Italian Almond Cookies, also known as pasticcini di mandorla, are made with just a few ingredients, are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and taste like they came from a Sicilian bakery. You won’t believe how easy these are!
These Italian almond cookies are a cookie lover’s dream!
Not only are they incredibly easy to make (with just 6 main ingredients), they’re loaded with wonderful almond flavor, and have a perfect chewy texture.
While we make these Sicilian almond cookies with a few different toppings of whole almonds, sliced almonds, or maraschino cherries, feel free to leave them plain if you prefer.
Table of Contents
All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.
- Almond flour. Almond flour isn’t flour at all, rather it’s made from ground almonds and is therefore naturally gluten-free. It’s great in many desserts, such as flourless chocolate torta caprese.
- Egg whites. At room temperature. Save the yolks and use them for a different recipe, such as creamy lemon chicken pasta.
- Almond extract. For extra almond flavor.
- Toppings. We used sliced almonds, whole almonds, and maraschino cherries. Feel free to omit these if you prefer.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Preheat the oven to 350f and set the rack to the middle level. In a large bowl combine 2 cups (230g) of almond flour, 1 cup (200g) of granulated sugar, and a pinch of sea salt. (Photo #1)
- In a medium bowl, beat 2 room-temperature egg whites and 1 teaspoon of almond extract until soft peaks form. (Photo #2)
- Gently fold the egg whites into the almond flour mixture. (Photo #3)
- Mix just until a dough forms. (Photo #4)
- Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats and place 1/4 cup of powdered sugar onto a small plate. Using a small cookie scoop, collect a ball of dough. (Photo #5)
- Use your hands to compress the dough ball together, then roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the powdered sugar. (Photo #6)
- Place the ball on the cookie sheet leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Use your hands to press a small whole almond or cherry onto the top of each cookie ball. Alternatively, you can press the cookie slightly and leave plain, or coat it with sliced almonds. Bake the cookies for ~15 minutes or until the cookies turn lightly golden on the edges and start to crack on top, but are still soft on the inside (Photo #7)
- Remove the Sicilian almond cookies from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. (Photo #8) Enjoy!
- Separating the egg whites. Take care when separating the egg whites from the yolks. Any fat or yolk remnant will impact the egg whites’ ability to form peaks. For the same reason, be sure to use a clean bowl that’s free of any oil residue, etc.
- Use a cookie scoop. This will ensure consistent sizes for your almond cookies.
- Baking pans. I recommend using 3 separate pans for these cookies, however, if you only have 1 cookie sheet, be sure to let it cool down before placing the next batch of cookies on them to bake.
More Italian desserts
Here are a few more of our favorite desserts! These are great for holidays or anytime you’re craving a sweet treat!
If you’ve enjoyed this Italian Almond Cookies Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.
Italian Almond Cookies
- 2 cups (230g) almond flour
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
optional toppings (use 1 or a mix)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- amarena or maraschino cherries
- 1/4 cup whole almonds
- Preheat oven to 350f and set the rack on the middle level.
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, salt, and sugar and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and almond extract with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form.
- Fold egg whites into the large bowl and mix until a crumbly dough forms.
- Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Using a small cookie scoop, grab a ball of dough. Use your hands and compress it together then roll it into a ball. Roll the ball into the powdered sugar.
- Place the dough ball onto the cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Press a whole almond or cherry into the top of the dough ball. Alternatively, press down and leave empty or coat with sliced almonds.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies turn lightly golden on the edges and start to crack but are still soft on the inside. Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- If you can not find almond flour in the store, use a food processor to pulverize whole almonds until it is finely ground.
- All of the optional toppings can be used or none at all.
- Almond cookies should be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- This recipe was written for a conventional oven. For convection ovens, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and begin checking for doneness at the 75% mark.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.