If you love Italian desserts do not miss this recipe: Sicilian Almond Cookies
Sicilian 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. We think this recipe is faster while respecting the Sicilian tradition. You can use almond flour, although biscuits made with peeled almonds taste much better.
For decoration we 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
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- peeled almonds for decorating
An Electric Food Processor is a kitchen tool you may need for this recipe. Check here for some options; the food processor is used for chop, slice, whisk, knead and has variable speeds you can set on your own speed as well as a pulse mode.
In a mixer grind almonds and sugar in order to reduce them into a rather fine flour (1) (2). If you have already the almond flour, just mix it with sugar. Add egg whites (2) and vanilla extract then mix everything with the electric food processor. The mixture of almond paste has to be firm (3).
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 the cooking: almond cookies should be just golden outside and still soft inside. This type of cooking keeps the pastries crispy but with a soft almond heart (6).
Let them cool and serve.
Sicilian Almond Cookies Recipe: variations and suggestions
This is the traditional Sicilian recipe of almond cookies and the one that we find perfect (easy, quick and tasty). But there are some variations of almond biscuits recipe. Let’s see:
- Vanilla icing sugar instead of the traditional one. The almond paste is softer and you don’t need to add the vanilla essence.
- Candied peel of oranges. They must be pureed and added to the mix
- 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.
- 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.
- Whip the egg whites. Not recommended. In the Sicilian authentic recipe the egg whites are never whipped
- 1 bitter almonds or a few drops of bitter almond extract. Optional, depending on taste.
- Decorations: candied cherries, flakes almonds, pine nuts, coffee beans.
- Almond cookies shape: instead of using the pastry bag you can make balls with your hands and crush them sideways, then add decorations.
- And finally no liquor, no butter and no whole eggs: we are talking about almond cookies original Sicilian recipe…