While crafting a recipe for a book signing event, we received a treasured gift from a dear friend visiting from Tuscany, who had joined us to celebrate Thanksgiving. She graciously shared the wonderful Tuscan recipe for Ricciarelli, which happen to be naturally gluten-free and bursting with irresistible flavors.
Ricciarelli are a delightful sweet hailing from Siena with a unique history dating back to the 14th century, and are primarily crafted from almonds, sugar, and egg whites. Traditionally, they take on a rhombus-like shape and are cherished as gifts during the Christmas season. However, we decided to infuse a touch of autumn spirit by shaping them differently and serving them on Thanksgiving.
Enjoy these delectable little gems!
4 - 12hours
100 g powdered sugar + more for garnish
2 tablespoons water
2 cups (200 g) almond flour, sifted
2 tablespoons (20 g) corn starch
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g) baking powder*
3/4 teaspoons (6 g) baking soda*
Zest of 1 orange
2 egg whites
In a mixing bowl, add powdered sugar and add water. Mix until dissolved to make a sugar syrup and set aside.
Using a stand-up mixer or handheld electric whisk, beat egg whites until they form peaks, then set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift together almond flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda and mix well. Add orange zest and mix well with wooden spoon, then add egg white.
Add sugar syrup and using your hands, mix until well combined and you have a homogeneous round dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight. The longer it rests, the more fragrant the mixture becomes.
Preheat oven to 175˚C (347˚F) and prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Transfer dough to working surfaced dusted with powdered sugar, then add additional powdered sugar on top and roll out dough to a sheet about 1/2 inch thick.** Press desired molds in the dough, then roll each cookie in powdered sugar. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart and repeat this process until all the dough is used.
Place baking tray in oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- * Substitute baking powder and baking soda with ‘Lievito per Dolci’ 16 g packets.
- ** Traditionally, the dough is rolled into a log about 4 cm (about 1 1/2 inch) wide, then cut into evenly-sized cookies, about 20 g each (about 1 tablespoon). Lightly flatten each piece and mold using your hands in a rhombus-like shape.
You can find traditional Italian dessert recipes, turned to gluten-free alternatives on ‘Pasqualina’s Table, Our Family’s Traditional Italian Desserts …The Gluten-Free Way’ available on Amazon 👉 here.