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Sunday, 12 December 2010


Ricciarelli are almond and sugar biscuits traditionally eaten around Christmas time, which originate from the city of Siena, in Italy. They are fat and gluten free (although very sugary), with a melt in the mouth consistency and a sweet, lingering scent. They keep well in an airtight container and therefore make lovely presents to give to your friends and family. You can accompany them with an aromatic espresso, or dip them in dessert wine (for instance, Vin Santo).

The following recipe is from Nigella Lawson's book How to be a domestic goddess, one of my favourite baking recipe books!


  • 2 large egg whites
  • A pinch of salt
  • 225 gr caster sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of almond essence
  • 300 gr of ready ground almonds
  • Icing sugar for dusting
Whisk the egg whites and the salt until stiff, with the aid of an electric beater. Then gradually whisk in the sugar until you have a glossy, thick mixture.
Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond essence and ground almonds, then mix to a hard paste. 
Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment. Dust your hand lightly with icing sugar, then shape the paste into small diamonds. 

Cover with cling film, then leave to dry in the fridge overnight. The following morning, heat the oven at 140°C and bake each batch for 30 minutes, or until slightly cracked on top. Leave them to cool, the dust with icing sugar and serve.


Sally Whittingham said...

How wonderful Irene! Though I have only a small kitchen this Christmas, in our rented flat, I am very tempted indeed to make them, though I know it will be me who eats most of them! Happy Christmas- in England or in Italy?

Focaccia al Rosmarino said...

Thank you, Sally! My kitchen is tiny, too, so do not let the lack of space put you off from giving it a go! These biscuits will make your flat smell of Christmas!

I shall shall be spending the holidays in Italy, snow permitting ! Jow about you? What will you be cooking for your Christmas feast?

Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo!