Sunday, December 16, 2018

Ricciarelli Chewy Italian Almond Cookies (GF)

Indulge in a classic 14th Century Italian recipe believed to have been brought to Siena when Visconti Ricciardetto returned from the Crusades. Usually served around the holidays, these chewy Italian biscuits are similar to a macaroon.

Twenty minutes prep time; two hours to sit out; twenty minutes to bake. Perfect with coffee or tea and these piccolo biscotto* only get better over time.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.6 Persimmons


3 egg whites (about 1/3 cup), room temperature
Juice squeezed from 1/2 lemon (seeds removed)

2 1/4 cups almond flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon almond extract, preferably
Simply Organic
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, preferably Nielsen-Massey
Juice squeezed from 1/2 lemon (seeds removed)

1/2 cup powdered sugar (for rolling the cookies)


Note: cookies will sit out for 2 hours or more before baking in order to create crackle on top.

1. Add egg whites to a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low (Speed 2) for a minute, then add the lemon juice and beat on medium (Speed 6) for about 1 minute. Finish beating the egg whites on high (Speed 10) just until still peaks form, about 2 more minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, powdered sugar, salt, and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients into another bowl. Gently fold the sifted ingredients into the egg white mixture with a rubber spatula about 1/4 at a time. Fold in the almond extract, then the vanilla. Add the juice from the lemon half and mix. (Note: original recipe below added orange zest instead of the extra lemon juice; another add lemon zest; so adjust for personal preference). 

3. In a medium bowl, add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and dip your palms in to coat. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the dough (it will be sticky), roll into a ball, and cover it with powdered sugar. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly form them into an oval shape. Repeat until all the cookies are on the sheet.

4. Let the cookies sit out for at least 2 hours, or - as one recipe said - 2 days!

5. When ready to bake, place a cookie sheet on the top rack of the oven (to prevent burning the tops). Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (or 300 if your oven runs hot). Bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes.  Cookies are done when the color has turned light brown and the bottoms are browned. I turned the cookie sheet around at 20 minutes and baked for 2 more minutes. When done, place the baking sheet on a wire rack, and cool the cookies for 20 minutes. Lift the cookies with a spatula and transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.

6. Sprinkle the cookies with a light dusting of powdered sugar when ready to eat.

Recipe makes about 14 cookies. Cover and store extras in fridge. Even better texture the next day!

#cookies #glutenfree #dairyfree #almond #ricciarelli #Italian ##christmascookies #dessert 

*piccolo biscotto: litttle cookie

Recipe adapted from Pinch Me I'm Eating website here.

My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

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