, but definitely worth it. It makes them a seldom baked treat for us (we are not gluten intolerant]. Just a few at Christmas for us to share is ok, but I would like to make them more often just for us. They are addictive !!!

    1. Oof, I know almond flour isn’t cheap and honestly that stops me from making them more often too! I haven’t tested them using any all-purpose flour so unfortunately I can’t give you a straight answer right now on how that would work but I’ll let you know if I do!

  81. 1 star
    I was so looking forward to making these! They really look beautiful and I have even tried them from a bakery before, so I know how delicious they are. But oh, how disappointed I am right now. I have quite a lot of baking experience and unfortunately something just seems completely off with the measurements – I even double checked all measurements, just to be on the safe side. I’m now left with dry balls of something similar to marzipan, to which nothing happened after 20 minutes in the oven.
    However, Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Louise! I’m so sorry you had that experience with these! Normally the dough is on the stickier side so my only thought is maybe the almond flour was too densely packed when you measured it out? I’m planning to re-test these using weighted measurements to help with that issue and for my European audience so I hope you will try again using the weights when I update it! If you do make it again before then, maybe try adding a little less almond flour initially just to see how the consistency is and add just enough so the dough is not-sticky enough to where you can roll it into balls (usually the palms of my hands end up coated in a thin layer of the dough as I’m rolling balls, and that’s about the consistency you should be looking for!). Happy new year to you as well, and please let me know if you make these again!

  82. 5 stars
    I followed this recipe exactly. Dough was sticky but I just kept going. Everyone who tasted the cookies loved them. I’m making another batch again. If I reduce the sugar, should I substitute with more flour?

    1. I’ve made these with more sugar before when I was testing the recipe and didn’t find I had to compensate with more flour when I reduced the sugar. However, if you find the dough is too sticky to work with feel free to add a little extra almond flour until it feels ok! The dough should be pretty sticky though and definitely coats the palms of my hands as I’m rolling it into balls, so just be aware that’s normal.

  83. Also, I forgot to ask if there is an option for metric measurements for these cookies. In Australia we measure by weight. Our cup and spoon measures are slightly different to USA. Thanks, Judy

    1. Hi Judy, this has been a frequent request on this recipe and I plan to do some additional testing very soon to make sure the metric measurements I include are accurate! I’ll keep you posted on when weight measurements are added. Thank you so much!

  84. Thanks for your prompt reply. Would it make much difference to the consistency of the dough if I left out the almond extract (not keen on the flavour)? If the dough needs the 1 tbsp of liquid, maybe I could replace it with a tablespoon of orange juice? Thanks, Judy

  85. 5 stars
    Hi, I made these Almond cookies and it was delicious!!! My whole family loved it! I’m definitely going to make them soon again.
    Thank you so much for the recipe! And I love your idea of pre cracking the cookies 😊

  86. Hi Caroline,
    This recipe reminds me of almond cookies from Sicily which are soft and have an all almond taste.
    Can I substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract and have all almond extract in the cookie instead of both?
    Can I omit the orange zest ?
    Can I also omit the 1/2 tsp lemon juice?
    Would I have to replace the lemon juice with something else ?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Anne! This recipe is already pretty almondy as written, so if you’d like to leave out the vanilla I wouldn’t replace it with more almond extract. Functionally speaking, you can omit the orange zest and it won’t affect the final texture but the orange is a really lovely counterpart to the almond flavor. As for the lemon juice, the acid helps the egg whites hold more air and get fluffier. You can replace it with about 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar if you wish and that serves the same purpose.

  87. 5 stars
    I am truly shocked by how amazing this recipe turned out and how easy it was! So easy to follow and the cookies came out perfectly! We loved these from Siena and so happy to have found this recipe that recreates these delicious cookies flawlessly !! Thank you!!

  88. 5 stars
    These are great! I made them with egg whites that had been uncovered in the fridge a couple days and the dough was very easy to handle.

  89. 5 stars
    Once I converted the measurements into UK measurements that is! We don’t really use the cups system, even though it seems very good and practical.
    If any other Brits are interested I’ve found these ratios work perfectly:
    200g almond flour
    200g icing sugar + 30g for coating
    Then all the other measurements stand.
    Set oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 130 Celsius for fan oven.

    Hope that’s helpful!

    1. Thanks Katherine! Re-testing these cookies with metric measurements and adding them to the recipe card is on my to-do list but thank you for providing your conversions in the meantime!

  90. 5 stars
    Ermergerd these are delicious!!! Made three times the amount and ended up only using 2/3 the total sugar and they still turned out incredible!

  91. 5 stars
    This is my third time making them so I figured I should drop a rating! These are now my favorite cookies to bake (and eat). I recommend using amaretto in place of almond extract!

    1. Hi. Anastasia! So sorry your cookies burned. Just to clarify, was your 300 degrees in Fahrenheit? (about 150 degrees Celsius) If you did set your oven for 300 degrees Fahrenheit and they burned after only 15 minutes, I would suggest checking the calibration of your oven with something like this oven thermometer (affiliate link) because it would seem your oven is running much too hot. Hope this helps!

  92. These are soooo yummy.

    Have tried a few versions and made some substitutions based on what I have. All work!

    I will say using icing sugar to do the final coat means you don’t need drying out time. It has cornstarch so probably pulls all the moisture out?

    Thanks for sharing this!!

    1. Icing sugar is just another name for powdered sugar, which is already what’s called for in the recipe. Depending on where you live and how humid it is that day, it can take a longer or shorter amount of time to dry out! Even here in notoriously humid Charleston there have been some days where they’re dried out enough by the time I finish rolling the cookies, and other days it can take a couple hours!

  93. 5 stars
    My mother-in-law made these for us and they were to die for! Luckily she gave me the receipe for us to try on our own. They tasted great but ended up very hard. Could it have been an over mixing issue? Or do you think we just baked them for too long?

    1. Probably one of the two! Did you bake them longer than the 20 minutes? I do try to keep some air in the dough when I mix it. It’s not nearly as finicky as macaron batter as far as air is concerned, but I could see it would be possible to overmix it.

  94. 5 stars
    I usually buy these cookies at our local Italian market for $18.90 a pound. I wanted to see if I could make them, and found your recipe. I doubled the batch with no issue and for 1/2 the cookies I made round balls, rolled in powder sugar and put a thumb print adding apricot jelly in center. I thought it would be a good touch for Easter. The last 1/2 batch I sprinkled shaved almonds over the top. These taste just like what I get from the Italian Bakery. The only thing they do different is they use a pastry bag to pipe the dough out to have nice ridges. I may try the pastry bag next time with these. Great Recipe, my husband is Italian and he loved these. Thanks!

  95. 5 stars
    Delicious cookies! I was wondering if you have ever freezed them? I have had a request to make them for a friends birthday but I might not be in town so I was hoping I could make them beforehand.

  96. 5 stars
    I tried these today and I love how they turned out. It’s amazing that they don’t have any butter or oil bust still have a very nice texture. Will definitely try again and double or triple the ingredients. Thanks a lot for the recipe

  97. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! My family and I love them and I make them often! I tried a new variation today using coconut extract. Totally different but delicious!

  98. There’s a cookie called Tara’s Mediterranean Almond cookie sold exclusively at one grocery store in my area and it consists of only almond flour, sugar, egg whites, and pistachios. The cookies look very similar to the recipe posted without the powdered sugar and some of the other ingredients. Wondering if I would be able to recreate something similar with only those ingredients and the directions posted. I don’t have a stand or hand mixer so it might be a while before I try to attempt it.

    1. It’s worth a shot! Let me tell you about the other ingredients so you can decide whether you want to leave them out or not.

      The dash of lemon juice helps stabilize the egg whites when you whip them.
      The pinch of salt enhances and balances the sweet flavor (most cookie dough recipes include a small bit of salt).
      The baking powder may be an issue if you leave it out, since it helps the cookies expand and crack.
      The orange zest, almond extract, and vanilla extract are for flavor.
      I’m not sure how the dough would turn out if you subbed granulated sugar for the powdered sugar. On an ingredient list I imagine even powdered sugar would be listed as “sugar” so you might want to still use powdered sugar in the dough, even if you don’t roll them in sugar afterwards.

      I’d recommend trying it as written too to see which version you prefer and which is closer to the cookies you’re trying to emulate! A mixer is definitely helpful for whipping egg whites but I’ve done it by hand before too. Good luck!

  99. 5 stars
    I love these cookies and always buy some at my local Italian bakery. I made your recipe today. The cookies turned out great. Crisp outside, moist and chewy inside! I followed recipe exactly, but needed to bake about 5 minutes extra to get cookies golden. So glad I found your recipe. Thanks, Sherry

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