These Italian Almond Cookies are packed with almond and citrus flavor! With a light, chewy texture, these tasty cookies pair well with a glass of dessert wine. Cheers!
Our region of upstate New York recently added a new area code. 518 has been the telephone area code for as long as we’ve lived here, and now 838 has been added. Understandably, there was a lot of confusion and frustration from folks around here about the new addition. Instead of just 7 numbers, now you need to use 10 numbers whenever you place a call. This is a pretty big change.
When we first moved up here almost 10 years (!) ago now, I remember being shocked that we only had to dial 7 numbers. It was so strange to see advertisements and billboards without the area code. After all, there was only one area code, so why include it? We moved up from Atlanta, and at the time Atlanta had 3 different area codes. Using that 3-digit area code was just a normal way of making a call. Forgetting to include the area code could mean the difference between calling the dog groomer or placing a to-go order for pizza. Oops!
I was recently going through a box of my childhood keepsakes, and I stumbled across an Atlanta Braves magazine from 1993. It was a fan magazine that I picked up when my grandpa took me on a road-trip to see a Braves game. A lot has changed in the 25+ years since I bought that magazine. The Braves players pictured on the cover have all retired, and several of them have been voted into the Hall of Fame. The ballpark depicted on that cover has been torn down…and the one that took its place has been torn down, too. Oh, and Atlanta now has multiple area codes.
That’s right. The inside cover of that magazine features a Pizza Hut commercial, and the number doesn’t include an area code. It looks so out of place to me now! There is also an ad for NationsBank on the opposing page. I’ve never even heard of NationsBank. (Wikipedia tells me they merged into Bank of America sometime in the late 90’s.) I’ve always found it fascinating to go back and read old magazines…not for the articles, but for the advertisements.
Italian Almond Cookies
Ok, enough talk about area codes and old magazine advertisements. Let’s talk about Italian Almond Cookies instead! These cookies are insanely easy to make. Just look at the list of ingredients. It’s basically almond flour, egg whites and powdered sugar. There’s a tiny bit of baking powder and some extracts for flavor. But that’s it. (And since almond flour is the base, these Italian Almond Cookies are gluten-free, too.)
These cookies, called Ricciarelli in Italian, are typically served during the holidays alongside a glass of dessert wine. This version varies slightly from the more traditional Italian version as it uses almond flour and egg whites instead of almond paste. However, the chewy, light texture is spot on and these cookies would indeed be delicious with a glass of Vin Santo during the holidays. These Italian Almond Cookies also use the zest of an orange, and I might actually put the zest of two oranges into these cookies the next time I bake a batch. The citrus and almond flavors here combine to produce a light dessert that’s perfect when you want a sweet treat that isn’t too heavy.
I suspect these cookies would also be delicious as a mid-morning snack along with a mug of coffee. Update: I just got back from the kitchen with a coffee and one of these Italian Almond Cookies. They do indeed go well together! I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do around here. Happy baking!
Did you make a batch of these Italian Almond Cookies at home? Leave a comment or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). Cheers!
Looking for more tasty cookie recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
Italian Almond Cookies
- 2 large egg whites
- 2¼ cups almond flour
- 1¾ cups powdered sugar plus more for rolling cookies
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sliced almonds for decorating
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Using a medium bowl, add almond flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and salt; stir until well combined.
- Fold whipped egg whites into the bowl with dry ingredients, taking care not to over-stir.
- Add lemon juice, orange zest, almond extract and vanilla extract; fold just until combined.
- Working with ~ 1 Tbsp of dough, roll it into a round ball. (Tip: Dip your fingers in powdered sugar to keep dough from sticking to your hands too much.) Shape dough into an oval or log and then roll in extra powdered sugar. Place cookie on parchment-lined sheet pan.
- Once all cookies have been placed on sheet pan, flatten the tops slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Top each cookie with 1-2 sliced almonds.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until cookies are light golden brown.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.