Ricciarelli Italian Biscuit Recipe

Perfect treats from using leftover egg whites


Mike have made us carbonara pasta for tea many times now and so many of those times we’ve had leftover egg whites.

Here is a simple recipe for these delicious Italian (from Siena) almond and lemony biscuits. It’s crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. The hint of lemon gives it a nice citrus taste to cut through the sweetness. We use ground almond in this recipe so it is completely gluten free – and also dairy free for those with dietary requirements.


  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 300g ground almond
  • dash of lemon juice
  • handfuls of flaked almonds


  1. Put the caster sugar and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and rub together to release the nice aroma and oils of the peel into the sugar.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and add the ground almond to the bowl.
  3. In a separate clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt together until stiff peaks form.
  4.  Add the egg whites and lemon juice to the sugar and almond mix until you form a dough paste (I mixed these together with my hands – much easier than a spoon). The resultant mixture should be firm but still moist.
  5. Next, take a bit of the dough and roll into a ball to the size of a golf ball – or smaller if you want smaller biscuits.
  6. Place the balls onto trays lined with baking paper. Then coat each ball with some more icing sugar.
  7. Flatten each ball using your index and middle finger to create a slightly oval shape.
  8. Add the flaked almonds on top – you may need to press it into the dough slightly so it stays.
  9. Leave the trays to stand for about 30 minutes to allow the ricciarelli to form a dry exterior.
  10. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C (fan). Once ready bake your biscuits for 20 minutes or until just coloured. Let the ricciarelli to cool before eating – as tempting as it may be.

Other ideas – 

These biscuits are so simple to make you can experiment with other ingredients like using pistachios or adding other essences to the mix like orange blossom or rose water. For extra indulgence try melting some dark or white chocolate and dipping the underside or the end of the biscuit.

A real treat indeed. Beautiful with coffee or on their own.


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