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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Ricciarelli (Sienese Christmas Cookies) Recipe
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    Ricciarelli (Sienese Christmas Cookies)

    Ricciarelli (Sienese Christmas Cookies). Photo by JustEmma

    1/1 Photo of Ricciarelli (Sienese Christmas Cookies)

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    20 mins

    10 mins

    10 mins

    JustEmma's Note:

    These are delightfully moist little almond cookies which come from a centuries old Italian recipe. There are many alternatives you can do to the base recipe. The photo shows plain Ricciarelli laced with Rum and Ricciarelli with orange and lemon, dipped in dark chocolate. I've made boxes of these cookies for people and they always seem to come back for more!

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Sieve together the Icing Sugar, Flour and Baking Power into a bowel, then mix in the Ground Almonds.
    2. 2
      In a separate bowl, add a couple of drops of almond extract to the egg whites and then whisk until stiff peaks form.
    3. 3
      Stir the stiffened egg whites into the dry mixture until a sticky 'dough' is formed.
    4. 4
      If you are trying the options, at this point add either a tablespoon of mixed orange/lemon peel OR the zest of half a lemon/orange OR a tablespoon of Rum, Brandy or Amaretto.
    5. 5
      Sprinkle a board with sifted Icing Sugar and take a desertspoon full of the dough, roll in the Icing Sugar and form into a ball. Flatten the ball a little with the back of a fork. Continue until all your dough is gone (the amount above should make 12-16 cookies).
    6. 6
      Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and place your dough balls on, taking care to leave space for 'spread' during cooking.
    7. 7
      Pop into an oven that's been preheated to Gas Mark 6 (200C, 390F) until golden brown. This should take approximately 10-12 minutes.
    8. 8
      Remove from oven and leave to cool completely. If you are intending to dip the cookies in chocolate, at this stage you should melt very good quality dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa solids) in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and dip the cooled cookies inches Return them to the tray and cool off in the fridge or a cool place until chocolate is set.
    9. 9
      Ricciarelli keep for a few weeks in an airtight container.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on December 22, 2011


      Wonderful, light and flavorful. I tried this recipe for the first time last holiday season and they became an instant family favorite. The ground almond meal is a bit expensive, but so worth it!

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on October 23, 2006


      I made these this morning. What a wonderful cookie! They weren't as hard to make as I thought they were going to be. I used my food processor to grind the almonds, as I couldn't find almond flour/meal. What a nice treat to have with a cup of hot coffee or tea! Thank you for the great recipe!

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No


    Nutritional Facts for Ricciarelli (Sienese Christmas Cookies)

    Serving Size: 1 (858 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 1

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 308.2
    Calories from Fat 197
    Total Fat 21.9 g
    Saturated Fat 9.7 g
    Cholesterol 0.0 mg
    Sodium 31.6 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 32.1 g
    Dietary Fiber 6.4 g
    Sugars 20.4 g
    Protein 7.3 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    oranges, zest of

    candied orange

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