These moist Riciarelli cookies with a delectable crisp crust are a specialty of Sienna,
Italy. Often served at Christmastime, they can be flavored with a bit of grated
1 cup whole blanched almonds
1 3/4 cups Love’n Bake® Almond Paste
2 tablespoons egg white
1/2 teaspoon baking powder or 1/4 teaspoon ammonium carbonate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grind the almonds to a fine powder in a nut grinder or food processor fitted
with a steel blade. Transfer to a mixer bowl and mix in the almond paste with
an electric mixer. Add the egg white and mix at the lowest speed until thoroughly
blended. The dough should be firm. Add baking powder to the almond paste. If
using ammonium carbonate, crush it with the flat side of a cleaver to a powder
and add it to the almond paste. Add vanilla and mix until well blended.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a long log about 3/4
inch in diameter. Slice the log at 2-inch intervals and shape each piece into
a diamond. Sift powdered sugar lightly over the shaped dough and flatten each
piece slightly with a sugar-coated hand.
Place the ricciarelli 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets and
let stand uncovered at room temperature at least 1 hour or overnight.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Bake until the cookies are a very light tan, 20 to 30 minutes.
Cool on racks. Take care not to bake until brown or crisp; it is the softness
that makes ricciarelli so delicious.
Yield: 2 dozen
Recipe and photo credit: Love 'n Bake® - The American Almond Company.
Recipe Adapted from Carol Field, “The Italian Baker.”