I am sure that most of us can say we have tried a few too many of these lovely little treats from a local Italian delicatessan or bakery. I know I have! There is something about the almond and its various forms we can use it in baking, that produces many of my favorite sweet treats. Yes I am the odd person eating everyones marzipan (almond based icing) off birthday and wedding cakes! Its the best part isn’t it!!!?
In fact these Italian almond biscuits (AKA ricciarelli ) along with almond biscotti are the best to have along side a hot espresso coffee. I guarantee you wont stop at just one! Its impossible!
After discovering this recipe from the wonderfully talented Richard Bertinet, I was beyond excited to read how simple they are to make! For some reason I had made up my mind that because they were soooo good, that they must have been a bit tricky to make? How wrong I was….The number of almond biscuits I have bought over the years could have been so easily baked at home… and by the dozen!!
Your first bite into the chewy, soft centre is heavenly, combine this with the crunch from some flaked roasted almonds = perfection!
I love how you can also fill them with what ever sweet jam you have in the fridge, almonds or even leave them plain. Dont forget the dusting of icing sugar!!!
The added bonus is that they are gluten free and since they are made with almond meal, (almonds are healthy right!? ) I figure they are more than 50% a healthy treat! Ill just keep telling myself that as I inhale my fifth one for the day!
One tip is when making the impressions (as above), dip your thumb into some icing sugar before each impression and the dough wont stick to your finger.
For my ones here I used good quality orange marmalade and raspberry jam as the fillings
I will always remember, how each and every time one of my children are so eager to try one, it is with certainty that the icing gets inhaled accidently and they end up coughing clouds of icing sugar from their mouthes and noses. Actually, not just the kids, it happens to me too…..!
- 300g icing sugar
- 300g ground almonds (almond meal)
- 2tsp runny honey
- 3 x egg whites
- Topping of choice - jam, flaked almonds, blanched almonds
- Icing sugar - to dust once cooled
- In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar and ground almonds.
- Add the honey and egg whites the almond mixture and mix till well combined.
- Place the bowl in the fridge to firm for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- When you are ready for the next step, preheat the oven to 150℃ and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Dust the bench surface with icing sugar.
- Remove the mixture bowl from the fridge and divide it into 4 even pieces
- Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape, or so you can cut 8 even sized pieces from it.
- Roll these pieces into balls and place them directly onto the baking paper.
- If you want to fill them with jam as I have, dip your finger in icing sugar before each imprint into the ball. If not, flatten the ball slightly and add your almonds or topping of choice.
- Place the trays into the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the biscuits loosen away from the baking paper with very little stick.
- Leave to cool.Once cooled dust with icing sugar to serve.