ALMOND intense RICCIARELLI orange cookie from Siena

Almonds ground up to render a moist interior along with a crunchy personality.
Orange flavours intensified this traditional delight from Siena, Italy.

Just before my sprint with the holiday baking bonanza...
I usually dip my hands in some go-to favourites.
Cookies are mostly where I feel comfortable starting.

These traditional cookies originated in Siena, Italy.
From that first bite, I was hooked.
The hole in the wall pastry shop tucked away in this beautiful town had my heart-tummy strings.

Over the years, I've re-created it on several occasions...
and well, they got a few twists along the way ;o)

The injection of more orange flavour is in my opinion what makes them special.

Typically a cookie had at Christmas time, however, is now enjoyed all year round ;o)

Not only are they easy to make...
they are festive looking as well.

Did I mention, how absolutely delicious and incredibly addictive they are?


RICCIARELLI orange cookie
(crackled Almond flour Orange zest cookies)
Based on a cookie I once had in a small pastry shop in Siena, Italy
biscotti Ricciarelli 
Siena's almond cookie

makes 24-26 cookies

(American / Metric measures)

Cookie dough:
. 3 heaping cups /(330g) almond flour*    
. 3/4 cups (165g) granulated sugar
. 1 cup (130g) confectioners' sugar
. 1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder
. pinch of sea salt
. 1 medium orange** finely grated zest
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) pure almond extract
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) pure vanilla extract
. 3 xLarge egg whites, room temp.

 . 1/2 cup (65g) confectioners' sugar 

* Almond flour is not to be confused with almond meal, which contains ground almonds that have the skin on them. You can make your own almond flour from blanched almonds.  In a food processor, grind 1 Tbsp. (15ml) of some of the icing sugar for every cup (110g) of almonds.  This will prevent the almond from turning into almond butter. 

** Variation only if the orange zest is not available:  Add 3 Tbsps. (45ml) frozen Orange concentrate, thawed ...and deduct one egg white. 

. Prepare and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.
. Position the rack in the center of the oven.

Cookie dough:
1. In a large bowl, mix and combine ALL the dough ingredients except for the egg whites. Set aside.
2. In a very clean, medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks are achieved.
3. Prepare a medium, shallow bowl for the icing sugar.  Set aside.
4. Add the beaten egg whites into the dry mix.  With the aid of a strong spatula, fold and combine until a compact paste is formed.
5. With the use of a medium sized (#30) ice-cream scoop, make packed, leveled servings and temporarily place them onto a plate.  Then, roll and slightly shape into informal ovals shapes.  . With the icing sugar,  Coat each unit by rolling and gently shaking off excess.
6. Place 12 or 13 cookies at 2 inches (5cm) apart per baking sheet.  Note: Leave them rest for about 1 hour so that they can slightly dry.
.  Pre-heat the oven to 275F/140C/Gas2
7. BAKE them for 30 minutes or until they appear lightly golden.
8. Remove them from the oven and keep them on the baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes before setting them onto a rack.

. These cookies can be stored into an airtight container for about 1-2 weeks.
. I also wrap and freeze them into their initial parchment papers and then slipped into a plastic bag.  When I take them out, I leave them at room temperature or lightly warm them in a low heated oven.

Like most of you, the holidays are an incredibly busy period.  
I may try to share another delightful treat with you before our year is out.  
If I don't quite make it, please accept my warmest holiday wishes to you and your loved ones.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Here are other holiday cookies that may be of interest: