Friday, March 2, 2018

Italian Almond Cookies - Pasticcini alle Mandorle

 These classic Italian almond cookies are very easy to make, and extremely easy to eat :) 
Intensely nutty and perfectly sweet
Chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
What more could you want in a cookie?  

I'm so excited today to share with you the recipe of my favorite Italian pasticcini alle mandorle (almond cookies).

Pasticcini are small, cookie-size fine pastries that you'd buy in an Italian pasticceria or bakery, generally served as a dessert, but also amazing next to steaming-hot cup of coffee or tea. At any time of the day, really!
Almond pasticcini are a traditional Sicilian pastry, similar to paste di mandorla, but common in every part of Italy.  
There are a few variations of these almond cookies. You can make them with just almonds, or add a little aroma, like pistachios, amaretti, orange zest, or orange extract ... 
For this recipe, you only use large egg whites (save the egg yolk for a frittata or another dessert, like my Torta della Nonna - cream-filled tart topped with pine nuts) .

Because my trees in the backyard are exploding with juicy lemons, in today's recipe I added some lemon zest, just like they do in Puglia. If you try these, I'm sure you'll fall in love too with the perfect balance and combination of almonds and lemon falvor.

Truly a match made in heaven!

I recommend using almond flour to make these cookies, which is made from ground blanched almonds. You could also use ground almond or almond meal (generally made with whole almonds) but the result would be a little more crumbly and not as soft. 

You can decorate them on top with a whole almond, just like I did, or a candied cherry. Delicious either way.

And as a final optional-but-highly-recommended touch, roll the almond dough in powdered sugar. It gives a crispy outer shell when baking, and the fun and unique look of these cookies. 

Ready to try this recipe?! If you do, I'm sure they'll be your new favorite Italian cookies too!


YIELD: about 22 cookies
    • 3 cups (300 gr) cups almond flour 
    • 1 cup (200 gr) granulated sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • zest of 1 large lemon (or 2 small)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp almond extract
    • 3 egg whites (medium eggs)
    • about 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar for dusting
    • about 22 whole almonds (one for each cookie)


TIME: 15 minutes to prepare, 20  minutes to bake
    Preheat the oven to 325° F (165 degrees c ).
    In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour with the sugar, salt and lemon zest.
    Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and the egg whites. Mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon (no need for an electric mixer), until you get a soft and still a little sticky dough. Add more egg white if the dough is too dry, or a little more almond flour if too wet.
    Scoop dough and roll into balls, about one tablespoonful each.
    Place sugar into a plate or shallow medium bowl, and roll into the white sugar, if you like. These cookies are also great without the powdered sugar on the outside.
    Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    Top each cookie with an almond.

    Bake in the preheated oven at 325 degrees f (165° C) for about 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden at the bottom and around the edges. Let cool down on the cookie sheet and enjoy!

    Italian Almond Cookies RECIPE CARD:


    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. I'm trying these this weekend. I have a ton of almond flour because I am trying to get away from wheat flour and this is the perfect recipe to try. Thanks so much!!

      1. YES!!! This is easy and so delicious! Let me know how it goes. Share pics if you’d like! Have an amazing weekend

      2. I'm making this for the fourth time!! I love this!

    3. This recipe must be soooo delicious! I really love these kind of cookies!

      1. Thank you!! I love almond desserts... and this is one of my faves!

    4. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table,but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
      easy vegan meals

    5. Is there any safe sugar substitute that you can use?

    6. Sugar substitute sacreligious to an italian but if you must. Lol
      How to substitute 1 cup of sugar. To replace 1 cup of white sugar you can substitute it for 3/4 cup honey, or 3/4 cups maple syrup or 2/3 cup agave or 1 teaspoon stevia.
      Good. Luck i might try this myself too

    7. Replies
      1. I have frozen them separately on a tray and then put in a baggy in freezer.

    8. Love these! I would like to try with a bit less sugar to see if they hold together.

    9. Replies
      1. I just used a whisk to break them up a bit. It was fine.

    10. I don’t have almond flour can I use all purpose?

    11. Is there any way to print this recipe?

    12. There's no butter in these, which means they're healthy and I can eat the whole batch, right?

    13. Wow they came out amazing!
      I impressed myself, how good and easy they were to make!
      Thanks 😊

    14. i love your recipe thanks look so tasty

    15. This is an outstanding recipe. Perfect in every way-taste and texture.
      Best regards from Canada.

    16. Love these cookies! Light and delicious. I'm thinking about making them as a thumbprint cookie with jam inside. Do you think that would work? I might leave out the powdered sugar if I do that.

    17. Look delicious! Great video and will be making these with my daughter tomorrow! Would like to print out the recipe but cannot see a link for it. Can you advise please? Thx!

    18. Looks so yummy.
      How long and how do you store these?

    19. I have been dying to try this recipe. I love almond desserts! I have an old worn out piece of paper with your recipe on it. :) I would like to re-print it. Do you happen to have a print friendly version you can post? If not, I will copy and paste the ingredients, preparation, and photo into a Word document. Thank you for sharing your yummy treats!

    20. This was amazing! Thank you for the recipe!

    21. Just got them out of the oven! Gorgeous and tasty!👩‍🍳🌷
      Thank you for this easy recipe.

    22. Just got them out of the oven! Gorgeous and tasty!👩‍🍳🌷
      Thank you for this easy recipe.

    23. looking very tempting, one of my favourite dessert recipe. thanks for the recipe.

    24. How can I save this to my Pinterest where I keep all the yummy recipes I find?

    25. I made these Italian cookies today, they are absolutely delicious I follow you step by step instructions & not one left over everyone in my family loved them this recipe is a keeper for me. Thank you so much for sharing

    26. How far ahead can these be made? Best way to store?