Ricciarelli, Christmas Italian Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Ricciarelli are perfectly chewy little Italian almond cookies from Siena. They're perfect Christmas cookies if you're gluten-free, or if you just happen to love the flavor of almonds. Topped with a generous amount of powdered sugar, they have a sweet, snowy appearance. Easy to make in a short amount of time, ricciarelli are a great project for kids. Make sure to use a brand of almond flour with a fine texture; I use Bob's Red Mill. And they're naturally gluten-free!
Course Dessert
Cuisine cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 48 cookies
Calories 71kcal
Author Stephanie Stiavetti


  • 3 cups fine almond flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest


  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine the almond flour, granulated sugar, 1 cup of the powdered sugar, the baking powder, and the salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Fold in the almond extract, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and almond-flour mixture. Stir until completely combined.
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop out a large ball of cookie dough. Roll the dough into a ball in your hands, then use the bottom of a glass to gently smash the cookie into a disk about ½-inch thick. Roll in the remaining powdered sugar and set on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Let sit, uncovered, on the counter for about 45 minutes, or until the surfaces dry out just a touch. Preheat the oven to 250°F (121°C).
  • Place the cookies into the preheated oven and bake for 22 to 27 minutes, until they are golden brown around the edges.
  • Cool completely on a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Nutrition analysis is done on one cookie


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 123mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.7mg