Italy- Ricciarelli Recipe

Ricciarelli biscuits

When I was in Siena, some of my colleagues recommended a bakery in the south part of the city called Pasticceria Peccati di Gola. On a very rainy day, I ran down to the bakery to pick up two boxes, one regular and one chocolate. They were amazing and my friends all agreed when I shared them back in London. This recipe for ricciarelli is an approximation, though not quite like the original. I think some refinement is needed to get the perfect balance of a crunchy outside and chewy interior. However, these were very tasty and friends devoured them. Ricciarelli are very similar to almond macarons.

Main ingredients for ricciarelli
Sift icing sugar


3 egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
Zest from 1 lemon
300g icing sugar
225g ground almonds
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar for dusting

Whipped egg whites
Ricciarelli batter


First, whip the egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks.

Next, in a large bowl sift together the icing sugar, almonds, salt and baking powder. Fold this mixture into the egg whites. Then fold in the lemon zest, vanilla and almond extracts. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Then use hands to roll 1-inch diameter balls and coat in icing sugar. Shape into an oval and place on the baking sheet. Leave about 1 inch between each one.

Leave uncovered at room temperature for about an hour. They should be slightly dried out. You can then gently squeeze the sides to crack them slightly, for that characteristic look. Then pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F). Bake for about 16 minutes until lightly browning on top. Then cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes. Gently toss the biscuits, a few at a time, in a bag with some icing sugar. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Shaping the ricciarelli
Baked ricciarelli

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