These cookies are so good, it is the first time I have used almond flour, but it will not be my last. The lemon and orange zest make these cookies a favorite of mine.
These cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Add the orange and lemon zest along with the taste of almonds, and these will become a family favorite.
Ingredients You Will NeedJump to Recipe for Amounts
Almond Flour-You can undoubtedly make your almond flour from scratch, and here are a few sites that show you how: Minimalist Baker and Foolproof Living. However, I need a super fine almond flour, and I have been happy with the Red Mill brand.
Orange and Lemon Zest-Since you only need ½ teaspoon of each, it will not be more than 1 of each fruit, depending on the size of your orange and lemon.
Maraschino Cherries-You can use regular cherries or candied cherries, but my favorite is the maraschino cherries. Just look at the bottle and get one with primarily nice-looking whole cherries. You will cut them in half, so the nicer looking they are, the easier it is to cut them.
Sicilian Almond Cookies Start to Finish
Add sifted powdered sugar to the almond flour; you can do this all in the mixer bowl. Next, whisk the almond flour and the sifted powdered sugar to blend the two. Next, add the orange and lemon zest along with the vanilla extract. Finally, add the slightly beaten egg whites to the rest of the ingredients in the mixer bowl.
I am sifting powdered sugar into a bowl with almond flour.
All the ingredients are in the mixer bowl, including the slightly beaten eggs.
Mix all the ingredients for a minute or two. This almond cookie dough is grainy due to the almond flour. Even though the Red Mill almond flour is super fine, it is still made up of almond nuts. This type of flour helps keep the middle chewy. Scrape down the sides to make it easier to spoon into the piping bag.
Mixed on a low mixer speed for a couple of minutes.
Scraping all the cookie dough to the bottom, ready for the piping bag.
Piping Bag and Tip
Cut the end off a piping bag. Add the tip with the inside coupling part. Then screw the top part of the coupling that fits over the tip and end of the piping bag. If you choose to cut the end of the bag and just use the tip with no coupling, know that this cookie dough is dense and might split the piping bag.
Closed large star piping tip inserted into the piping bag.
Screw the top part of the white coupling over the tip and bag.
Fill the bag with the almond cookie dough and set it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Letting the cookie dough rest in the fridge will help meld the flavors together.
Preparing The Cherries
While the cookie dough is in the refrigerator, it is time to get the maraschino cherries ready. I did extra, so I had a good choice of cherry halves. Cut at least ten cherries in half and set them on the cut side down on a paper towel. In a couple of minutes, transfer them to a clean paper towel. You want as much juice drained as you can.
Create and Bake Your Almond Cookies
Take the piping bag and pipe 1-½" to 2" circles, ending it in the middle. Next, take the half-cut cherries and put the cut end right in the middle of each cookie. Depending on the size of your circles, this will determine how many cookies you will get for the cookie dough.
Stick the whole pan into the refrigerator overnight. This process helps keep the swirl shape; if you bake them right away, they will lose the swirl shape and be flat.
Piping 2" circles and closing the circle in the middle,
Adding half a cherry on top right in the middle.
Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes, then turn on the broiler for a minute or two. Depending on how fast your broiler starts to brown the cookies. Watch closely; you don't want them to burn; just crisp up the ends of the swirls. This process is what gives the cookies the crispy outside.
After they have cooled I store these in a container with a lid. The cookies last 5-7 days before they are not quite as crispy on the outside but they are still chewy on the inside.
Traditional Sicilian (traditional Italian) Almond CookiesBarbara Hall
- 2 cups (224 g) Almond flour
- 1 ⅔ cup (200 g) Powdered sugar
- 3 large (3 large) Eggs whites
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Orange zest
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Lemon zest
- 10 (10 ) Maraschino cherries
- ⅛ teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) Pure vanilla extract
- Sift the powdered sugar right on top of the almond flour; I use a whisk to blend them. Add the zest from the orange and lemon and the vanilla extract. Slightly beat the three egg whites and add these to the mixture.
- I use my stand mixer on low speed to make sure all the ingredients are mixed. Next, scrape all the cookie dough to the bottom of the bowl. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag (the tip I used with my pastry bag was a large closed star). Put the bag with the dough inside into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- While the cookie dough is in the refrigerator take the cherries and cut them in half. Put the cut side down on a paper towel to help absorb the juice from the cherries. Give them a few minutes then transfer them to a clean paper towel.
- Line your cookie sheet pan with parchment paper, pipe out 2-inch circles, and close it in the middle. You want a beautiful mound. Now add one cherry half onto the top of each cookie. Finally, put the whole pan into the refrigerator for at least overnight. If you do not do this step, the cookies will not hold their shape when baked and will be flat.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F then take the cookies from the refrigerator and right into the oven. I baked mine about 14-16 minutes before I turned the broiler on to finish browning the outside of the cookies for about 1 to 2 minutes. Broiling will give them a crispy outside and soft inside. Place on a rack to cool after taking them out of the oven.