How to make oval cookies
Ricciarelli di Siena are delicious, tender almond biscuits with a soft core. The soft, flourless Italian almond biscuits have been one of our all-time favorite sweets for years. And why should you only be able to enjoy them on vacation when you can bake Ricciarelli yourself at least as well?
I got to know the fine cookies at a trade fair - in Munich. One booth from Siena had exclusively Ricciarelli alla mandorla on offer - the finest marzipan-like pastries that really melt on the tongue with its soft core. Ricciarelli is available “pure” or with lemon, in the dark cocoa version, refined with coconut flakes or fortified nuts. And they are just awesome! Similar to macarons, Ricciarelli are mainly made up of almonds, sugar and protein. The consistency is reminiscent of Amaretti morbidi, the soft and large Amarettini variant. Since they are comparatively expensive in Germany, I went looking for a Ricciarelli recipe (the original is best) and put together my own from two or three Italian recipes.
By the way, Ricciarelli biscuits are eaten in their homeland at both Christmas and Easter. How practical - if you missed baking Ricciarelli in winter, you can do it in spring 😉. And I can really only recommend you to try these delicacies. Since that Italian almond biscuits without flour (the spoon is optional), people with gluten intolerance can also nibble on it without any problems.
This is how the Ricciarelli di Siena stay nice and soft, delicate and light
Some tips for the Ricciarelli recipe: Almonds and powdered sugar must be very fine, so it is better to put the already ground almonds and powdered sugar into the kitchen chopper. The Ricciarelli dough is quite sticky and is somewhat reminiscent of cinnamon stars, so, like this, it can be rolled out quite easily between two layers of cling film or a cut freezer bag. You can cut it, for example in the typical diamond shape or diamond shape. Or you shape the dough into a roll and cut the biscuits with a sharp knife.
Ricciarelli di Siena must absolutely remain light or white. This keeps the core, reminiscent of marzipan, nice and tender and juicy. During the last baking, I tried out whether it was better to bake them briefly and at high heat or leave them in the oven longer and more or less “dry” - this variant was definitely the better one. Enjoy the meal! By the way, the marzipan cake or these cookies are also great for almond fans 🙂
Note: I published this post for the first time in 2014 and last updated in 2021.
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Ricciarelli (Italian almond biscuits)
- 300 grams of almonds ground and peeled
- 1 tablespoon wheat flour can also be omitted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 drops of bitter almond oil
- 200 grams of powdered sugar and a little dusting
- 2 medium-sized egg whites
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon baking cocoa optional, for the dark version
- Mix the almonds with baking powder, bitter almond oil, half of the powdered sugar and possibly flour.
- Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff, while drizzling in the rest of the powdered sugar. Knead the almond mixture into the stiff egg white. I did it with my hands. Warning: the whole thing will be pretty sticky ;-).
- Halve the dough. Knead the cocoa powder under half of the dough and the lemon peel under the other half.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the mixture into long rolls and cut off slices with a sharp knife. Place them next to each other on the baking sheet and press in with the back of the fork to create a pattern. Or shape small balls with your hands and flatten them lightly on the baking sheet. You can of course also shape oval biscuits or roll out the almond mixture between two layers of baking paper and cut diamonds.
- Let the Ricciarelli rest for a good half an hour. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees top and bottom heat. Bake or let dry for around 20 minutes. Very important: the biscuits must still be white and moist! Dust the Ricciarelli with powdered sugar, leave to cool on the tray and then carefully dissolve.
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