Keto Italian Ricciarelli Almond Cookies

I was staying at my Italian grandparents when I was younger and remember a relative visiting with the most delicious almond cookies. I was blown away by the taste — a soft, pillow-y texture with a crisp shell and the most delicious orange-scented almond flavour. So different to any cookie I’d tasted before.

It was many years since I had one again and was reminded of the taste, and set out to make them myself. It turns out I wasn’t the only one impressed — whenever I make these, I always get requests for the recipe.

These traditional soft Italian almond cookies are usually enjoyed during the Christmas season but can be made all year round. Keep in mind that these keto cookies are very sweet, just like the original version.

How To Make Keto Ricciatelli Cookies

The process for making these keto cookies is relatively easy, though it does require some sitting time to get the shell to form on the cookies. I promise you though — they are worth the wait!

You start by beating the egg whites. This is where a dash of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or some cream of tartar helps as it will stabilise the egg whites and keep them fluffy. You’ll add powdered low-carb sweetener, salt and then beat them until stiff peaks form. That’s when you add the orange zest, vanilla and almond extract. Then you can gently fold in the almond flour and baking powder.

You’ll then use your hands to cerate medium sized cookies which you will roll in some more sweetener and let them sit for 1 to 2 hours before gently flattening and baking on low and slow until light golden.

These keto cookies will keep well at room temperature for up to a week.

Preparation time

Hands-on: 15 minutes
Overall: 2 hours 30 minutes

Nutritional values (per serving, 1 cookie)

Total Carbs4.7grams
Fiber1.8grams
Net Carbs3grams
Protein4.3grams
Fat9.4grams
of which Saturated0.7grams
Energy115kcal
Magnesium48mg (12% RDA)
Potassium126mg (6% EMR)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (10%), protein (15%), fat (75%)

Ingredients (makes 14 cookies)

Instructions

  1. If you don’t have powdered low-carb sweetener, add an equivalent amount (same weight) of granulated sweetener such as Erythritol, Swerve or Allulose to a food processor or a blender and process until powdered.
  2. Whip egg whites and lemon juice together with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Slowly add the first part of the powdered swetener (leaving the second part some for coating) and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the orange zest and vanilla and almond extracts, and fold in until combined.
  3. In another bowl, mix all the almond flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
  4. Gently fold into the egg white mixture by adding it in three to four parts. Try not to over mix — you want to keep as much air as possible in the batter.
  5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Scoop out a spoonful of dough and roll into balls roughly 4 cm (1.5 inch) in diameter, then shape into ovals. Roll in the remaining powdered sweetener to coat. Place on baking sheet and flatten slightly.
  6. Repeat with remaining mixture, leaving enough space between the cookies to allow for rising.
  7. Leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until the outsides of the cookies have dried out slightly, forming a little shell. Gently squeeze the cookies to crack the “shell”.
  8. While cookies are drying, preheat oven to 150 °C/ 300 °F (conventional), or 130 °C/ 265 °F (fan assisted). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly golden on top.
  9. Cool and store in an airtight container.
  10. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage you can freeze them in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

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