Ricciarelli Almond Cookies from Siena

The Ricciarelli Almond Cookies are traditionally from Siena, one of the most fascinating cities  in Tuscany. When I was twenty I moved from Puglia to this region. I lived in Pisa but I spent a lot of time going all around the region to discover new places and traditional foods.  A place I will never forget is the historic Nannini pastry shop in the heart of Siena which prepares some of the best ricciarelli I have ever eaten. 
If you find yourself passing by there, don’t miss the opportunity to taste their almond sweets covered with icing sugar, moist inside and.scented with orange zest.

Do you want to bake more almond cookies? Here you can find more recipes: ALMOND COOKIES

To prepare these traditional Cookies we followed the recipe of Giulia – Juls’Kitchen a talented food blogger based in Tuscany.

RECIPE:

Ricciarelli


SERVINGS: 25-27 pieces
Preparation time: 30 minResting time: 12 h
Baking time: 18 minTotal time: 1 h 48 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 egg whites, about 75 grams
  • 1 drop lemon juice
  • 200g (1 2/3 cups (unsifted)) icing sugar, +1 cup for dusting the Ricciarelli
  •  200g (2 cups + 1 tablespoon) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon bitter almond aroma – optional
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • grated zest of 1 orange

METHOD

  • The night before whisk the egg whites with a drop of lemon juice, then mix in the icing sugar and the ground almond flour. Add also the bitter almond extract, the grated zest of an orange and the vanilla seeds. Cover with cling-film and set aside in the fridge overnight.
  • The day after, preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Dust a wooden working surface with icing sugar. Roll the dough into a log and cut out small balls of dough. 
  • Shape the dough with your hands into an oval, about 1 cm thick. Arrange the Ricciarelli on a tray lined with parchment paper. 
  • Wet your hands with water and pat each Ricciarello, then coat the shaped ricciarelli with extra icing sugar.
  • Bake the Ricciarelli for about 18 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, they will be still soft and moist, they will reach the ideal texture once cooled down. 
  • Store them in an airtight container. They are even better the day after.

TIP:

How to make almond flour at home. Buy the almonds, shell them and remove the outer brown skin (to remove it quickly immerse them for about ten seconds in boiling water). Toast the almonds in the oven at 100°C for about 5 minutes and then let them cool down. Blend them with a tablespoon of icing sugar. Pulse the mixer several times using the pulse function or by pushing the “on” button, holding for a second, and releasing. The goal is not over heating the almonds, otherwise they will release the oil. Blend until you get the consistency of a medium – fine and coarse meal.

RECIPE @copyright JULS’ Kitchen

Ricciarelli- almond cookies- from Siena

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