I have always liked Italian almond cookies. They just go so well with coffee and they last forever. If you can keep your hands of the cookie jar that is!
Both recipes are really easy to make and they don’t take much preparing. The ricciarelli need 2 – 3 hours of resting time but the dough is made really fast.
The cantuccini recipe is a basic recipe (originally from here) you can change up easily. Add chocolate, pistachios or dried berries to have some variety and new taste to them. I put some lemon zest in to add some freshness.
175 g whole almonds, peeled
250 g flour
180 g sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. vanilla sugar
1/2 bottle bitter almond baking aroma
25 g salted butter, softened (add a bit of salt if you use non salted butter)
grated lemon zest from 1 – 1,5 lemons
Preheat the oven to 200°C and line one or two trays with parchment paper.
Cut the almonds a bit smaller. It will be easier to cut the biscotti later when they come out of the oven the first time.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and vanilla sugar. Knead in the butter and eggs until you get a sticky dough. Then add the almonds. Wrap the dough into a foil and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes cut the dough roughly into 6 pieces and roll each piece into long rolls of around 1,5-2,5 cm depending on how big you want the cantuccini to be.
Put the rolls on the tray and bake for 15 minutes. Take them off and let them cool down a bit. I think I waited around 10 minutes as I found it easier to cut them before they were cooled down completely.
Cut them diagonally and put them back on the tray cut side down.
Bake them for another 10 minutes. They should be golden brown. When completely cooled down you can put them into a cookie jar or cookie tin. It’s also a nice idea to wrap them up and give them away as a present.
The ricciarelli are nice and soft in the middle and taste a bit like marzipan. I had been looking for a decent recipe for a while and came along this (scroll to the middle of the page).
300 g almond flour
280 g sugar
150 g powder sugar (100 g for the dough and 50 g for rolling)
1 tsp. baking powder
grated zest of 1 orange
2 egg whites
1/4 bottle of bitter almond baking aroma
Mix the almond flour with the sugar and 100 g of the powder sugar with the baking powder and orange zest. Beat the egg whites in a tall bowl until they’re firm and glossy. You can now add them with the bitter almond to the almond mixture.
Use a spoon to incorporate the eggs slowly. Don’t use a hand mixer since the eggs will lose all shape and the dough won’t be fluffy.
When everything is mixed, form little loaves of around 3 cm out of the dough.
Roll them in the left over powder sugar, put them on a tray and flatten them a bit with your fingers.
They now need to rest for around 2-3 hours before you can bake them in the oven for around 25 minutes on 140°C. They should be soft on the inside, so check them before the time is over since they might take a few minutes less!
These also make nice gifts if you can handle not eating them before. Enjoy!