Ricciarelli: Tuscan gf delight, step by step

Ricciarelli are the Italian (Tuscan) answer to Macarons, but less fussy, because Italians…do it better 🙂
These bitesize delights were my mom’s favorite indulgence over the Christmas holidays. In fact, she was born and raised in Tuscany, and these cookies from Siena must have carried good memories for her.
Even thought the process is easy, these GF treats are a true joy: notes of orange, almond and a chew that is uniquely addictive since 1879.

Being always on a time crunch, I came up with some shortcuts to be able to deliver these cookies in lesser time. No overnight rest, just a few hours, no homemade almond paste, the one in a can is just fine.
In conclusion, the cookies are as good as advertised, they even have the classic, unique, sought after crinkles as the very distinguished Tuscan Ricciarelli.
Add these cookie to your repertoire of sweets for the holidays, you won’t regret it.

Check how I easily shape the Ricciarelli cookies.

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyVery easy
  • CostMedium
  • Preparation time30 Minutes
  • Rest time8 Hours
  • Cooking time20 Minutes
  • Serving12 at 2 cookies each
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineItalian


Ricciarelli dough

14 ounces almond paste
1 egg white (from large egg, room temperature)
1 zest of an orange
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds, scraped)
1/4 teaspoon baking ammonia (heaping)
2 cups powdered cane sugar (For coating)
1 teaspoon almond essence (for bakers, less strong or lesser quantity of extract.)


1 Baking Tray
1 Ice Cream portioner


How to make Ricciarelli

Just a quick note before we get started:
Ammonia: can be replaced with baking powder, however, Ammonia gives the cookies a nicer and hollower crumb.
The scoop: #60 equals 2 tablespoons, approximately.

Finally, here the easy steps:

1-Whip the egg white with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Set aside.
2-In the bowl of a stand up mixer place the almond paste and the remaining ingredients. Mix to incorporate.
3-On medium speed add the egg whites and mix until you get a cohesive mass.
4-Scoop the dough with the ice cream scoop and place each portion on top of the powder sugar which you had previously sifted on a piece of wax paper.
For easiness I work in batches of a few Ricciarelli at a time.
5-SHAPE the Ricciarelli following my video above, and place them on a baking sheet with silicon mat.
If you are using parchment paper, dust it with cornstarch first, or the Ricciarelli might get stuck.
Do not grease the surface.

Resting and baking

Let the Tuscan Ricciarelli rest, at room temperature, uncovered for about 1 to 3 hours, until the surface is dry. Here in Maui, just under an hour is fine.
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.
Bake the Ricciarelli for about 20 min. They should not brown around the edges, and will firm up when cooled down, so don’t try to move them while hot.

The Ricciarelli keep well in a airtight container for about a week, refrigerated.

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