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.
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|
- Combine the almond flour, sifted powdered sugar, orange zest, flour and baking powder and stir to combine.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake at 350 F (180C) until pale golden.