by Eddy Van Damme on January 5, 2010


During a trip to Florence I discovered these delectable Italian almond cookies. The slight crispness and firm chew makes them simply irresistible. To me, confections made with almonds possess a sense of luxury very similar like chocolates have.  Almonds work so well with chocolate and oftentimes I will dip the ricciarelli in chocolate for a sublime combination. For a flourless and gluten free ricciarelli, you can replace the flour with corn starch.

Getting it all together!

Once the almond dough is made it needs to be chilled before it is cut. One hour will work but overnight certainly works even better. Oftentimes I have ricciarelli dough wrapped in the freezer and I bake some for last minute needs. I love it with espresso or gelato.

Oftentimes the measurements below may make you think there is an error. When two cups of measured powdered sugar is placed on a scale, it actually only weighs 8 oz or 240 gram. A bigger change would be observed if 2 cups of down feathers were being placed on a scale.

Ricciarelli cookies


Yield: 48 cookies

2 Cups (8 oz) Almond flour-meal 240 g
2 Cups (8 oz) Powdered sugar 240 g
1 ½ Tablespoon (1 ½ TBSP) Orange zest 1 ½ soup spoon
2 Tablespoon (2 Tbsp) All purpose-pastry flour 12 g
1/8 teaspoon (1/8 tsp) Baking powder 1/8 teaspoon
2 (2) Large egg whites 2
1/8 teaspoon (1/8 tsp) Salt 1/8 teaspoon
1 teaspoon (1 tsp) Almond extract 5 ml
  1. Combine the almond flour, sifted powdered sugar, orange zest, flour and baking powder and stir to combine.
  2. Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl to firm peaks. Add the dry ingredients along with the salt and almond extract and fold using a spatula. The mixture will become heavy and firm. (This is not a meringue style composition)
  3. On a plastic food wrap lined baking sheet spread or press the mixture into a 5 inch x 12 inch (13 cm x 30 cm) rectangular piece. Use powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Freeze one hour or overnight.
  4. Cut the frozen dough lengthwise into 5 equal size strips using a sharp knife. Cut the strips into a 45 degree angle to obtain diamonds. Dip the surface of the diamonds in powdered sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Part of the dough can be frozen for later bake off.
  5. Bake at 350 F (180C) until pale golden.

17 comments on “Ricciarelli

  1. Hilary Adams on said:

    Ha ha! I have all the ingredients on hand for these!! I hadn’t planned to bake this afternoon, but a change in plans just might be in order! Thanks, Chef Eddy!

    PS. – I have a friend whose son has a gluten allergy, so the substitution is great info! She’s ALWAYS looking for treats to make that her son can enjoy, too! ;0)

  2. Really nice blog! keep up the good work, i made your Chestnut Buche de Noel for New year with an apple fluid gel. It was superb!

  3. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you for the kind comments. Sounds like you are very passionate about pastry work as well. All the best,

  4. I made the ricciarelli for the restaurant I work at and I am glad to say that they are going to replace our biscotti for ever. This is exactly I was looking for. Great blog by the way!
    John C.

  5. Diana Wallace on said:

    I can’t wait to try these!

  6. These will be perfect for one of my favorite gluten-free friends! Can you suggest a ballpark figure to aim for when looking for the golden color to tell when the cookies are done? Thanks for the great photos and recipe.

  7. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Evie and thank you for your question. The cookies will take about 15 minutes. However, oven differ greatly so go by your instinct and golden color.
    All the best. Eddy.

  8. Elaine on said:

    If I wanted to grind up whole almonds to make the almond flour, how many cups of whole nuts would I need to equal 2 c. almond flour and can I use the almonds with the skins on it?

  9. Barbara on said:

    Thank you so very much for your elegant recipe for Ricciarelli. I have been looking for the right one since I had my first several years ago. The recipe itself was a work of art; simple, confident and clear. My cookies will only improve as I continue to bake more, much to the pleasure of my family. Our warm gratitude to you.

  10. Nina Novak on said:

    Question – how do you keep these cookies fresh? Should they be frozen soon after baking and then thawed for serving?

  11. Nina Novak on said:

    Question – how to keep the cookies fresh? How long will they keep? Should they be frozen?

  12. Judith on said:

    WONDERFUL recipe! Takes me back to Sienna….
    Been wanting to make these cookies for years. Nice to have a simple yet divine instructions.

  13. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Love these as well! Thanks for your comment.

  14. Cheryl on said:

    Hi Eddy,

    Can these be made using almond paste? If so, and conversion recommendations? Or just use almond paste to replace the almond flour?

  15. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    I am sure you can Cheryl but it will require some testing.

  16. Nicholas Pringle on said:

    Will have to try it. Almond dough a new concept for me but will have to try it!

  17. Esther Swink on said:

    I made these today for a dinner party of 17 people tonight. They were delicious!…and a big hit. Everyone asked for the recipe. I let them freeze for only a few hours. I think the dough would have been easier to manage if they had frozen overnight. I didn’t get 48 cookies, but mine were larger than expected. This recipe is a keeper.

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