Sicilian Almond Cookies Original Recipe

If you love Italian desserts do not miss this recipe: Sicilian Almond Cookies

 sicilian almond cookiesSicilian Almond Cookies  are a famous local dessert typical of Sicily. Soft and tasty, they are fast to make (and to eat…). They are also known as marzipan or almond pastries and are a gluten-free dessert.

This recipe is without flour. You need 4 ingredients: peeled almonds, sugar, egg whites and vanilla extract.

In some Sicilian Almond Cookies recipes you can find candied orange peel, pureed and added to the mixture (about 50g), and a little honey. I think the recipe I used is faster while respecting the Sicilian tradition. You can use almond flour, although biscuits made with peeled almonds taste much better.

For decoration I used some peeled almonds, but you can use candied cherries, coffee beans or flaked almonds as well.

If you are interested in another recipe made with almonds then read:

How to make Caprese Cake (Torta Caprese) 

Sicilian Almond Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook  Time: 5 Min
Yelds: 25 cookies 


  • 200 g (7oz) of peeled almonds
  • 200 g (1 cup) of sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • peeled almonds for decorating


sicilian almond cookies

In a mixer grind almonds and sugar in order to reduce them into a rather fine flour (1) (2).
Add egg whites (2) and vanilla extract then mix everything. The mixture of almond paste has to be firm (3).

Sicilian almond cookies

Fill a pastry bag with the mixture and make cookies squeezing the dough directly on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper (4). Decorate each almond cookie with an almond (or half-candied cherry or a coffee bean if you prefer) (5). Preheat the oven to 240° (460F) then bake them for 5 minutes. Pay attention to cooking: the almond cookies should be just golden and still soft. This gives you crispy pastries but with a soft almond heart (6).

Let them cool and serve.

Sicilian Almond Cookies Recipe: variants and suggestions

This is the traditional Sicilian recipe of almond cookies and the one that I find perfect (easy, quick and tasty). But there are some variations of almond biscuits recipe. Let’s see:

  1. Vanilla icing sugar instead of the traditional one. The almond paste is softer and you don’t need to add the vanilla essence.
  2. Candied peel of oranges. They must be pureed and added to the mix
  3. Miele di Zagara (orange blossom honey). Zagara is the Italian name for the orange or lemon blossom. It is a honey produced in Sicily, the land of citrus fruits. It must be added to the mix that will become softer.
  4. Let rest the almond biscuits 10/12 hours in the refrigerator before baking. This depends on the ingredients you have used: if the mix is soft then yes, it’s better to let them rest.
  5. Whip the egg whites. Not recommended. In the Sicilian original recipe the egg whites are never whipped
  6. 1 bitter almonds or a few drops of bitter almond extract. Optional, depending on taste.
  7. Decorations: candied cherries, flakes almonds, pine nuts, coffee beans.
  8. Almond cookies shape: instead of using the pastry bag you can make balls with your hands and crush them sideways, then add decorations.
  9. And finally no liquor, no butter and no whole eggs: we are talking about almond cookies original Sicilian recipe…
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Sicilian Almond Cookies Original Recipe
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Sicilian Almond Cookies Ingredients Box

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Yields: 25 cookies
  • 200 g (7oz) of peeled almonds
  • 200 g ( 1 cup) of sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • peeled almonds for decorating


I love all red things, reading novels, Milan football team, spaghetti and dark chocolate. I have wonderful memories of my grandmother who Involved me in the kitchen from a very early age. She was kind and patient and generous with her time. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve being in the kitchen with her while she was cooking Risotto alla Milanese or Polenta. And the bonus of it was that she always made me taste everything.

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